Do You Hate Animal Abuse? Then You’ll Love What the FBI Is Doing About It!
(Animal Rescue Site)
Starting in 2016, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will reclassify animal abuse as a “Group A” felony in its National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), which means that it will be a top-tier federal crime.
In the past, animal abuse crimes have been listed under “Group B,” which includes writing bad checks and trespassing, in the category of “All Other Offenses,” which is an aggregate of minor crimes. Under the new guidelines, however, abuse against animals will be comparable to more serious crimes, such as kidnapping and homicide.
The change will make it easier to track and quantify animal abuse crimes, which will hopefully result in improved enforcement and stronger accountability. With luck, the move will encourage municipal police to reform their policies to reflect the new law, and perhaps reduce or put an end to animal abuse by police and citizens alike.
The new animal cruelty category will include four offense types: simple or gross neglect, deliberate abuse or torture, organized abuse (e.g. dog fighting), and sexual abuse against an animal.
The FBI has been working with the National Sheriff’s Association and Animal Welfare Institute to implement the new category this year, and plan to collect data for such crimes beginning in January 2016. Animal cruelty statistics will be publicly available when the 2016 NIBRS is released the following year.
Read more at http://blog.theanimalrescuesite.com/animal-cruelty-felony-fbi/#kmt7AoCWYLpZrQFS.99
added a child
Tip of the Day:
(All Dogs Go To Kevin LLC)
If you have recently added a child to your family or are expecting one soon, it is very important to make the dog feel included. A lot of people have a tendency to yell at the dog to get away from the baby. This can cause the dog to have a negative association with the baby which can lead to issues. Teach your dog how to safely be around the baby using clear communication. If you have questions feel free to ask! #dogtraining
Problems Associated With Adopting Two Puppies at the Same Time Why experts warn against adopting two puppies at the same time - and what you can do for your dogs if you did not heed the warning.
(Whole Dog Journal)
There’s no denying it: a new puppy is one of the world’s most wonderful things. It’s a cold, hard heart that doesn’t get all mushy over puppy breath, soft pink puppy pads, and the fun of helping a baby dog discover his new world. So, if one puppy is wonderful, two puppies must be twice as wonderful, right? Well, not usually.
Most training professionals strongly recommend against adopting two pups at the same time. The biggest challenge of adopting puppy pairs is their tendency to bond very closely with each other, often to the exclusion of a meaningful relationship with their humans. They can become inseparable. Also, owners often underestimate the time commitment required to properly care for and train two puppies; as a result the pups often end up untrained and undersocialized.
Unbearably cute? Yes. A good idea? No. Just because you have two kids and they both want their own puppy doesn’t mean you should get two pups. You stand the best chance of raising well-trained and -socialized puppies one at a time.
Don’t do it
I’m the last person on earth to argue against getting a second dog, or even a third; my husband and I have five. However, there are very good reasons to think long and hard about not getting two puppies at once, whether they are siblings or not.
While the majority of new puppy owners seem to recognize that one puppy is enough of a responsibility for them, a certain number fall prey to one of a few common arguments about why two puppies might be better than one. I can rebut every one of them!
Let’s take a look at the most common reasons that people say they want to adopt two puppies at the same time - and why they shouldn’t be considered.
Two-pup rationale #1: “I want to get two puppies so they will have someone to play with while I’m gone all day at work.”
It’s a good thing to recognize that your pup could use companionship during the day. However, if you think one puppy can get into trouble when you’re not there, just think what kinds of mischief two pups can cook up when left to their own devices. Better solutions might include:
• Adopt your new pup at a time when someone in your family can take a week (or several) off work to stay home and help the puppy adjust gradually to being left alone. A couple of weeks vacation time? Kids home for the summer? Just be sure to use the time wisely, so your pup can learn to happily accept being alone when it’s time to go back to work or school.
• Find a friend, neighbor, or relative who is home much of the time and who is willing to provide daycare for your pup - and experience the joys of having a puppy to play with during the day, without the long-term responsibilities and costs of having a dog for 15-plus years.
• Ask your vet if she has another client with a similar-age puppy, and see if the two of you can mingle your pups at one of your puppy-proofed homes for puppy daycare, and send the second baby dog back home after work. Note the emphasis on “puppy-proofed.” Two pups can still get into a heap of trouble, even if one of them isn’t yours.
Two-pup rationale #2: I have two children and they each want their own puppy.
What a sweet idea. Just say no. Since when do the kids get to make the rules? Seriously, most families I know have enough trouble getting their kids to fulfill their promise to feed, walk, and clean up after one family dog. Mom ends up doing most of it anyway. So now Mom gets to do double-puppy-duty? If there’s a compelling reason for them each to have a dog, consider adopting one puppy now, and an adult dog from a shelter or rescue group. Even then, I’d adopt one first and give her at least a month to settle in, if not longer, before adopting the second.
If you must adopt two puppies at the same time for the kids, see the second half of this article.
Two-pup rationale #3: We want to have two dogs eventually anyway, so we might as well get them at the same time so they can grow up together as best friends.
Well, that’s what you might well get! When you raise two puppies together they usually do grow up to be inseparable best friends, often to the detriment of the dog-human relationship. Inevitably they spend far more time together than they do individually with you, with a likely result that they become very tightly bonded to each other and you are only secondary in their lives. Many owners of adopted-at-the-same-time puppies ultimately find themselves disappointed in their relationships with their dogs, even when they are committed to keeping them for life.
This super-bonding also causes tremendous stress (and stress-related behavior problems) on those occasions when the dogs do have to be separated - and sooner or later, something will come up that requires them to be separated: one goes to trainingclass and the other doesn’t, you want to walk one but not both, or a health-related problem requires one to be hospitalized or otherwise kept separate.
Of course you want your dogs to get along. But you probably don’t want them to get along so well with each other that they hardly take notice of the human members of the family – a common result of raising canine siblings together.
Two-pup rationale #4: A second puppy will play with the first and keep her occupied when I’m too busy to spend time with her.
Nice thought, but here’s a heads-up. If you’re too busy to give one puppy the time she needs, you’re definitely too busy for two puppies!
There are great interactive dog toyson the market that can help occupy your pup when you can’t play with her - and don’t think that either another puppy or a pen full of toys can substitute for social time with you. Puppies do take time, and it’s important you give that some serious thought before adding a baby dog to the family. It’s fine to give her playmate-time via arranged play dates with a friend’s healthy and compatible puppy, but don’t think adopting a second pup is an acceptable substitute for your own interaction with your puppy.
Two-pup rationale #5: If we adopt a second puppy, that’s one fewer that might be euthanized.
I won’t argue with this, except to say that in many shelters around the country today, puppies aren’t the problem. Of course there are exceptions, but I’d say the majority of shelters in the United States now have no problems placing most if not all the puppies they get. It’s the adult dogs who are most likely to die because of homelessness. If you really want to save a life, adopt a grown-up dog instead of a puppy, or at least adopt your puppy now, and come back for an adult dog in a few months.
Two-pup rationale #6: The breeder we are buying our puppy from thinks it’s best if we take two.
If you’re buying from a breeder who encourages you to purchase two puppies at once, run away fast. A truly responsible breeder will, in most cases, refuse to sell two puppies to one home, except on the rare occasion that a prospective buyer can prove she has the skill, knowledge, time, ability, and monetary resources to provide an excellent environment for two pups at once. Someone who tries to push two puppies on a buyer isn’t a very responsible breeder, and isn’t doing her puppies, or the new owner, any favors.Problems Associated With Adopting Two Puppies at the Same TimeWhat to do if you adopt two
What to do if you adopt two
Perhaps you’ve already adopted two puppies and are ruefully regretting your error. Or maybe you don’t regret it, but you realize you’ve taken on far more of a responsibility than you realized. Perhaps you’re determined to go ahead and do it anyway, despite my advice above. If you do take the bait and find yourself in double trouble, there are things you can do to minimize problems and maximize your success as the owner of a puppy pair:
• Crate them separately. Your pups are going to have plenty of together time; they don’t need to sleep together too. You can certainly leave them together in their puppy-proofed space when you’re gone all day, but they should be crated separately at night. You can crate them near each other, but this is the perfect time to start habituating them to not always being in close contact with their sibling. (See “Crating Woes,” Whole Dog Journal May 2005.) When they are comfortable in their crates close to each other, you can gradually increase distance between crates until they can be crated out of sight of each other, perhaps even in another room.
You can also do the “separate crating” thing cold turkey. If your children are old enough to be responsible for taking their pups out in the middle of the night, start from day one with a pup crated in each kid’s room.
In any case, the puppies’ separate crates should be in someone’s bedroom. This is vitally important so someone hears them when they wake at night and have to go out. The pups also benefit from the eight hours of close contact with you, even though you’re all sleeping. And by the way, you can bet if one puppy wakes up to go out, the other puppy in her nearby crate will wake up, too.
• Train them separately. Your training programs will be much more successful if you take the time to work with your pups individually. If you are using clicker training (and I hope you are!), you’ll probably find that it’s confusing and difficult to try to click and reward one pup for doing a desired behavior when the other pup is doing an unwanted behavior. When this happens, both pups think they got clicked, which means you’re reinforcing the unwanted behavior as well as the desired one. Oops! Not to mention that it’s much more difficult to get and keep any semblance of attention from either puppy if the other is present as a distraction.
Unless you train, walk, and socialize them separately, one sibling is likely to emerge as a leader – one whom the other sibling relies on for social cues and direction. Ideally, you want both siblings to become confident and independent.
Training time is a perfect opportunity to give your pups a positive association with being separated. One gets to play (train) with you and get attention, clicks, and yummy treats, while the other gets to hang out in her crate in another room, preferably far enough away she can’t hear you clicking, and empty her deliciously stuffed Kong.
If there’s a second trainer in your family, that person can work with the second pup in another room at the same time. Eventually you can each work with them at the same time in the same room, and sometime in the future one person can have fun working with them both at the same time. But that’s down the road somewhere, after they’ve both learned their good manners lessons very well.
• Play with them separately. It’s common in puppy pairs for one pup to be more assertive than the other, and take the lead in puppy activities. It’s fine to play with them together some of the time, and it’s also important to play with them separately, so the more assertive pup doesn’t always get to make the rules for the other.
For example, if you always play “fetch” with the two together, you’re likely to see that one pup repeatedly gets the toy and brings it back, while the other runs happily along behind. If you watch closely, you may even see the more assertive one do a little body language warning if the other tries to get the toy - a hard stare and stiffened body, perhaps. The less assertive one defers to her sibling by letting go of the toy and looking away. That’s a fine and normal puppy interaction, but it can suppress the “softer” pup’s retrieving behavior. Unless you make the effort to give her positive reinforcement for fetching toys when you play with her alone, you might find it difficult to get her to retrieve later on in her training.
• Walk and socialize them separately. Just as with your training sessions, you’ll need to walk one pup while leaving the other behind with something wonderful, or while someone else walks the other one in the opposite direction around the block. Walking them together with different handlers doesn’t work; the less confident pup will come to rely on the presence of the more confident one to be brave in the real world. Then, when the more confident one isn’t there, the shyer pup is more likely to be fearful. All the activities you would normally do with one pup, you need to do with each pup individually.
Signing up for puppy training class? Set aside two nights, not one, and take them to separate classes. Going to the groomer? It’s two trips, not one. Time for that next set of puppy shots? Make two appointments, not one. Oh okay, I’ll give you a break - it doesn’t have to be every time, but they should go somewhere by themselves at least as often as they go together.
So, are you getting the idea of the “separate but equal” program? Everything you would do with one puppy you need to do with each puppy separately. This is to be sure they’re both getting the attention, training, and socialization experiences they need, without the interference of the other pup, and so they’re not dependent on the presence of other pup. Of course you can also do things with them together, but you must be sure they are completely relaxed and comfortable about being apart.
For super-bonded dogs, separation becomes a world-class crisis, fraught with life-threatening behaviors such as anorexia (refusal to eat in the other’s absence), separation anxiety (barking, destructive behavior, relentless pacing, and howling), and other stress-related behaviors, including aggression.
Inevitably, at some time in their lives super-bonded dogs will have to be separated. One will get sick, or need surgery, when the other doesn’t. Most of the time, one will die before the other. I know of cases where the surviving dog of a super-bonded pair has had to be euthanized after the partner died, as he was too stressed by himself to be able to function. This is not a situation any loving dog owner wants to face.
Problems Associated With Adopting Two Puppies at the Same Time
Other things to consider
Behavioral considerations are the reason that most trainers recommend against adopting two puppies at once. But there are other reasons that have nothing to do with the dogs’ behavior.
• Cost. Not surprisingly, it costs twice as much for routine feeding and care for two puppies as it does for one. But don’t forget the catastrophic care costs! If one pup contracts a deadly disease such as parvovirus, you’re on your way to the emergency clinic with two pups, not one. Sure, if one gets injured the other’s not likely to have sympathy injuries, but with two pups the chances of one getting injured in some manner double.
• Clean up. Let’s not forget puppy pee and poo. One pup produces more than enough waste for any sane human to deal with, and with two pups you naturally double the production.
If that isn’t enough, consider this: You leave your pups in an exercise pen when you’re not home. One pup is likely to learn to eliminate in a corner of the pen reasonably quickly, and will hopefully avoid tromping through it. Two puppies may select two different corners of the pen as designated bathroom spots, which doubles the chances of poop tromping. On top of that, if the two pups get to wrestling, as pups do, there’s a much greater likelihood of them rolling around in poo than there is if one pup is playing by herself.
Dogs who are super-bonded may suffer when, inevitably, one has to be separated from the other. Do them a favor and make sure they can tolerate being alone at times.
Picture yourself coming home from a long, hard day at work, tired, looking forward to a little loving puppy cuddling, to find a pair of poo-covered pups in a pen plastered with the stuff from one side to the other. I’m just sayin’. . .
• Housetraining. Of course, when you’re home, the puppies come out of the pen to be with you. We normally recommend the umbilical cord approach to housetraining: at first keeping your pup on a leash or tether, or with you, under your eagle eye, all the time, and going out to the designated potty spot every hour on the hour.
Now you’re tied to two puppies who want to wrestle with each other under your feet - or one’s tied to you and one to another family member. As the pups mature you lengthen the time between potty breaks and start relaxing supervision, when the pups demonstrate their ability to “hold it.”
Oops! There’s a puddle. Which pup did it? Oh look, there’s a wee puppy pile of poo under the dining room table. Oh no! I see teeth marks on the corner of the antique loveseat! If you have one puppy and you’re having a persistent problem, you clearly know who needs more supervision, or a quick trip to the vet to rule out a possible medical issue. With two pups, you have to increase management and supervision on both of them, and may never know for sure which one is having accidents. Or maybe it’s both!
• Gender. Some people say if you’re going to have two puppies, get a boy and a girl. Others say get two boys. Some might specifically warn against getting two girls, stating that two female adult dogs in the same family will fight. Others will tell you they’ve had two girl dogs at the same time, no problem.
Here’s my take: Plenty of same-sex puppy pairs get along just fine throughout their lives. Plenty of mixed-sex pairs do the same. There are same sex pairs that end up with conflicts, and there are mixed-sex pairs that end up fighting with each other (despite super-bonding). It does seem to be true (and there are some studies that indicate) that intra-pack conflicts involving two females tend to be more intense than intra-pack issues between two males, or opposite sex pairs. That doesn’t mean there will be conflict if you adopt two girl puppies, only that if there is, it may be more difficult to resolve than differences of opinions between two boys, or a boy and a girl.
Think about it
Is the extra fun of having two puppies at one time worth all the extra time, energy, cost, and headaches? I’m warning you not to do it. I’m recommending you adopt one now, and another in six months to a year, when the first has bonded with you, and at leastcompleted her basic good manners training.
But if you decide to do it anyway, and are ready to do all it takes to make it work, then you have my sincere blessings and best wishes. But please, be honest and realistic about whether you and your other human family members really have the resources and commitment to give both pups what they need to ensure their lifelong loving home with you. Go find your two wonderful puppies and have an absolutely great life with them.
Pat Miller, CPDT, is Whole Dog Journal’s Training Editor. Miller lives in Fairplay, Maryland, site of her Peaceable Paws training center.
Dogs and Apartments: A Good Mix?
(Brandy Arnold in Home Style5 - Dogington Post)
The continuous housing slump has made renting a popular choice for many Americans nowadays. Many families have gone off to smaller spaces in order to save money. And when it comes to roommates, some of the most amenable cohabitants can be the dogs. They don’t borrow your wardrobes or thieve on your groceries. These four legged fur balls can even be a great source of unconditional love and companionship. With a little foresight and careful planning, living with your pooch in an apartment is quite possible.
What You Need to Consider
· Size of your dog. When choosing a pooch to share your small space, size may need to be taken into consideration. If you are living in a studio-type room, taking a small lapdog, like a Chihuahua or a Yorkie will be fine. However, a Great Pyrenees in that kind of space won’t be the most practical. If you live in a spacious apartment, however, a medium to large sized breed should not be a problem.
· Temperament. Another important consideration is your pooch’s personality traits. No matter where you live, temperament has to be mulled over. If you are living in a place with neighbors in close proximity, you’ll want to respect some special circumstances. You’ll want to avoid an ill-mannered pup or one that loves to howl or bark. Of course, the last thing you’d want is alienated neighbors, or worse, a serious clash with your landlord. As much as possible, choose a dog that can be easily trained, and can obey your commands even when sidetracked by the hurly-burly of apartment life.
· Exercise needs. All dogs require exercise to stay fit and happy. When you’re living in an apartment, make a commitment to exercising Fido on a regular basis. A couple of long, brisk walks each day usually will be enough to maintain the health and temper of your pooch balanced. If your pet, however, is a medium to large breed, you have to take longer, more frequent walks than if you own a small pooch. Bear mind, though, that even little dogs require exercise.
· House training. Another important thing to think about when it comes to sharing your apartment with with a dog is house training. If you are living in a high-rise dwelling with no easy access to outdoor space, house training can become a little tricky. Ensure that you are able to handle and prepared for accidents, and that there’s a solid plan available for such kind of training.
Owning a pooch is indeed not a joke, and sharing your small space with Fido just entails another kind of commitment. Plan ahead and make advanced preparations so you can make sure that your pet stays happy, healthy, and safe with you even in a small, limited space.
behavior & owner's health
Dog’s Mood & Behavior an Indicator of Owner’s Health
(Brandy Arnold in Awesome Stories, Front Page News, Lifestyle w/ Dog - Dogington Post)
Researchers at Newcastle University have hypothesized that a dog’s mood and behavior could be an indicator of their owner’s health.
The project began when researchers developed a tracking system to monitor dogs’ activity. Using special sensors, the team can remotely monitor a dog’s entire day, from how often he sleeps, to when he sits, barks, eats, digs, plays, and more with a special waterproof collar with a built-in accelerometer designed to monitor 17 distinct dog behaviors.
According to an article in the Science Blog,
By mapping the normal behavior of a healthy, happy dog, Dr Cas Ladha, PhD student Nils Hammerla and undergraduate Emma Hughes were able to set a benchmark against which the animals could be remotely monitored. This allowed for any changes in behavior which might be an indication of illness or boredom to be quickly spotted.The next step in their research, project lead Ladha, says, is using the dog’s behavior and activity as an indicator, or early warning system, of an elderly owner’s health and well-being.The team is dedicated to researching and developing systems for helping the elderly live longer, healthier lives. They believe this new method of monitoring their dogs would allow family and caregivers to “discretely support people without the need for cameras,” and without invading their privacy.The team believes that eventually the elderly will be able to outfit their dogs with the special collar, allowing their behavior to be monitored, to quickly identify changes in either the dog’s health, or the owner’s.Does your dog behave different when you’re not feeling well, stressed, or down in the dumps? Weigh in with a comment below!About the project, Hammerla added, “A dog’s physical and emotional dependence on their owner means that their wellbeing is likely reflect that of their owner and any changes such as the dog being walked less often, perhaps not being fed regularly, or simply demonstrating ‘unhappy’ behaviour could be an early indicator for families that an older relative needs help.
9 Ways Your Dog Knows You Better Than Anyone Else
(Lindsay Holmes, The Huffington Post - Everyday Pets)
When I was in high school, I experienced my first real heartbreak. I was in the lowest of moods and moped around the house like a modern-day Eeyore. Everyone left me alone to “grieve” in peace — everyone, that is, except for my dog.
Sapp followed me around like a shadow as I sulked and quietly hid in my room to cry. He even resorted to sleeping on my pillow — right next to my face — that night. The next morning I was in better spirits (and so was he).
My story isn’t uncommon. Pups really are a man’s best friend — and there’s research that backs this up. One study found that dogs can not only read our emotions, but they act accordingly based on how we’re feeling. How’s that for intuitive?
Below are nine other ways our furry friends understand and adapt to our complex personalities, effectively making us happier and healthier humans.
1. They Can Help Reduce Anxiety
Stress is no match for cuddles with our pets. Research shows that we’re just automatically happier when Fido’s around. One study out of Georgia State University found that dogs canreduce feelings of stress and loneliness in college students, and research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that owning a pet can make us happier overall. We can’t think of a cuter anxiety-reliever.
2. They Get Jealous
We aren’t the only ones who fall victim to the green-eyed monster. Dogs get jealous too,according to one study conducted by the University of California, San Diego. Researchers found that dogs displayed signs of the emotion when they saw their owners interacting with a stuffed, animatronic dog. Sound like a familiar social scene you’ve experienced? In other words, we even share our flaws with our fluffy pals.
3. We Naturally Bond With Them
Our connection with canines may all come down to a hormone in our brains — something we biologically produce on our own. When we cuddle with our pet, oxytocin (AKA the love hormone) is released and it may cause dogs to pay better attention to their humans. As a result, the relationship between the two becomes stronger.
4. They Can Read Our Facial Expressions
Dogs can tell if we’re happy or angry by reading the emotions on our face, according to a 2015 study published in the journal Current Biology. Thus proving our pups really are sensitive to our feelings and behaviors (and perhaps explains why they just know when you’re going through that rough breakup).
5. They Help Us Heal
Dogs don’t just bring up comfort in our own homes, they relieve the stress of others who may be suffering traumatic setbacks. Therapy dogs, used for catastrophic events like the Boston Bombings and even for veterans who’ve returned from their tours, bring a big light to situations otherwise laced with darkness. Studies show these specially-trained dogs can help ease PTSD.
6. They’re Intuitive
When It Comes to Our Health Dog ownership isn’t just great for us on an emotional level. Research shows our pups may also help protect our physical well-being. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, so much so that they may be able to sniff out something you’re allergic to if it’s lurking in the room (peanut allergies, anyone?). Not only that, dogs may also be able to detect certain types of cancer in humans. Some dogs are also trained to help assist when you’re having a seizure.
7. Their Germs May Actually Be Good for Us
Studies have found that owning a dog may help keep us healthier through the swapping of their (harmless!) bacteria. Research shows that a greater exposure to these microbes may help build a stronger immune system. Bring on the puppy kisses.
8. They Consider Us Family
We know they’re a part of our family — right down to a photo on the Christmas card — but it turns out they also consider us part of their’s as well. Researchers examined brain scans of canines and found that they not only love us, they see us as part of their tribe and rely on us more than their own breed for affection and protection.
9. They Love Us for Exactly Who We Are
It doesn’t matter what your hobbies are, what kind of money you make or if your hair color is purple, dogs accept you for who you are, no matter the circumstances. And boy, do they know how to show it. Take this guy who was abroad for two years and returned home to the happiest reaction from his pup. Or this patient canine who allows his toddler to give him a thorough checkup.
Dogs love us unconditionally — and we love them for that reason.
Why “Best In Show” Actually Means “Worst For Dogs.”
(Animal Rescue Site - Blog)
The 2015 Westminster Dog Show concluded recently with Beagle Miss P. taking the top honors. This pageant has, for the last 139 years, been a strange affair that enters and exits the cultural conscious in a flash. While the high-end veneer creates a look of respect and grandeur, in reality it hides a brutal and damaging practice; the dangerous obsession with breeding the “perfect” dog.
During the Victorian Era, purebred dogs were considered “better” and “healthier” than their mixed cousins. Out of this idea came the push to breed dogs in order to encourage the desired traits, be it ear length, chest size, or any other physical feature people wanted to focus on. This process is where the idea of eugenics (a dominant concept in the early and mid 1900’s) came into being, and it was thought to be beneficial to the animals. However, narrowing the genetic pool created the exact opposite effect.
There are numerous reasons that breeding show dogs is vile, and why events like the Westminster Dog Show needs to be relegated to a dark mark in history, just like the idea of eugenics that it celebrates. Here are just a few.
1. Show Dogs Are Afflicted With Horrific Genetic Disorders.Breeding show dogs means shrinking the gene pool. By removing “undesirable” dogs, some breeds end up coming from groups of less than 50 animals, leading to higher chances of cancer, tumors, heart disease, skin issues, neurological disorders, immune system problems, and a litany of other issues that prevent the dog from living a long and healthy life.
2. Breeding for specific traits brings the bad with the “good.”The accentuated physical attributes that breeders aim for are often horrible for the dog. The flat faces of certain breeds like Bulldogs, Pugs, and Pekingese lead to breathing difficulties for the animal. The adorable “snoring” you hear from them while sleeping? It means they are struggling to breath. The wrinkles of a Chinese Shar-Pei make them prone to skin infections. One of the most egregious happens in breeds like the French Bulldog, where over 80% of births have to be delivered by cesarian, something that is obviously a man-made issue.
3. For every “perfect” dog, dozens are discarded and killed for not making the cut.One of the most horrific stories of animal cruelty and abuse you will ever see came from a breeder who, 8 days before being raided and closed by law enforcement for animal cruelty, was given a passing grade in a report to the American Kennel Club. The AKC periodically inspects all breeders that are associated with AKC programs and events. Dogs that do not come from their list of accepted breeders can’t compete in shows like the Westminster Dog Show. However, the AKC looks more at the purity of animals being breed, with complete dismissal of the actual health and wellbeing of the animals. There are countless examples of animal abuse within the AKC’s collection of breeders, and it keeps getting worse.
4. Dog breeding encourages the rise of puppy mills.Not only are examples of mills like the one listed above becoming more commonplace, but the AKC has, over just the last 5 years, opposed 80 bills on the state and federal level that would have stopped puppy mills, or at the very least, raised the standard of care given to animals being used for breeding. Some bills, such as those purposed in West Virginia, Iowa, and Ohio, would require mills comply with certain care standards, such as regular cleaning, feeding, and space requirements, something that the AKC sees as “onerous” to breeders. Other bills the AKC has helped stop have nothing to do with breeding at all, such as a bill from Tennessee that would prevent dogs from being left in hot cars for more than an hour, which the AKC considered “unwarranted.” Nothing speaks to the danger that these animals face more than an organization built around animals supporting the continued abuse and neglect of the creatures they claim to adore and celebrate.
5. THE IDEA OF A PERFECT DOG LEAVES TOO MANY DOGS OUT IN THE COLD!Stop by your local shelter sometime, and ask to see the dogs. There is no shortage of animals that are categorized as “mutts,” or “mongrels” that are, in reality, perfect animals. They are ignored in favor of “pure” dogs. Every dog deserves a loving home, not to be cast away for not having the right color fur or paw size. Yet, these dogs are typically healthier, have more even temperaments, and will love you every single day. Adopting is a great way to start eliminating the economy behind puppy mills, and helps to dispel the myths of the “perfect” dog.
While the Westminster Dog Show brings attention, positive and negative, to dog breeding, the issues are perennial. They do not go away once the curtains are pulled down at Westminster. Every single day there is a dog in a shelter that needs a home, a puppy born into a mill that is cast aside, and a stray searching for a way to survive.
BONDING WITH FURBABIES
The eyes have it: Why we bond with our dogs like our babies
(Meghan Holohan - Today)
Some dog owners treat their dogs like their babies. While this might seem ridiculous to some, a new study in Science proves the bond between dogs and their owners can be as emotionally strong as the connection between mothers and their children.
It's the latest in a growing body of science that explains how dogs have gained such an important place in human society.
"Owner-dog bonding is comparable to parent-infant bonding," writes Takefumi Kikusui, from Azabu University in Japan, via email. "And this is surprising to us … because there is not a reproductive relationship between humans and dogs."
But any dog lover who has gazed into the big eyes of a pleading pup is not surprised.
Previously, the researchers had shown the eye connection between dogs and humans increases the levels of oxytocin in people. Oxytocin, aka the "cuddle chemical," is a hormone mammals produce in the brain that encourages bonding between mothers and their offspring. It's also involved in partner and social bonding.
Most evidence shows this kind of connection works within a species— humans produce oxytocin because of other humans, and dogs produce it because of other dogs.
But the new study is the first to show the hormonal bonding between dog and human.
That is, the feeling is mutual.
Dogs know when we're happy or angry
In the first experiment, the researchers measured oxytocin levels in 28 pairs of dogs and their humans before watching them interact for 30 minutes. People talked, petted, and looked at their canines. Afterward, the researchers screened oxytocin levels again.
The owners and pups that gazed at one another more showed increased oxytocin.
Humans "use eye gaze for affiliative communications and [are] very much sensitive to eye contact," says Kikusui. "Gaze, in particular, (over touch, for example) led to the release of oxytocin."
For the second experiment, the researchers dosed 54 dogs with either a spray of saline or oxytocin in the nose. The female dogs treated with oxytocin spent more time gazing at their owners, which after 30 minutes boosted the levels of their owners' oxytocin.
"[This] suggests that this gaze behavior is really critical in oxytocin release," says Evan MacLean, senior research scientist and co-director of the Duke Canine Cognition Center, who wrote an article about the findings. "When they receive oxytocin, this causes dogs to look more at people and the more they look, it boosts [oxytocin levels] more."
What's more: Wolves, which dogs descended from about 30,000 years ago, do not experience an increase in oxytocin from gaze.
"This means that dogs have acquired this superior ability during [the] evolutional/domestic process living with humans," says Kikusui.
This provides more evidence of how deeply dogs are attuned to humans.
"We make the claim that dogs might have hijacked [the oxytocin] pathway. It is in place in humans and we use this in our romantic relations and with children. And we know it is important," says MacLean. "This is sort of an accidental thing that happens over … time."
"This special bonding relationship with dogs is fairly unique," he says.
break up a fight
How to Safely Break Up a Dog Fight
(Written on 08/12/2013 by Brandy Arnold in Basic Training, Lifestyle w/ Dog372)
It’s a skill everyone hopes they’ll never need to use but should know, especially dog owners: how to safely break up a dog fight. Like humans, not all dogs simply get along. Even the most gentle mannered dogs are capable of a dangerous fight when provoked.
During a scuffle, a dog owner’s first instinct is to reach into the middle of the fight and try to grab their dog by the collar. This technique is not only ineffective, but also very dangerous. The odds of you being badly injured or bitten while reaching for a fighting dog’s collar are very high. Two furious animals in the middle of a serious fight are normally in survival mode. If they spot you at all, they likely won’t recognize you as the loving owner they are cognizant of. The moment you charge in and reach for their collars, they may respond out of a fight reflex and then bite, or they might perceive you as another threat or attacker.
While there are always dangers associated with breaking up fighting dogs, there is a way to do it that minimizes your own risk of injury.
Breaking Up a Dog Fight with Another Person
1. Each of you shall grab the back legs of the fighting dogs, and then pick them up like wheelbarrow. With the dogs’ legs up, they are pulled apart and kept from each other.
2. Do this by circling behind one pooch, grabbing his back legs, and then raising them up into the air. Without the use of his back legs, the dog will be forced to stand on his front legs and will not be able to continue fighting.
3. Separate the dogs as you back away slowly. Just hold their feet or legs continually as you carefully move in a smooth backward arc. That way, your pet won’t be able to reach around and bite you. Because the dog will only be using his front legs, he’d be kept from maneuvering with any agility.
4. The moment you have reached a safe distance, at least about 20 feet away, try holding the dog securely until he calms down. Turn him away so he doesn’t see the other dog, and try to change his state of mind using distraction.
Splitting up a Dog Fight While Alone
1. It’s extremely dangerous to pull two aggressive dogs apart when you’re all by yourself. However, if the situation asks for it, move forward carefully with the plan below.
2. Get a leash if you don’t have one with you. The dogs will surely continue on fighting as you look for a restraint, but you have to take the necessary steps to guarantee your own safety.
3. Try approaching one of the dogs, especially the aggressor, if you can determine which dog this is, and the moment you’re close enough, loop the leash around the dog’s belly, just in front of his back legs. Try slipping the free end of the leash through its looped handle, and then pull it taut. Immediately back away, as you pull the dog, till you get to something you can fasten and secure the pooch to, perhaps a fence post or a telephone pole.
4. After this, move towards the second pooch from behind, grab him by the hind legs, and then pull him away using the same method above. Drag the dog using the wheelbarrow method at least 20 feet away from his opponent, and find a way to restrain him until help arrives.
Remember that breaking up a dog fight is very, very dangerous, and should only be done using the method above. Before reaching into a dog fight, always try other methodsfirst, like distracting the dogs or making a loud, sharp noise to get their attention. Do not panic or scream, as this could simply agitate the fighting dogs further.
USDA Wants Accreditation for Dog Breeders
( Amy Sinatra Ayres - Vetstreet)
The USDA is supporting an effort to come up with dog care standards to reduce animal suffering. The standards could eventually lead to a private dog breeder accreditation program. The Purdue University Center for Animal Welfare Science will spend the next two years developing and testing uniform care standards for breeding and raising dogs. “I think this program will go a long way to ending the abuse and the poor welfare practices we have seen in puppy mill types of facilities,” said Robin Ganzert, PhD, president and CEO of theAmerican Humane Association. — Read it from JAVMA
Bringing Home another baby
8 Mistakes Owners Make When They Bring Home a Younger Pet
(Dr. Becker - Healthy Pets)
Many parents of a dog or cat who is getting up in years decide to add a younger pet to the family. Often, they are hoping the newcomer will invigorate the older animal, while also softening the blow when the current beloved pet passes.
Introducing a new pet to a home with a senior animal can be hugely successful, or it can be a decision everyone in the family ends up regretting. When an existing pet and a newbie don’t get along, it can create lots of behavior problems and stress all around.
Before you make up your mind to add a new furry family member to the household, here are some things to keep in mind.
8 Tips for Helping Your Senior Dog or Cat Accept a New Family Pet
Also look at personality. Pairing a quiet older dog with a more subdued, shy or type “B” dog is more honoring to your senior pet than the overbearing extroverted alternative.
When you bring her home in her carrier, take it directly to her room. Put it near the litter box, unlatch and open the door, and spend a few minutes speaking softly to her. Let her venture out of the carrier on her own schedule, and likewise, let her get acquainted with your dog on her own terms and timetable.
The good news is that many new pet housemates get along right from the beginning. Others grow to be friends over time. And some learn to co-exist by simply ignoring each other.
Dog is Our Co-pilot: Helping Prevent Car Sickness
Dogs love keeping a close watch on us and we, in turn, also love it when our pooches loyally remain by our sides. As a result, we typically think nothing of loading our best friends into our cars for a road trip, whether that be a cross-country trek or to the post office. It’s such a time-honored tradition that often we don’t realize some dogs experience difficulty when taking to the open road.
If your dog shows signs of getting carsick — or even if you’re just trying to get your dog or new puppy accustomed to riding in a car — the following tips will help everyone along for the trip have a more pleasurable experience.
Getting Warmed Up
Before even getting your dog into a car, think about what you and your pup need for a safe journey. First and foremost, your dog will need to be secured in the car to get her used to the concept before any actual driving. If she’s anxious about cars already or not used to riding in one she doesn’t need any surprises. In fact, that feeling of security will go a long way in relieving her stress.
There are numerous options for securing your dog, including special doggie seatbelts, booster seatsand crates. Keep in mind that if you choose the crate route, you’ll need to secure it down so it doesn’t become a projectile during a sudden stop or in a crash. If there’s an accident, airbags can deploy and potentially cause serious injury to your dog if she’s sitting in the passenger seat. Turn off the airbag if your dog is riding next to you. Better yet, it’s a good idea to get your dog used to riding in the backseat, or, if you have an SUV or station wagon, the cargo area. (Note: Those crate bottoms sure can start to feel hard on a dog after a while. Make sure everything is nice and comfy by placing a cushion or favorite blanket on the bottom. Depending on the crate, you might even be able to have some sort of attached water container in there to keep her hydrated.)
When she’s okay with the idea of being secured, let her get used to the idea of a car. Like when she meets a new friend, she may need to sniff around a little bit, get used to sitting in the car and get accustomed to the surroundings. “Be sure to praise her profusely for all signs of being interested in and okay with the arrangement — give her little bits of something very special like low-fat, low sodium string cheese, freeze-dried liver, etc. Continue with the praise through all phases of travel training,” says Eugenia Vogel.
When she seems comfortable enough, when she hasn’t eaten for a few hours, take her on a short ride, like maybe around the block, and see how she responds. If she does well, reward her with a treat and praise. Eventually, you can begin to increase the distances you drive as she gets comfortable. “If she’s getting carsick — signs other than the obvious are drooling, whining, not settling down — make sure she’s contained so that she can’t see out the window,” Vogel says. “Motion sickness is caused when her view is not in sync with how she’s situated in the car. We can tell someone to look off into the horizon, but our dogs will look at just about any motion. So keep her lower than sight-seeing height.”
Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’
Once you’re on the move, remember to take it easy. A sudden stop, jerky accelerations, riding the brakes, quick hairpin turns and lightening speed are tough on a pooch’s tummy.
Take her places she wants to go, like a dog park, dog-friendly restaurant or a buddy’s house. Part of her anxiety may be related to associating car rides with places that frighten her, such as theveterinarian or possibly the groomer.
Make sure fresh air is circulating throughout the car’s cabin. Keep the windows cracked a little bit or make sure your dog is receiving the benefits of the air conditioner. Refrain from letting your dog hang out the window. Debris from the road can bounce up and injure her eyes. Also, if the window is down too low she can jump out or get thrown out. Hopefully, she’s safely and comfortably restrained anyway.
Long car rides are tough for everyone and dogs are no exception. For those extended trips, get in the habit of stopping every couple of hours so she can get out, stretch, drink some water, breathe some fresh air and go potty.
Vogel says to be sure to check on your dog frequently while on even a short trip for signs of motion sickness or stress. “Even true canine road warriors have been known to suddenly become ill, particularly older dogs,” she says. “If your dog has any health issues, please be sure to discuss travel with your veterinarian before putting her in the car for a ride longer than 15 minutes.”
cats & dogs
Why Do Cats and Dogs Fight and How to Help Them Co-Exist in Your Home
(Dog Supply Network)
Monday, November 11, 2013 5:43:27 PM America/Chicago
We’ve all seen the cartoons and heard the jokes about cats and dogs fighting. These jokes and generalizations aren’t based on fantasy, they’re actually based on fact. Most cats and dogs do not instinctively get along. However, if you’re a pet lover that can’t choose between cats or dogs and you’d like to have both in your home, there are some things you can do to help fido and fifi get along.
Before you can help you animals get along, you need to understand why they fight. Cats and dogs fight because they are different creatures. Dogs are typically dependent on their humans and awake during the day. Cats on the other hand are awake at night and have a very high level of independence. They are very different and sometimes those differences can cause problems.
First, it’s important to get one or more of the pets young. Whether you get a puppy or a kitten, having one of them go into the relationship as a baby is the easiest way to ensure peace and harmony and prevent too many territorial spats. Usually, full-grown dogs will take to kittens easier than full-grown cats will take to puppies. Use this knowledge to plan the entrance into your family accordingly.
Whether you’re introducing a baby to an older animal or two older animals to each other, keeping them separated at first is a must. This is when pet gates, dog crates or pet carriers can come in handy. If you don’t have a crate for your dog, you should consider getting one. There are many different styles available so you can usually find something that suits your lifestyle, needs and decor preferences, from the simple plastic crates that are easy to transport, to beautiful wooden dog crates, or the more utilitarian wire crates. For cats, a small pet carrier can be a great safe place for a cat looking to get away from the dog. Besides having a place to put the dog or cat when they need a break, it’s also important to make sure that both animals have a special place in your home to call their own.
Tips on Introducing a Kitten to Your Dog
Introduce your pets to each other slowly and for short, very supervised periods. If your dog is grown and you're introducing a kitten, go very slow. Their first experiences will set the tone for future encounters. An anxious, excited dog can also injure a kitten very quickly. If the dog gets the cat in their mouth, things may get out of hand very quickly, so keep the dog on a leash during the early introductions so you can quickly remove the kitten from the dog's reach if necessary. Let your dog see the cat, but keep the kitten out of their reach until you are sure they won't attack, bite or scare the kitten.
Be liberal with the dog treats when the dog displays good behavior towards the kitten, such as being calm, sniffing or licking the cat, etc. Repeat this process for short, supervised periods on a daily basis until you see that the kitten feels comfortable playing around the dog, or at least doesn't feel threatened, and until you are sure the dog won't hurt the cat. Once they are well introduced, you shouldn't have to worry too much. Do keep an eye on them though until the kitten is old enough to fend for itself, in case the dog gets too frisky with him or her.
Stay in control of first meetings and go slowly
Tips on Introducing a Cat to your New Puppy
While introducing a full grown cat to a new puppy may be a bit more challenging, they can also learn to co-exist with the new pup if the introductions are handled properly. Puppies, in their exhuberance, can quickly irritate an older cat and can wind up with a good scractch or bite and become fearful of the cat. So to start things off, keep the puppy in their dog crate when the cat is around and let the cat sniff around and examine the new specimen for the first few days.
After a few days, you can take it to the next step. Let the puppy out and hold him while you let them meet the cat. If the cat gets anxious, you can put the cat or dog back in their crate. Don't push it too far. The use of treats may not work as well with cats, but it's worth a try to teach the cat that being nice to the puppy is a good thing.
Once the basic introductions are done, you should be able to start letting your pup walk around when the cat is out as long as the cat has a way to escape, or a cat tower to get up and out of reach from all that puppy love. If you notice the dog getting too frisky or pestering the cat too much, call a time out and put one of them away in their crate or carrier, but otherwise, let them learn to play and at least tolerate each other. The cat may never be best friends with your dog, but the goal should be to get them to co-exist peacefully.
Finally, make sure you spend time with both animals equally. Pets are not immune to jealousy and if one pet feels that you are spending too much attention on the other, they may start seeing green. Avoid this by spending time with both pets. Take your dog for a walk, then sit and pet the cat for a while. If you're training the dog with treats, be sure you keep a stash of cat treats handy.
There are plenty of ways you can bond with both pets equally to ensure that nobody feels left out. Common sense and some the right set up can make your home a more habitable place for all of your pets. Having a cat and dog that can co-exist in a home is a real possibility if you take the time to make the introductions and ease the animals into the relationship.
children & Dogs
Life Lessons Kids Learn From Having Pets
(Vetstreet/JUNE 24, 2015)
Pets have so much to offer families — love, joy and a lifetime of fun memories. But they can also teach children a thing or two about responsibility, self esteem and healthy living habits. If you're considering adding a pet to your brood, here are some of the potential benefits you can expect for your kids.
What Kids Learn From Pets
With pets in the home, there are many opportunities for children to learn these valuable life lessons:
Of course, children differ in their personalities and responses to experiences, as do pets. Parents may be surprised when one child in the family readily interacts with a pet while another child seems relatively indifferent to the cat or dog. Observing your child’s interests and predispositions provides a solid starting point for fostering a healthy child-pet relationship.
But whether they're close or not, any child can benefit from familiarity with pets. This relationship lets children learn something about canine and feline behavior, helps them feel comfortable around other pets and teaches them to interact safely with animals. Children can expand their activities with their cat or dog as appropriate for their age and circumstance. Remember the golden rule, though: Young children should never be left unattended with a dog or cat. Following are some other age-related considerations to keep in mind.
Young kids are often naturally attracted to animals. Because they don't know any better, they will follow a pet, perhaps roughly interacting with it. When a young child is unpredictable and moves suddenly, pets can become irritable or fearful of the child. Many cats that are friendly with adults are frightened or wary of young children; this even occurs with some dogs. Thus, a first goal should be to teach your child how to safely interact with your cat or dog.
You as a parent can work on coaching the child on how to gently and softly approach the cat or dog while also getting the pet to feel comfortable around the child. This requires that your family pet be a cat or dog that’s friendly and tolerant of a young child’s sometimes-erratic behavior.
Before adopting a pet, ask a veterinarian about which types, ages and breeds of pet would best suit your family. A veterinarian will also be able to let you know what to expect in order to care for a pet appropriately. The whole family should spend some quality time with any animal you’re considering, visiting a potential pet several times and including every family member in the process. Most pet-adoption shelters can offer counseling and give more detailed information about individual pets’ personalities, as well as their care and upkeep requirements.
By being introduced to a pet before adoption, children will have an opportunity to learn about how to calmly and safely approach new animals. Once the pet is home, teach young children how to show affection bypetting the dog or cat in a way that pleases the animal. Specifically, children need to learn the parts of the body to touch, the type of touch to use and not to overdo petting. This requires the child to notice the pet’s response to petting.
If the new pet is a dog, encourage your child to assume responsibility by teaching the dog some simple commands, such as “ sit” or “ lay down.” Your child can provide the dog with a treat when he obeys. Another lesson in responsibility and leadership is learning not to intentionally feed the dog from the table, thereby improving the dog’s behavior during mealtime.
As a child’s age and maturity dictate, more responsibility can be assigned. Depending on the pet, with adult supervision and guidance, older children may be able to assist with more complicated tasks such as grooming or walking.
The ages of 7 to 12 can be a sweet spot for pets and children, because children are at a place in their cognitive development where they can be taught how to safely interact with pets and understand concepts like friendship, sharing and playing.
Children are keenly aware of whose pet an animal is — whether it is a neighbor’s or their own. Most 8-year-olds can understand and verbalize what a special gift their pet’s love is. In contrast, they may describe other pets in the neighborhood as “fun to play with” and “special friends.” They especially value having their own pets and taking on more pet-care responsibilities. As children mature and show more ability to handle responsibility, you can add duties such as feeding, brushing and bathing the pet. Of course, adults should oversee the pet’s care because even children who seem mature are still children who need guidance.
The relationship between pet and child can be especially influential for only children or those who are the youngest of several siblings. These kids can gain an experience they might not otherwise get: Caring for a smaller individual as they seek out opportunities to nurture. They also often spend more time with pets, sleeping with and talking to them more than children with siblings.
No matter their age or birth order, children stand to gain much from their relationship with a pet. While it’s unrealistic to turn over daily responsibilities to a young child, pets do offer opportunities for teaching children useful lessons — and having fun. And with the right expectations, your family can be richer for including both two- and four-legged members.
Teaching Your Dogs and Kids to Get Along
Want your dog and kids to coexist peacefully? Here’s what you need to do.
(Nicole Sipe - Dog Channel)
Dogs and children: They go together like peanut butter and jelly ... well, most of the time. When dogs and kids interact with each other under ideal circumstances, there’s opportunities for bonding, playing, learning and loving. But most dogs and kids don’t automatically know how to get along, so it’s up to the responsible dog owner to help ensure smooth sailing.
What You Can Do as a Responsible Dog Owner
1. Supervise, supervise, supervise! The most important thing you can do to ensure harmony between children and dogs is to supervise their interactions. A responsible adult can help make sure playtime doesn’t get out of hand (which can happen very quickly with kids and pets), or that someone (human or canine) doesn’t get hurt.
2. Spay or neuter your dog. Not only does spaying or neutering prevent unwanted dogs from ending up homeless, in animal shelters or euthanized, it might also improve your dog’s behavior. According to the American Humane Association, when a dog is spayed or neutered, it puts a stop to the distracting, instinctual need to find a mate, helps your pet stop roaming, and decreases aggressive tendencies.
What to Teach Your Children
1. Most dogs don’t like to hug and kiss. Children are naturally drawn to love on dogs the way they do with their stuffed animals and baby dolls. But most dogs find this kind of unwanted behavior intimidating, and it can result in a warning growl -- or worse -- a bite. Also, teach kids not to put their face up to any dog, and to not stare into a dog’s eyes.
2. Do not disturb. If a dog is eating, sleeping, chewing on a toy or is a mama dog caring for her puppies, kids need to know that the dog is off limits at this time.
3. Read doggie body language. How can a child know when a dog wants to interact, and when he doesn’t? Look at the body language. According to the Humane Society of the United States, the following signals mean that the dog is uncomfortable and might feel the need to bite: tense body, stiff tail, pulled back head and/or ears, furrowed brow, eyes rolled so the whites are visible, yawning, flicking tongue, intense stare, backing away. Teach kids to stay away from dogs who show these signals.
(Dog Body Language - What your dog is desperately trying to tell you! www.thefamilydog.com
4. Please don’t tease. Just as people don’t like to be teased, neither do dogs! Avoid playing games that might be misconstrued as teasing, such as "bite my finger” with puppies, or tug-of-war, because they encourage aggressive behavior and can quickly get out of hand.
What to Teach Your Dog
1. Children are our friends. Give your dog lots of opportunities to interact with friendly, well-behaved children on a regular basis. If your dog doesn’t already live in a household with children, then parks, dog-friendly community events and walks around the neighborhood will give you lots of possibilities to introduce your dog to nice kids.
2. Get some class. Obedience class, that is. Attending an obedience class will help you and your dog learn basic cues -- such as sit, stay, lie down and come -- which you can use when your dog and children are together. In fact, you can make it a family affair by inviting your children to learn the cues with you. Get everyone in on the obedience action!
3. Good behavior is rewarding. When you catch your dog acting calm when kids are around, reward him with a treat, or a pat on the head if your dog isn’t food motivated. You want your dog to remember this equation whenever children are around: kids + calm dog = yummy treat/nice things happen.
4. There’s always an escape route. For some dogs (especially older dogs), being around kids and their shrieking, screaming, squealing and running is exhausting after a while. Make sure your dog has a place of his own to retreat to when he wants to, whether it’s his bed off in a quieter part of the house, or a comfy crate with a toy or two inside. Let everyone know that when your dog is in his "quiet place,” that means to leave him alone.
Is Your Dog Fashionably Clothed?
(Ron Miller - Dogington Post)
Today’s dog no longer looks to his collar as the only fashion statement he can make. In recent years what used to be the domain of well pampered show dogs and canines owned by the ultra-rich, has become a fast growing trend for the average dog owner: accessorizing the family dog with all manner of clothing. Have you jumped on the train with this trend and now strut around with your dog fashionably clothed?
Many dog owners view this trend as somewhat ridiculous, and to a certain extent they may be right. Would you want to take an evening stroll with your dog while he or she is sporting little rubberbooties and a tailored rain coat? I know I would not subject my dogs to this, but many others feel just fine with dressing their pooches for a variety of reasons. I do have to admit there is something admirable about people who would go to the trouble of shopping, spending the money, and then taking the time to assure when they step out it is with a dog fashionably clothed. I just do not happen to be one of those people!
On the other hand many of the Toy and short hair breeds definitely benefit from extra protection from the cold weather of winter. This is where the trend to cloth a dog has really caught on with typical dog owners. A warm coat/vest covering the dog from neck to hind quarters is a great idea for those cold winter walks and when romping in the snow. Protective booties for the dog’s paws are very useful when walking the dog on ice covered sidewalks and roads. Iced neighborhood sidewalk and streets always have salt and sharp edges on the ice capable of cutting the pads of the dog’s feet. Then the salt enters the cut and this can be very painful for the pooch.
Sweaters are another very popular dog item for mildly chilly weather and they come in many sizes, styles, and colors to suit any dog owner’s taste.
For those who have hunting dogs such as bird dogs or Beagles it has become almost mandatory to wrap the dog in a brightly colored vests while afield. These dog hunting vests serve as protection against sharp briers penetrating the coat and skin. They also serve as an easy way to keep an eye on where the dog is due to the bright colors of the vests. And hopefully, will keep other hunters from mistaking your pooch as something else.
Maybe it is time to take a closer look at what is available so when you and Max hit the street he is a dog fashionably clothed!
8 Things Your Pet Wants You to Know
(Dr. Becker - Healthy Pets)
Our animal companions can't tell us when they're hurt or feel sick, and many types of pets, such as cats, are wired to actually hide discomfort and therefore, vulnerability.
Fortunately, there are many subtle and not-so-subtle hints our pets give us that indicate they're not feeling well, for example, refusing to eat, drinking an excessive amount of water and urinating more frequently, getting up slowly, or limping. It's important as your pet's guardian to be aware of any type of physical or behavioral changes she displays, and to make an appointment with your veterinarian if the problem persists.
“I’m sick” or “I’m in pain”
Our animal companions can’t tell us when they’re hurt or feel sick, and many types of pets, such as cats, are wired to actually hide discomfort and therefore, vulnerability.
Fortunately, there are many subtle and not-so-subtle hints our pets give us that indicate they’re not feeling well, for example, refusing to eat, drinking an excessive amount of water and urinating more frequently, getting up slowly, or limping. It’s important as your pet’s guardian to be aware of any type of physical or behavioral changes she displays, and to make an appointment with your veterinarian if the problem persists.
This is a point of confusion for many pet parents, because animals often behave aggressively in response to fear. A behavior that looks, on the surface, like anger or belligerence is often fear-based. It’s important to know the difference, because fear must be dealt with much differently than other types of aggressive behavior. In fact, you may want to consult aveterinary behaviorist to help you determine what’s causing your pet’s behavior and how best to handle it.
“I’m mad at you”
Cats tend to get bent out of shape more often than dogs when things don’t go according to plan. In fact, any kind of disruption to your kitty’s routine or environment may bring out his crabby side.
For example, some cats act out if the cleanliness of the litterbox isn’t up to snuff, or if breakfast isn’t served at precisely 6:00 am every morning. Also, many kitties don’t appreciate a lot of petting or cuddling, and if they’re forced to endure more than they like, the claws come out.
“I need your help to lose weight”
You’ll never find an overweight, much less obese dog or cat in the wild. It’s not your pet’s nature to be fat -- he got that way thanks to his human caretakers. It’s tremendously harmful to an animal’s health to carry around excess weight.
Fat pets get the same kinds of obesity-related diseases humans do, and because dogs and cats are natural athletes designed to be very physically active, their quality of life is greatly diminished by being overweight.
“Please help me be more physically active”
Lack of exercise often goes hand-in-hand with a weight or behavior problem, but even if your pet is an ideal weight, she still needs consistent, regular, heart-thumping exercise to stay in good physical condition and mentally balanced. Many dogs develop behavior problems because they’re full of pent up energy that rarely gets released through appropriate outlets.
Kitties also need opportunities to be physically active, which can be accomplished with interactive toys, harness walks, or a safe outdoor enclosure that allows your cat to climb, jump, and prowl.
“I need to eat like a carnivore”
If your pet could talk, he’d tell you that despite what pet food companies and perhaps even your vet would like you to believe, he needs a balanced diet of whole, fresh, preferably organic foods to be optimally healthy. He’d tell you that his meals should be heavy on excellent quality animal protein and fat, with few or no grains. He’d tell you to leave all the processed stuff on the store shelf, and feed him like the carnivore he is.
“I need to explore and make friends”
Both dogs and cats need to be properly socialized at the right age to prevent them from developing fear-based behavior patterns. And your pet needs to continue to be socialized as an adult to insure the world doesn’t become a frightening place for him.
If you have a pet that wasn’t socialized as a puppy or kitten, talk with your vet or a veterinary behaviorist about the best way to approach the situation with your adult dog or cat. It’s more difficult – but not impossible – to socialize a mature pet.
“I don’t mean to misbehave”
Training is not just for dogs with behavior problems – it’s for all dogs, and it should be ongoing throughout your pet’s life. Depending on her breed or breed mix, your dog may want nothing more than to please you, or at a minimum, stay on your good side, but most dogs need structured training to learn how to be good canine citizens.
Training, including nosework, also provides mental stimulation for your dog and strengthens the bond you share with her.
How do dogs communicate with one another?
If you are a pet lover, you will surely know how to interpret signals, behavior and sounds made by your dog to send a message to you. These precious creatures may not be blessed with a speaking tongue and a face that can show a thousand emotions, but they certainly found a way how to make humans feel acknowledged. It doesn’t take an expert to be able to understand dogs, as science has already proven that the years of constant exposure to one another, dogs and humans have already formed a bond unlike any other. But what about the dog to dog communication? Is there a way for us, owners to understand whether our furry buddies are already engaging a war? Or are we able to know whether they are just merely playing? Here are some tips.
Dogs rarely show facial expressions when they communicate with one another. This type of behavior is only reserved for humans – as this is also our main way of communication, seen by our pets. When dogs try to tell each other something, they use their whole body and movements. They roll, jump, run and turn around and around. One of the most common behaviors is the “Play bow” where dogs literally bow on their two front legs and they move their head towards the floor. In the doggy world, this is a sign of apology when play becomes too rough, and at the same time, encouraging the other dog to continue play. Another is the “Paw slap” where a dog places its paw on the body (usually on the back) of another. This only means one thing – “I trust you, buddy”. When dogs rear on their hind legs when they play, they are sending affectionate signals to one another. It is as if saying “I like you, let’s continue playing” or “I think we can be members of the same pack, let’s play!”. Last and most probably the most confusing canine behavior to humans is biting. Sometimes, humans panic when they see their dogs try to munch on each other’s ears, back and tail. This is normal and this is just how they play. Unless you hear growling and straightening of the tail and hair, you have nothing to worry about. They know how to avoid the sensitive areas of the bodies of their playmates and not cause trouble. They are pack animals, they are trained to protect each other.
cone of shame
Choosing the Right Cone for Your Post-Surgery Dog
Cones are no fun, but they are a necessary part of your dog's healing process. Find out how to pick the perfect cone for your dog and lifestyle.
(Kristina N. Lotz, CPDT-KA- Dog Channel)
It’s hard when your dog has a procedure, routine or otherwise. We worry and fret about our four-legged family member. The hardest part is sometimes the recovery. Getting some dogs to leave their wound alone so it will heal can be a real challenge.
Having the right Elizabethan collar (e-collars or cone) for your dog can really make a difference in their recovery time and prevent you from having to take them back to the vet to repair damage or fight off an infection from licking.
But which cone will work the best on your dog? Here are some of the most popular types of cones, and what kind of dog they work best on.
Traditional Plastic Cone
These cones are the most common. Vet give them to you when you leave the clinic and most of us use them because they are free.
Shaped much like the traditional e-collar, these cones are usually made a padded nylon-type fabric.
Looking a lot like a donut cushion for a person who broke their tailbone, these cones have some great positives and a few negatives.
The other option is to make your own. A dog trainer friend of mine, Sherry Nativo, has an Italian Greyhound that need surgery on her mouth. After trying all the different kinds of collars with either the Sadie being too uncomfortable to lay down and/or being able to reach her wounds, she decided to make her own.
She took kennel leashes (you could use string, ribbon, whatever), wrapped them in towels to the diameter she needed and then tied it around her dog. You will need to put tape around the towels at a few points to secure them from unrolling. The end result looked similar to the donut cone, but she could add or subtract towels to make it big enough that Sadie couldn’t get to her wounds, and the softness of the towels gave her a nice pillow to lay on.
7 Alternatives to the “Cone of Shame”
( Pet Health & Tips, by Rachel - Trupanion)
Pets are notorious for irritating their wounds and injured areas. It is instinctive for them to bite, scratch, and lick injured body parts and cause problems with a healing area. Is the best solution to reward the animal with an uncomfortable and clumsy plastic cone?
We’ve all seen cone-wearing canines run into walls, struggle to eat, and do everything in their ability to remove the plastic barrier. The Elizabethan collar (or the plastic cone) eliminates the animal’s peripheral vision and can cause several accidents. The plastic material can rub against the skin, causing painful rashes. There must be some alternatives to the plastic cone that can help keep your furry friend happy while healing. Below are some options other than the cone that can keep our pets (and us) at ease during the healing process.
1.The BiteNot Collar: This device does not represent the shape of a cone at all, it most resembles a neck brace. The collar is made using flexible plastic and foam and appears like a more comfortable alternative to the hard plastic cone. It lowers the chance of the pet running into objects and the size and placement makes it easier for the pet to perform daily activities. The animal may still have some discomfort with the device, but will be less likely to destroy everything in its path. The collar is machine-washable and has a harness strap to ensure it stays on the cat or dog. The collar is available in seven different sizes for dogs and two size options for cats.
The BiteNot Collar seems to work best for pets with injuries or problems on the upper extremities. This might not be the best option for pets that chew and bite their tail and have problems in their lower extremities. This collar is not recommended for animals that need protection of their ears, eyes, or lower leg areas.
2. The ProCollar Premium Protective Collar: This inflatable neck pillow is much like one that you might use to take a nap on the airplane. The ProCollar seems to be much more comfortable than the plastic cone and allows the injured pet to eat, drink, and play. The material doesn’t cause rashes or irritation to the neck area. This alternative comes in six sizes designed for both dogs and cats.
The ProCollar doesn’t provide as much protection as the plastic cone does. This device is ideal for animals with upper body injuries. The ProCollar is less likely to protect areas like paws or tails because the device provides mobility. Some users mentioned the ProCollar tends to deflate during day and can easily pop or break. This form of collar might be a good option for less active pets.
3. Kong EZ Soft Collar: This device mimics the shape and function of the cone collar. The collar features include flexibility, comfort, and fewer accidents. The collar is adjustable by using a drawstring and doesn’t scratch anything it comes in contact with. The Kong EZ Soft Collar is machine-washable and comes in five sizes that range from kittens to large dogs.
The device easily slides onto the neck of the animal and is adjustable to fit the size. Customers say The Kong EZ Soft Collar stays on the animal well, and provides more comfort than the traditional cone option.
4. Comfy Collar: This comfier alternative uses a flexible combination of nylon and foam material to protect your pet from injuries. The collar has “stays” which are removable to allow more (supervised) freedom for activities such as eating or drinking. The “stays” keep the form and structure of the cone. The cone remains secure and holds its shape by attaching it to the pet’s collar using loops on the device. The Comfy Collar features a reflective fabric to keep you and your pet safe while going outside at night. This medical device comes in six sizes and can protect both canines and felines.
One drawback that could affect daily activities is that the animal can’t see through the cone. The flexibility of the cone does increase the chance of restless animals being able to reach injured areas. Some dogs and cats have been successful in removing the collar.
5. The Boobooloon: This is an inflatable medical device that increases comfort level and visibility. Velcro strips help keep the device in place and the deflated Boobooloon is easy to store in small spaces. Also, the collar gives the animal the ability to have peripheral vision to help avoid accidents. The Boobooloon is lightweight, comfortable, and convenient to take on and off. The collar comes in five sizes for both dogs and cats.
Some animals may be able to reach wounds because this device allows for the pet’s face to reach more areas. This cone may pop easily by aggressive pets or ones with sharp nails. Although offered for both dogs and cats, this inflatable cone may be more practical for small dogs with well-groomed nails. This product does come with a patch kit in case the cone gets popped, but supervision might help to avoid this being a problem.
Important note: only inflate the product about halfway to prevent trouble breathing or suffocation.
6. Optivisor or Novaguard: When visibility and hearing are a priority, these protection devices are a great option. They leave the ears exposed and don’t obstruct the animal’s ability to see, eat, and hear. The guard contains clear plastic and covers the animal’s face, resembling mask-type protection. These protectors still allow the animal to eat, play, drink, and even use doggy doors with freedom. This device would be most beneficial for specific injuries and issues on the face and head area of cats and dogs. These options might be beneficial for blind dogs that are prone to bumping into objects. The Optivisor and Novaguard come in a variety of face shapes (7 sizes for dogs with short snouts, three sizes for dogs with long snouts, and 6 sizes for normal snouts).
The Optivsor and Novaguard seem to be somewhat uncomfortable for the pet, but may be a great option for certain, specific cases.
7. TCOA Soft E-Fabric Collar: One reason why the E-collar isn’t always ideal is the clear level of discomfort. The TCOA Soft E-Fabric collar represents the shape and function of the traditional protective cone, but is made of soft, lightweight fabric that allows the animal to have full movement. This water-resistant cone is flexible and should minimize accidents and issues reaching the dog bowl. The collar is tied together with ribbon made of smooth fabric that requires a double-knot in order to stay on the animal. The TCOA Soft-E Collar comes in 5 sizes that are suitable for both cats and dogs.
Because of the flexibility with this product, the cone can sometimes flip over. This could allow the dog full access to any injured area. Supervision might be a smart idea to prevent the pet from reaching the area if the cone flips over. The Soft E-Fabric Collar would be most effective on a relaxed dog that has an injury on the back or upper extremities.
Sometimes an alternative to the cone can be made at home. Bandages, boxer shorts, booties, and baby onesies can help keep injured areas protected. These alternatives should be consulted with your veterinarian before using them.
All of these options have their benefits for specific cases. Each one differs from the E-cone in their own way. Which protective devices have worked best for your pet?
To my dearest friend.
I stood by your bed last night; I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying you found it hard to sleep.
I spoke to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."
I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at the shops today; your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.
I was with you at my grave today; you tend it with such care.
I want to re-assure you, that I'm not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you; I smiled and said, "it's me."
You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
It's possible for me, to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew...
in the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning
and say "good-night, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out...then come home to me.
Colleen Fitzsimmons ©
In memory of Shadow
How This Vet Talks to Kids About Pet Death
(Dr. Patty Khuly)
A couple of weeks ago, I went on an odd house call in which I was quietly led through a side yard gate to a small, well-appointed pool house.
The purpose of my visit, as with so many of my house calls, was at-home euthanasia.
The point of all the surreptitiousness, however, was more to do with ensuring that the kids — a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old who were busy watching TV in the main house — weren’t exposed in any way to the death happening across the pool from them.
This struck me as rather strange. After all, death is a part of life, one that we all have to face at some point. And, frankly, it seemed odd that people who are enlightened enough to want their pet euthanized at home would hold out on their kids when it came to something so, well, life-altering.
For many days afterward, I kept kicking it around in my head: How were the kids informed — if at all — of how their pet died?
If they had remained oblivious, it seemed to me as if they’d been cheated somehow.
Of course, that's not to say that I’m challenging anyone’s parenting skills. As the single mom of a teenager, I’m sensitive to the intrusion of others’ best intentions.
Nonetheless, I do hold strong opinions on the subject of pet death and the underage set — and my clients will occasionally ask me to reveal them. Here’s what I tell owners:
Don't Keep Kids in the Dark
Just as I believe that every owner deserves to know the entire truth of a pet’s condition — no exceptions — every child has the right to know if their pet has died or has been euthanized.
Why some parents wait is a mystery to me. The fact that a vacation is coming up or a violin concert is looming aren't good excuses.
Case in point: I’ll never quite get past the fact that my mother waited until my final exams were over during my first semester at college before telling me that my childhood Lab had died. I totally get why she did it, but I don’t believe that it was the right approach.
Do Be Age-Appropriate
Although the words you use will doubtless vary with age, any child old enough to have a relationship with a pet is old enough to be informed that a pet has passed.
Don't Hold Back Too Much
Give it to them straight. Kids can end up feeling betrayed if they’re left out of the loop — and feelings of betrayal don’t help children to cope and heal.
This doesn’t mean that you have to describe how you found your pet dying under a tree in the yard, but you do have to provide some context — the level of detail will inevitably vary based on your child’s age.
Keeping them informed throughout a pet’s illness also prepares them, so imparting details in real time is equally beneficial.
Do Give Thought to What You'll Say
This is a big sticking point for a lot of people: How do you properly deliver the news that death is near or a pet has passed?
What’s actually spoken depends on the child’s personality, the closeness of the kid-pet relationship, and the child’s age. But as long as you use age-appropriate language, I believe the fundamentals are the same:
Speak plainly, using as few euphemisms as possible. And definitely use the “D” word.
Take the time to discuss your personal beliefs about death.
Share your feelings. However, if possible, it’s always best to save the serious breakdown until after a child's feelings have been squared away.
Be willing to accept aloofness as a sign of a common coping mechanism. Asking for a new pet immediately is another frequent request, so don't take it too hard if this comes up.
Do Allow Them to Be Present
Whether or not kids should be present when a pet is euthanized seems especially fraught for many parents. Indeed, it’s rare for me to see a kid of any age at a euthanasia visit.
Yet I personally think that there’s something off about this.
If it’s within your own personal values and practices to remain present, then I believe it’s also fitting for your children to attend, obviously dependent on personality-specific issues and age-appropriate concerns. In my opinion, however, most kids over the age of reason are good candidates.
I know it sounds harsh, but pets really are practice in a way. After all, the death of a pet is surely a softer blow than the death of a close relative. And I personally believe that when kids learn to ponder death through pet experiences, it tends to make them stronger individuals who process death better when they’re tested later in life.
Do Consider Opportunities for Closure
Hold a service, say a prayer, plant a tree . . . it all works.
Offering a concrete reminder is also a good idea: Cremains, clay pawprints and professional-quality portraits are great, but even something as simple as a lock of fur will do. Kids often need these more than we think that they do.
It might be hard to do immediately, but recalling past pets is a profitable family pastime. Tell a funny story over dinner, encouraging kids to do the same. And repeat this routine regularly.
We would all do well to remember that kids are just like the rest of us. And what any of us needs when it comes to dealing with pet death is honesty, mutual respect, and an opportunity to process and grieve in a safe and supportive environment.
The New Rules About Who Gets Your Family Pet in a Divorce
(Dr. Becker - Healthy Pets)
Not so long ago, when couples got divorced, their pets were viewed as property to be divvied up right along with the furniture and fine china. And in fact, in the eyes of the law, that’s what a pet is – personal property. But more recently, with both divorce and pet ownership rates soaring, pet custody has become a stickier issue when couples split up.
Pets are often viewed as family members these days, and divorcing couples are more apt to battle each other for the right to keep a beloved dog or cat. In recognition of the human-animal bond, and because pet custody is a sensitive subject not unlike child custody disputes, divorce mediators and family court judges are recognizing the need to consider what’s best for the pet.
According to the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF):1
"Although animals are considered property in the eyes of the law at this time, some courts are beginning to recognize that one’s relationship with this particular form of property known as the family cat, dog, bird etc., is much different from one’s relationship with other forms of property such as your couch, your watch or your coffee pot."
In deciding who should be awarded custody of a family pet, the court may consider such things as:
Doing What’s Best for Your PetSome “who gets the pet” situations are clearer than others. For example, if you came into the relationship with a pet, that pet should stay with you unless for some reason your spouse or partner developed more of a bond with the animal than you did. Also, if your pet is much more attached to one of you, in most cases he or she will be the person who assumes custody.
Equally obvious is what to do in situations where one or the other of you is moving to a residence that doesn’t allow pets. In that case, you can consider having the non-custodial owner visit the pet, or take her for walks, or to the dog park, or on vacation.
If you and your spouse share joint custody of children, you might think about having your pet go back and forth between residences with the kids. This plan can work with dogs, but not so much with cats, who attach to a familiar environment. Most kitties will suffer stress-related issues if forced to shuttle back and forth between homes.
If there is more than one pet and they can be easily separated, all other things being equal, it might make sense for each of you to take a pet. Another option, if there is only one pet, is for the person keeping it to help the other party with the cost of acquiring a new pet.
Pets Need Consistency – Especially During and After a Family BreakupYour dog or cat should live where there’s an established daily routine in which things happen on a predictable schedule. For example, if one of you is always home by 5:30pm while the other works a lot of overtime, the pet should spend most of his time with the spouse who’s home in the evenings.
If you don’t work, work from home, or are able to bring your pet to work with you, it makes sense for the pet to stay with you. Like kids, pets do best when there’s a parent around to supervise and keep them company.
If you and your ex are both able to provide consistent care for your pet and want to share custody, it’s best for the sake of stability and consistency not to shuttle your dog back and forth too frequently (and I don’t recommend shuttling kitties at all). If you can work out a monthly arrangement, it’s preferable to a weekly back-and-forth schedule.
If you’re sharing joint custody of a pet or pets, as part of your separation negotiation, it’s a really good idea to decide ahead of time who will be responsible for which pet-related expenses. This would include regular wellness exams, unplanned visits to the vet, and emergency care. You might want to look into pet health insurance plans as well.
dog facts, myths, & trivia
FROM VPI PET INSURANCE
Fun Facts About Dogs
Dogs only sweat from the bottoms of their feet, the only way they can discharge heat is by panting.
Dogs have about 100 different facial expressions, most of them made with the ears.
Dogs have about 10 vocal sounds.
Dogs do not have an appendix.
There are more than 350 different breeds of dogs worldwide.
Dalmatians are born spotless: at first pure white, their spots develop as they age.
Contrary to popular belief, dogs aren’t color blind; they can see shades of blue, yellow, green and gray. The color red registers on a grayscale in a dog’s vision.
Most domestic dogs are capable of reaching speeds up to about nineteen miles per hour when running at full speed.
Using their swiveling ears like radar dishes, experiments have shown that dogs can locate the source of a sound in 6/100ths of a second.
Domesticated for more than 10,000 years, the dog was one of the first animals domesticated by humans.
Do Dogs See in Color?
(Brandy Arnold in Lifestyle w/ Dog, Weird & Wacky)(Dogington Post)
Yes, like us, our dogs can see in color. However, their perception of various colors is not exactly the same as it is for humans. As a matter of fact, dogs can’t distinguish between yellow, orange, red, or green. But, they can see a variety of shades of blue, and can even tell between very closely related tones of gray that are not normally discernible to people. To put it simply, dogs can see in color; only that the colors that our four-legged friends see are not rich as what you and I usually see.
The Reason Behind Your Dog’s Color Limitations:
Our eyes and those of our pooches generally consist of cones, or special light catching cells that respond to color. Because dogs have fewer cones as compared to humans, it suggests that their perception of color is not as vivid or as penetrating as ours. Nevertheless, the key to color vision is not only dependent on having these special lighting cells. Having many different kinds of cones, each set to different light wavelengths, is also vital to seeing color. We have three different types of cones, and the dynamics of these cells give us our rich, full-range, and intense color vision. Dogs, like many people with so called “color-blindness” have only 2 types of these cones.
Jay Neitz of the University of Carolina tried to test the color vision of canines. For several test trials, dogs were presented with three different light panels in a row; two of which come in the same color, while the third panel was different. The dogs’ objective was to look for the one that was not the same as the others and then to press that panel. If the dog subject was correct, he was then immediately rewarded with a treat that the workstation dispensed to the cup underneath that panel.
The researcher confirmed that pooches actually see color. However, its many fewer colors as compared to normal people do. To be more specific, instead of seeing the rainbow as ROYGBIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet), dogs see a very dark gray, darker yellow (kind of brown, light yellow, gray, light blue, and dark blue. In other words, dogs only see the colors of the world as essentially gray, blue, and yellow.
How to Make it Easier For Your Dog:
The VisionSmart ball for dogs is made with high contrasting white and dark purple color blocks, making it easier for dogs to see.
Oddly enough, many dog toy manufacturers don’t take this limited color vision into account when designing toys for dogs. For a dog, the bright red ball you’ve just tossed for them to fetch has essentially disappeared into the bright green grass – both colors which appear brownish or gray to your pup. Luckily, they can usually find it using their exceptional sense of smell. (Do you ever notice your dog finding toys with his nose instead of his eyes? That’s why!)
To make it a little easier on your pet to find the ball you’ve tossed for him, try to find toys specially colored for dogs’ limited color vision. Find a toy or ball with highly contrasting colors, like bright white and deep purple – colors seen most vividly to dogs, and you’ll see he has a much easier time finding it in the grass.
6 Surprising Dog Facts
Search Results for: surprising dog facts
We sometimes like to think we know everything about our pets but occasionally a fact crops up that takes us by surprise! Here are a few surprising facts you might not already know:
1. Dogs can be scared of extreme weather because of their acute hearing – Ever wondered why your dog doesn’t like to go out in heavy rain? It isn’t because they mind getting wet (although they possibly do), it’s because the sound of raindrops is far greater to their sensitive ears than it is to ours. A dogs hearing is 10 times more acute than ours. Ever noticed your dog start to pace and whine long before you hear the clap of thunder? Your dog will know a storm is coming well before you do. Be firm when going outside in bad weather – your dog will mirror your body language and if you have nothing to fear, then neither will they.
2. A dog uses its wet nose to suss out the direction of scents– Healthy dogs generally have a cold wet nose. If your dog’s nose consistently becomes dry and warm then it could be a sign of poor ventilation in the house, sunburn or a skin disorder (if scabbed or flaking). An occasional dry nose is not an issue but if it persists then it may be wise to seek veterinary guidance.
3. Dog’s don’t sweat – Unlike humans, dog’s do not have sweat pores on their skin although they do have them on their paw pads (which is why paws should be cleaned and dried). As a result, if they’re warm then they’ll pant to cool down.
4. Myth of black and white – It’s a myth that your dog can only see in black or white. It’s largely believed that dogs can see in shades of blue, grey and yellow-green. Regardless, your dog might not see in colour but it can however see and scent in the dark! Unlike us who need to rely on torches and reflective clothing in the winter months!
5. Dream Dogs! – It is absolutely true that dogs dream just as we do! You can usually tell when they’re dreaming if they’re twitching or whimpering however DON’T wake them. It’s important not to disturb dogs when they’re sleeping, eating or feeling unwell. Keep your distance and give them space. It’s advisable to teach young children not to disturb a dog in these circumstances as a dog will react completely differently to a human when caught off guard.
6. Old Dogs and New Tricks – Dogs, like humans, can be taught new things at any age so even older dogs can benefit from training! Again like us it’s harder but certainly possible to change bad habits but it can take more time and a great deal of patience. It’s so much easier to establish a firm training schedule from the beginning.
10 Things Your Dog Would Tell You.
1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful: remember that before you get me.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me- it is crucial to my well being.
4. Do not be angry at me for long, and do not lock me up as punishment.
5. You have your work, your entertainment,and your friends. I only have you.
6. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don't understands your words, I understand your voice when it is speaking to me.
7. Be aware that how ever you treat me, I will never forget.
8. Remember before you hit me that I have teeth that could easily hurt you, but I choose not to bite you because I love you.
9. Before you scold me for being uncooperative,obstinate,or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I might not be getting the right food, or I have been out too long, or my heart is getting to old and weak.
10. Take care of me when I get old; you too will grow old. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say: "I cannot bear to watch" or "Let it happen in my absence." Everything is easier for me if you are there, even my death.
Remember that I love you.
From Pet Poison Hotline
Veterinary Myth Buster # 7: If my pet has a skin problem, using 100% Tea Tree Oil will remedy the issue.
Melaleuca oil, also known as Tea Tree Oil, is an essential oil. Tea Tree oil should never be used at 100% because animals can experience drop in body temperature, incoordination, weakness, lethargy, tremors and heart abnormalities. If your pet has a skin issue, please consult with your veterinarian about the proper treatment recommendations.
Five Dog Myths Debunked
(VETDEPOT on JUNE 11, 2014)
When it comes to dogs, there is a lot of information out there. Some of it is true, and some of it is downright false. Below are five common misconceptions people have about dogs:
1. Old dogs can’t learn new ticks.
False! Mature dogs not only can learn new things, they often excel at training. Once out of the puppy stage, attention spans tend to get longer and housebreaking typically goes quicker. As long as a dog is physically and mentally able to do what is being asked, old dogs can certainly pick up new tricks.
2. Shelter dogs have too much baggage.
So false! Dogs end up in shelters for a long list of reasons, most of which have nothing to do with the animal. These dogs are simply in need of a loving home where they can thrive.
3. Dogs shouldn’t be allowed on the furniture, or they will think they’re in charge.
Whether a dog is allowed on the furniture or not is absolutely up to the owner. However, there is a misconception about the link between bad behavior and being allowed up on the couch. Like people, dogs just like to rest where it’s comfortable. They’re not going to think they own the house just because they’re allowed to snooze next to their owner in bed.
4. Dogs must enjoy the company of other dogs, otherwise there’s something wrong.
While it’s ideal to get your dog as socialized as possible to avoid fear and aggression issues, not every dog is going to be a social butterfly. Not every canine is cut out for the dog park, and that’s okay.
5. Dogs chew or destroy things to get back at their owners.
Not true! Most of the time, dogs chew on things like shoes or furniture because they’re bored or it feels good for their teeth. Sometimes, this behavior is related to separation anxiety, but dogs aren’t intentionally trying to get back at their owners.
- See more at: http://blog.vetdepot.com/five-dog-myths-debunked#sthash.7EUyrbyX.dpuf
5 Small Dog Myths That Deserve Busting
(Dr Becker - Healthy Pets)
Small dogs are easier to care for than big dogs
Not so fast! While it’s easier to pick up a small dog and cart him around, and pet food bills for a small dog won’t break the bank, the little guys often come with their own set of baggage. Many small dogs – think Yorkshire Terrier or Maltese – have significant grooming requirements. Their teeth also tend to get dirtier quicker due to crowding and congenital enamel defects, requiring daily brushing, regardless of the diet she’s eating and bones she’s gnawing on. And some little dogs also seem to be more difficult to house train than bigger breeds.
Small dogs get all the exercise they need running around the house
Wrong! Even if your small dog isn’t athletic or even particularly energetic, she still needs regular physical exercise to maintain her muscles and joints. Running back and forth from the living room to the kitchen in search of snacks or a toy doesn’t count. Exercise is not only necessary to maintain your dog physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Like larger breeds, small dogs need to burn off energy to prevent boredom and behavior problems.
Small dogs are yappy
Some are; some aren’t. For example, Chihuahuas tend to be barkers, but Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Italian Greyhounds are generally known to be quiet pets. It’s also important to remember that often the owners of small dogs create or exacerbate barking behavior by inadvertently reinforcing it.
Small dogs are lap dogs
Again, some are and some aren’t. And often lap-sitting behavior is situational. For example, a small shivery dog might sit in your lap just until he warms up. A little fellow with a protective or territorial bent will quickly land in your lap if another pet approaches you.
Small dogs need babying
They really don’t, but their owners tend to think they do. They don’t necessarily need to be fussed over… but they do need protecting. Small dogs, especially really tiny breeds, are more vulnerable in many situations than their larger counterparts. Your 5-pound Yorkie is easy prey for a coyote wandering the neighborhood. She’s also more likely to be stepped on in your kitchen than a larger dog.
6 Pet Health Myths You May Have Fallen For
Like that old game of telephone, misinformation has a way of getting around — and around again. Pet care isn’t immune to the game. To help clear things up, here’s a list of some of the most popular misconceptions about pet health and the truth behind them.
Myth 1: Parasite Prevention Isn't Necessary Year-round
In truth, many vets want pet owners to think of parasite prevention as preventive medicine. Some parasites, like roundworms, can infect pets at any time of the year, so only continuous prevention is effective against them. To help keep pets safe from fleas, ticks, heartworms and intestinal parasites, you’ll need to administer broad-spectrum parasite prevention medication; many of these products are administered or applied once every month. Your veterinarian will help you choose the products that will be most helpful to your pets.
Myth 2: Neutering Makes Dogs Soft
Neutering male dogs can quiet certain unpleasant tendencies (such as mounting behavior and urine marking) when done at a young age. At the same time, it won’t diminish skills that are characteristic of a breed — like hunting. What’s more, neutering also can help protect against testicular cancer and an enlarged prostate.
Myth 3: Urine Marking Is Just a Cat's Way of Staking His Territory
Though cats sometimes use urine to mark their claim, frequent urination outside the litterbox can signal a serious health problem, like a urinary tract infection, bladder stones or even diabetes or renal failure. Sometimes inappropriate urination can signal that your cat is suffering from anxiety. If your cat goes outside his litterbox once or twice, it's worth a call to the vet to see if you should be concerned. But if he’s having frequent “accidents,” making numerous trips to the litterbox, howling or meowing while urinating, seems unable to urinate or has any blood in the urine, take him to your veterinarian right away.
Myth 4: It's OK to Skip Brushing Pets' Teeth
Failure to brush regularly can lead to serious gum disease and significantly decrease your pet’s overall quality of life. When started at a young age, many pets enjoy teeth brushing! Even many older cats and dogs can learn to love it when you introduce it slowly and make it fun. Visit your veterinarian for toothbrushing pointers and advice — such as avoiding using toothpaste for people, because the fluoride can cause health problems in dogs and cats.
Myth 5: Itchy Ears Must Mean Ear Mites
When your canine's ears start to itch, don't immediately assume it's ear mites and don't attempt to treat the itch without seeking out your veterinarian’s advice. The itching could be due to a yeast or bacterial infection that requires appropriate medication to treat. Those infections typically occur as a result of food or inhalant allergy or another underlying medical issue. Plus, if your dog’s ear issues are allergy related, a one-time treatment might not do the trick. Your veterinarian will explain how to soothe your dog’s itchy ears.
Myth 6: The Only Way to Show Pets Love Is Through Food
Pets’ longing looks at your food or their empty food bowls do tug at the heartstrings. But feeding pets too much isn’t affectionate; it’s a health risk. Obesity can lead to other medical problems including skin issues, orthopedic complications, arthritis and heart and liver troubles. Don't get hung up on the portion recommendations on a bag of pet food — those recommendations are general and might not illustrate the amount your pet needs to eat. Speak to your veterinarian about the portion size that’s best for your pet. And remember that when you want to show your pets a little love, active playtime is one of the best ways to do it!
Some Interesting Dog Trivia
That puppies get hiccups? They do, they are very common and your puppy will outgrow them. Maybe they ate too fast, maybe they got over excited, but they do get them.
Dogs are not colour blind like everyone thinks. They can see colour just not as vividly as we do. They see first by movement, then by brightness, then by shape.
That once or twice a day your puppy will have FRAP (Frenetic Random Activity Periods) where he will run through your house like a crazy, wild puppy,jumping on furniture, barking, spinning and running so fast he may miss a turn. No one knows why, they just do. Hilarious.
If she has too many toys she will think everything is hers and will chew on all of it. Limit her toys.
That when a dog yawns its not because he is sleepy it means that he is feeling stress and is trying to relieve it. So look and see what is going on, the stress may be coming from something you are doing with the dog and the dog is trying to tell you "I need a break".
Your puppy will lie in a cute "frog" position. Her legs will be stretched out straight behind and her and her front legs will be stretched out in front of her. So cute!
There are 42 teeth in a dog's mouth.
Every minute a dog takes between 10 and 30 breaths.
He pants to lose heat. A dog sweats only through the pads of his feet, yup, that's the only place. Panting is an important cooling process for a dog.
When your puppy lowers her front end like she's bowing that she wants you to play? It's called a "play bow", she's inviting you to play with her. That's how her mother and littermates would begin to play with each other. You can do the same thing back to her by getting on your hands and knees and lowering your chest and arms onto the floor.
Some people believe that dogs eat grass to help them throw up?
It's not true, dogs eat grass because they like it! They also like tomatoes, beans, carrots, apples, etc. Most dogs have no trouble throwing up if something has upset their stomach.
That cat litter is like candy to a puppy/dog. Cats do not digest all the food they eat so the puppy can smell partially digested food - ahh, something new!
Your puppy has its own unique smell. That's why two dogs will sniff each other, its to get to know one another. They will urinate where another dog already has to leave their own "calling card". The smell from the urine tells them a lot about the other dog, if it was male, female, pregnant, sick, healthy, if it was young or old. Amazing!
Offering ice cubes is a good way to give your puppy a drink. When travelling or at night when you don't want the puppy to have a lot of water but she seems thirsty its a good way for her to have a little bit. Plus they like playing with them!
The dog that is known to have lived the longest lived to be 29 years old!
Why your dog drinks out of the toilet? Because she wants a drink! She doesn't know its a toilet, and the water in there is fresh and clean.
A puppy that is one year old is the same as a human that is 16 years old. A two year old puppy is the same as a 24 year old, a three year old puppy is like a 30 year old human and then add four years for every human year after that.
That if you miss your puppy's signal to go outside and he has an accident in the house that the best thing you should do is roll up a newspaper and - hit yourself! If you can't supervise him and pay attention to him he should be in his crate or blocked off area.
dog friendly dog
How to Raise a Dog-Friendly Dog
(Brandy Arnold in Basic Training, Puppy Guides10 - Dogington Post)
There’s a certain period in puppy development when a pooch’s early encounters have a huge impact on his overall approach to life. If your dog receives lots of positive experiences with other animals at about three or four months old and younger, it is very likely that he’d develop into a dog-friendly, well-socialized pooch. If not, it is possible that he’ll grow up to be shy, fearful, or even dog-aggressive.
Easy Tips to Follow
1. Keep your pup’s mother and littermates together. For as long as possible, allow mother and babies to remain together. Because canine etiquette begins at the time when they are born until they’re about three or four months old, provide chances for them to learn canine submission and dominance from their own brood.
2. Adopt the pooch no younger than eight weeks old. Try bringing home a puppy which has not been taken away from his mother and littermates too early. Any pooch bought or adopted earlier than necessary wouldn’t have had sufficient opportunities to learn his canine manners.
3. Schedule fun doggie play dates. When you bring your new pooch home, try inviting a few friends or neighbors to bring their healthy pets over to play. To ensure that your little furry canine friend does not get overwhelmed, start by exposing him to easygoing, well-mannered dogs first.
4. Enroll your pooch in puppy school. Try signing up your pooch for puppy kindergarten programs as soon as possible. This way, you can let your pet have lots of time for various plays in a safe and productive environment.
5. Socialize him on a regular basis. While your pooch is growing up and even when he has already matured, always see to it that you find time to expose him to other dogs. Do this by taking him to the dog park or by inviting a few friends’ healthy pets over to play regularly. A good social life during his puppyhood is not a guarantee that your dog will remain friendly with other canines over his adult years.
6. Use positive reinforcement. When your puppy is behaving appropriately around other dogs, make sure to offer praise and treats to reinforce his good behavior. This will teach him that good things come from being around other dogs.
7. Consider the advice of a professional dog trainer. However less flexible a mature dog’s disposition can be as compared to a puppy’s, with constant exposure to and socialization with other canines, your pooch can still perk up his social skills. Just move cautiously according to your pup’s pace. If you spot signs of canine timidity or aggression, then seek help from experts immediately.
Bear in mind that regardless of your pooch’s breed, he needs to be provided with routine playtime with other dogs. This way, you can teach him how to be friendly and remain safe with other canines. This is particularly critical before your little furry friend turns 3 or 4 months on of age.
What’s Doggy Daycare All About?
Doggy daycare is just like kiddie daycare — it’s a place where you can take your dog for a few hours to socialize and play with other dogs instead of keeping her cooped up all day while you work. And just like kiddie daycare, there are some cautions you should be aware of. You know how kids are more predisposed to snotty noses and dirty germs when they run around in groups? So are puppies. Find a reputable doggy daycare that requires current vaccines along with the kennel cough vaccine. Make sure your dog’s vaccines are up to date and haven’t been given within the past one to two days (it hasn’t had enough time to kick in yet!).
Another caution about doggy daycare centers is that there is a natural canine hierarchy, and if you have a dominant or aggressive dog, you should consult with your vet before taking her to a dog park or doggy daycare. In general, I do not recommend taking dog-aggressive, toy-aggressive, or dominant dogs to dog parks or daycare, as they are prone to start fights, and you may then be financially responsible for bite wound repair at a veterinarian, which will run you several hundreds to thousands of dollars. On the other hand, if you have a very small, submissive dog, he may get “beaten up” at dog parks or doggy daycare.
Find a doggy daycare that is clean, has multiple people supervising the daycare, provides multiple water bowls, and is strict about their vaccine and health policy. Check it out a few times before you actually bring your dog there. Do they have size-appropriate play times? Find out their injury policy, and who their emergency veterinarian is. In general, doggy daycare is a wonderful opportunity for easy-going dogs to have some play time with their friends on the block in a safe environment. Just make sure it meets all your strict parental requirements!
DOG IN HOT CAR
10 Tips for Your First Trip to a Dog Park
(Laura Goldman - I Love Dog Friendly)
Dogs are social animals, so what better place for them to meet and greet fellow pooches than at an off-leash dog park? If you’ve never taken your dog to one before, these tips will help ensure you have a fun and safe time.
What You Need to Know About Dog Parks
(Brandy Arnold in Basic Training, Lifestyle w/ Dog)
Dog parks are becoming more and more popular across the country. When owners hear of a new park opening up, they are very excited to get their dog out to play, run around, and meet new dog friends, but there are a few things that dog owners need to keep in mind. Dog parks can be a great experience for both dog and owner, but there are a few Do’s and Don’ts that owners should be aware of. We want the dog park to be a safe and fun experience for both owners and their pets. Here are just a key points to remember:
- Do exercise your dog before going to the dog park. A nice 15 minute structured walk prior to entering the dog park will help put your dog in a better state of mind before you cut them off leash to run around.
- Do educate yourself on the signs of healthy play and dog body language. Owners should watch their dog and intervene if things start to escalate before a scuffle breaks out.
- Do leave your cell phone and other distracting devices at home. It is important for owners to be mindful of their dog’s interactions at the dog park.
- Do practice obedience commands such as “Sit”, “Down” and “Come” when called. Having your dog reliable with their obedience commands when off leash in the presence of a high level of distractions will make the dog park experience that much safer and more enjoyable for you and your dog.
- Don’t bring your dog to the park if you think or know that they are under the weather with an illness that they can transfer to other dogs.
- Don’t think a dog park is a great place of try and socialize a dog with issues (fear, aggression, reactivity, etc.). These types of behavior issues need to be addressed in a safe manner by a professional before bringing the dog into a public environment like a dog park.
- Don’t introduce foods and treats in the presence of a pack of dogs. Food is a common trigger for aggression, so it is better to reward your dog with verbal and physical praise (petting) instead of food.
Dog parks are a great opportunity for residents and their dogs, but it is important to make sure that owners are educated on the important considerations for dog park play, and that the dogs are well behaved and obedient for the safety of all dogs and owners. Creating safe dog to dog interaction is essential to “Changing the World for Dogs”.
The Do's and Don'ts of Dog Parks
Dog parks can be the best, or worst, places for your dog
(Pet Health Network)
Dog owners and their best buddies tend to love dog parks. They can be terrific places for dogs to socialize, from learning how to be part of a pack to learning doggie social graces. Dog parks are also great places for exercise. However, just like playgrounds for our kids, dog parks hold hidden dangers, such as opportunities to catch whatever sickness might be going around, to get bullied, and learn bad habits.
To ensure that your trip to the dog park is a fun and safe experience for your dog, take a look at our list of dog park tips and tricks. And have fun!
1. Make sure your dog is at least 4 months old and current on all vaccinations. Dog parks can be very dangerous for a dog that isn't fully vaccinated or is too young to be exposed to certain infectious diseases and parasites.
2. Assess who's at the park before you enter. See if the dogs in the park have the same energy as your dog (calm, high-strung, assertive, or submissive) and are good pairings with regard to size.
3. Keep your eyes on your dog at all times -- don't talk on the phone, get distracted by other dog park friends, or read a book. It is important to know what your dog and others around him or her are doing every moment you're there.
4. Make sure your dog is under voice control. You need to know he'll come when called, no matter what, to ensure that you can get him by your side and away from any scuffles or quarrels with other dogs.
5. Watch your dog and read his body language. Arguments and fights happen every day, at every dog park, even among the best dogs (just like with kids at a playground). Your dog is likely going to be aware of an impending tussle before you are: if he seems to become nervous, agitated, or on guard, call him and prevent any squabbles before they happen.
6. Remember, it's the people at dog parks that ensure a safe and fun experience. If you feel like other pet owners might not have appropriate control over their dogs, it's probably best to take your dog on a walk elsewhere, find a well-attended daycare with the opportunity for your dog to socialize, or just enjoy an afternoon in the backyard.
If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
- See more at: http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/dog-behavior/dos-and-donts-dog-parks#sthash.D75xA56T.dpuf
A Few Showing Tips For Beginners
(Ron Miller in Dog Shows - Dogington Post)
Those new to exhibiting a dog at dog shows often make many mistakes in their handling of the dog. While these mistakes may not be apparent to the average spectator at the show, you can bet your bottom dollar the experienced judges and other handlers notice them. Judges will subtract points for these mistakes made by the handler and the following dog showing tips for a beginner should help these novices out. We are going to address these common mistakes the novice makes, and how to avoid making them when every little move is being observed and graded.
Never pose with the dog while you are on both knees.
This is not considered appropriate and reveals your lack of knowledge as a show dog handler. The best position is to use only one knee of the ground or a squat. Much of your choice for which to use is going to be dictated by the breed you are showing. Smaller breeds will require the one knee or squat posture while you can stand erect with lager breeds. The main focus on either stance during a pose with the dog is to maintain a very erect back. No slouching or you lose points!
The next of our dog showing tips for a beginner covers how you should handle the dog.
Use a firm, commanding hold on the leash during all aspects of showing. Be it the walk or trot around the arena with the dog, the importance of showing you are firmly in command of the dog can make the difference between a ribbon and going home empty handed.
Next on our list is how you as the handler walk and trot with the dog.
If you are unsure of your steps or gait during this phase of the presentation the judges notice. Always use a steady, well-spaced walking stride matched to the size of the dog, and do the same when trotting with the dog. Stumbling along as you try to keep up with the dog is a no go!
While in the ring with the dog your attention and focus must be on the dog and how he or she is behaving and posing.
Rubber necking at the crowd, other dogs, and the judges is frowned upon and will cost you points. Be professional.
Hopefully these dog showing tips for a beginner will help you out as a newbie to the great sport of showing dogs.
earth friendly ideas
Earth-Friendly Ideas for Dog Owners
(Brandy Arnold - Dogington Post)
Because we all have a duty to do our part in protecting the planet for future generations, choosing to live a “green” life with your pooch is a great route to take. Becoming eco-friendly doesn’t have to be tough. Many online boutiques now offer various organic and environmentally friendly dog products for you to choose from. Preferring these items over synthetic and inorganic ones already play a great role in helping save our planet. Read on for some eco-friendly product ideas to get you started.
Going “Green” With Your Dog
1. Gourmet Dog Food and Treats. The easiest way to become an eco-friendly dog owner is to find organic dog food and treats for your pet. They are readily available and can be found almost everywhere. Aside from helping save our planet by obtaining products brought about by processes that use less energy, you also contribute in making your dog healthy as ingredients are all natural and pesticide-free.
2. Dog Beds. Opting for an organic dog bed does not mean sacrificing comfort. Many eco-friendly dog beds available in the market today are not only sustainable, but soft and snug as well. Their fabric is made of organic or recycled cottons while the filling is made of recyclable materials like pulverized plastic soda bottles. You know you’ve done your part if you help in diverting plastic from landfills and reducing energy consumption through the use of these eco-friendly dog beds.
3. Dog Shampoos. Organic dog shampoos are not only safe for our environment but also effective in getting rid of your dog’s dirt without stripping him of his natural oils. Their all-natural ingredients make a mild and gentle cleaning agent that does not result in any harsh reaction to your pet.
4. Dog Clothes. For those of us that dress our dogs, using clothes made of organic cotton is easier on the environment. Bamboo dog tees, for example, are very eco-friendly as bamboo plants supply 30% more oxygen as compared to trees, and remove 30% more Carbon dioxide which offsets global warming. Plus, bamboo trees do not require pesticides or fertilizers to grow.
5. Dog Toys. Although organic dog toys are a little more difficult to find, they are becoming more popular. Try looking for dog toys made with organic hemp or cotton. They not only help preserve the earth but are safe for your pooch. They are not toxic, and the fibers are not bleached, or processed.
Urban Dog Etiquette
How to properly promenade your pooch in public
City-dwelling dogkeepers are faced with greater challenges than their suburban and rural counterparts. Without a large, fenced yard for exercise, the city dweller must take to the streets three or more times a day with Fido or Fifi in tow. Crowded sidewalks replete with joggers, construction scaffolding and double-wide strollers turn each outing into an obstacle course. The following tips will make walks safer and more enjoyable for you, your dog and your neighbors.
It's the Law
Most cities and counties have some form of leash, license and pick-up-after-your-dog laws. These ordinances are designed to protect both the dog and the community at large. When leashed, a dog is safe from traffic and unable to follow his instincts to chase children, investigate garbage cans or dig up landscaping. Whether a dog is friendly or aggressive, a leash keeps him in check and allows the public to pass undisturbed. Some communities have leash-length restrictions. Whether it's the law or not, keep leashes to six feet or less on public sidewalks. Retractable leashes should not be used in areas frequented by joggers, skaters or cyclists; the thin line blends into the background and,all too often, athlete and dog collide.
Licensing a dog enables an animal control agency to return a lost pet to his rightful owner. Also, licensing fees often support local animal control efforts. In addition, the number of licenses issued gives government officials an idea of how many dogs are in the community, statistics that are very helpful when planning dog runs, shelter expansions and the like.
Pooper-scooper laws are essential for both the health and beautification of the community. Canine diseases and parasites are often shed in feces, which puts other dogs and children at risk. And no one enjoys maneuvering through unsightly piles of dog waste when out for a stroll. Pick up feces using a plastic bag, and knot the top to control odor and flies before disposing of it in a waste receptacle. Train your dog to urinate in gutters or on nonliving vertical surfaces, such as lampposts or hydrants. Avoid trees and flowerbeds.
Etiquette Lessons and Safety Tips
The well-trained city dog needs to respond to a minimum of four basic commands: “Sit-Stay,” “Heel,” “Leave it” and “Come.” When you're waiting at a traffic light, a dog in a sitstay is out of harm's way. And while walking nicely on a loose leash is enough for most forays, there are times when your dog will need to be at heel position, which keeps her under control at your side.
The command “Leave it” is employed when it is necessary for Fido to avert his gaze. Whether he's being tantalized by chicken bones or a jogger, getting your dog to break eye contact with “forbidden fruit” before he acts enables you to draw his attention to safer rewards and pursuits. Or, should the dog slip his collar or break his leash, a recall command (“Come”) could save his life. Most, if not all, of these commands are taught in basic obedience/manners class. Contact your local shelter for a referral to a class near you.
Remember that dogs can be frightened by sudden loud noises, such as running children, motorcycles, skateboarders and in-line skaters, to name a few. Be aware that such situations may demand quick and complete control on your part to prevent your dog from lunging or biting.
Before leaving home to run errands with your dog by your side, take a moment to consider which places permit dogs and which do not. For your pet's safety, leave him at home when he is not allowed to go into an establishment with you. A dog left tied to a post or parking meter is an easy target for teasing or theft.
Remember the Good Neighbor Policy
Keep in mind that not everyone loves dogs, so it's up to the urban dogkeeper to present a dog who is well-socialized and under control. When riding in an elevator, sit your dog in a far corner to avoid door-dashing each time the elevator makes a stop. Do not allow Fido to jump up on other riders, even when the greeting is friendly. Hurry through lobbies or take freight elevators and back exits if the building rules mandate it. Never allow your dog to soil in front of the building's entrance. If you have a young pup or dog-in-training who can't control himself, be sure to carry paper towels and odor neutralizer.
Many dogs enjoy the company of other canines, but always ask before allowing your animal to launch himself at another dog—for both their sakes. The same is true regarding children. First ask the child or her parent, “May my dog say hello to you?” before allowing physical contact. The greeting should not include jumping, bouncing off or grabbing at the child—even if it is done in the spirit of friendliness. If your dog is physically challenging, consider using a head halter for better control.
When we choose to keep dogs in crowded urban areas, we take on additional responsibilities. Unfortunately, when little consideration is shown for the neighbors, more doors close to dogkeepers. On the other hand, with a little training and thoughtfulness, more businesses and public areas will begin to put out the welcome mat for both you and your dog.
Infographic: What Happens When You Don’t Pick Up Your Dog’s Poop?
(Brandy Arnold in Front Page News, Green Living, Lifestyle w/ Dog4)
Wild dogs don’t pick up and bag their poop, so why should I?
It’s like fertilizer, I’m helping the grass to grow.
My dog is healthy, there’s no germs in his poop.
Sound familiar? These are just a sampling of the excuses pet parents use to justify not picking up their pooch’s poop. In fact, each and every one of those excuses is false.
It’s estimated that at least 40% of dog owners leave their pet’s poop where it lands, never giving it a second thought. With nearly 73 million dogs in the United States alone, that’s a lot of poo being left behind!
If the yuck factor isn’t enough to convince you to grab and bag, maybe the serious effects your dog’s doo has on our environment will!
The infographic below, created by PoopBuddy, might shock you:
exercise & walking
Exercise and your dog:
(All Dogs Go to Kevin)
How much exercise does your dog need? Well think of it this way: Your dog is an animal that would be outside all its life had we not domesticated them. Most dogs are inside the house 23+ hours a day. That is a lot. Ideally your dog should get at least an hour of exercise a day. This is all breed dependent. As I am writing this V is laying next to me panting from a nice game of fetch. It is amazing how much better a dog will behave if it receives and outlet for its energy. Also, dogs make great exercise partners. (most dogs). Remember that a dog that is in shape is going to last longer than one that is out of shape!
Exercise can include:
- Both of these can be done with training mixed in
-Hiking ( Is your dog trustworthy off leash? If not call me!)
-Hide and seek
-Training outdoors (obedience)
-Remember that a Mental workout is needed as well and will actually tire a dog out too.
Cold Weather and Dogs: How to Walk Your Dog In a Winter Wonderland
(Sonya Simpkins - I Love Dog Friendly)
Are you ready for winter? Is your dog? A lot of dogs love to play in the snow and go for nice long walks, but the cold and snow pose potential dangers.
Since you can’t keep your four-legged friend locked inside until spring returns, we’ve got some tips on how to deal with cold weather and dogs.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Just because a dog has a fur coat doesn’t mean he wants to go outside in the bitter cold without some protection.
According to Steve Graham, “Dogs regulate heat through their paws, and snow and ice on their feet can be very uncomfortable, particularly if ice builds up in hair around the paws. Dog boots can protect those paws. Also, small dogs and short-haired breeds may be more comfortable in a sweater outdoors in winter.”
After a walk, be sure to wipe your dog’s paws down with a towel or baby wipes to get all of the salt, mud and debris out from between the pads. Also check your dog’s legs and belly. Don’t worry – your dog will learn to love this, and you’ll appreciate not having to clean your house after being outdoors.
Dogs Can’t Ice Skate, Right?
A swim in the lake or pond on a hot summer’s day is a real treat for any dog, but in the winter, that same inviting body of water is frozen over and dangerous. People, let alone dogs, have a difficult time judging the thickness of a frozen lake or pond. If your dog falls through the ice, are you prepared to jump in after him? Probably not, so it’s best to steer your dog clear of water.
Leash Him Up
Picture it: A beautiful, wide-open field covered in fresh snow as far as the eye can see, and no other dogs or people around so the spot is your dog’s for the taking. But before you let your dog off his leash to make paw angels, know that snow can seriously hinder his sniffing capabilities, which puts him at risk for getting lost.
DogTopics.com says, “The snow and cold weather are very good at muffling scents, and dogs can easily become lost as their ability to follow their scent track back to you is dramatically reduced.”
Instead of letting your dog off his leash to run, run with him and make paw angels together. Your dog will get a kick out of watching you play in the snow, and you’ll probably have more fun doing this than you would just standing there in the freezing cold, watching your dog have all the fun.
Lastly, make sure he is wearing his collar with your current contact information just in case he does get lost. Better yet, get him a microchip in case he loses his collar. It’s well worth the one-time fee.
Don’t Drink That!
A puddle of water is very tempting to a thirsty dog, but you should never, ever let your dog drink from puddles, regardless of the time of year. You have no idea what could be lurking in that nasty brown water.
“Puddles can contain a number of hazards, particularly when you are in the city – antifreeze, screen wash and salt can all be toxic to your dog if swallowed,” states DogTopics.com. Ingesting bacteria from puddles can cause a serious infection called leptospirosis.
The same goes for dogs living in the ‘burbs or the country: Do not let them drink from any puddle.
It’s So Cold, Even Polar Bears are Staying Inside
If the weather man is warning you to stay inside because it’s bone-chillingly, take-your-breath-away, freeze-your-tushie-off cold, then it’s probably wise to keep your dog inside as well. Just because you can’t walk your dog doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find some way to help him burn off some energyindoors. Play a game of hide-and-seek or race for the treat.
Look, Ma! It Glows in the Dark!
Winter brings with it longer nights and shorter days, which means you’ll most likely be walking your dog when it’s still dark or getting dark. Make sure you’re both wearing at least one piece of reflective clothing so drivers can see both of you. This can be something as simple as a reflective vest or collar – just make sure it’s clearly visible on your dog.
Dogs pretty much make any activity better, and just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you both can’t have fun. Use these tips and you and your dog will have a great time walking in a winter wonderland.
How To Dog-Proof Your Fence
Whether your pooch is an all-star jumper, a creative climber, or a first-rate digger, here are some tips and tricks to dog-proof your fence and successfully keep your four-legged family safely inside your yard.
Aside from determining what type of escape artist you've got on your hands, it will be helpful to determine why your dog is so keen to escape. Is there something visible beyond his yard that's just too exciting to ignore? Is he bored or lacking exercise? Is your dog spayed or neutered? These common reasons for abandoning the backyard are easily remedied. Still, once some dogs have had a taste of "life on the outside," preventing an escape from recurring is vitally important.
If your pooch is a digger, it's really quite simple to dog-proof the fence around your house. Because your dog will most likely dig in areas of the fencing that are easiest to dig out underneath, focus on spots that surround the gate, or anywhere there's a slight gap between the fence and the ground. This also includes any areas of soft, easily diggable soil or sand.
Think like a dog! Inspect the entire perimeter of the fence, feel around for loose soil, look closely for enticing gaps or openings, and identify areas that your dog has already begun digging.
After identifying where your dog is most likely to dig her way out, it's time for preventive measures. Start by digging your own holes under the fence in those areas. Then, bury bricks or concrete blocks in the holes you've dug. Dig deep enough to completely bury the bricks or blocks, and then cover them with about an inch thick layer of dirt and cover with sod or mulch bedding. This way, your dog-proofing will be hidden from view, but will still be effective. With this method, when your dog does decide to dig, instead of soft dirt, she'll reach impenetrable brick or concrete and will quickly learn she's not getting very far!
For smaller dogs, or those that are less aggressive in their digging, simply burying a strip of chicken wire across the length of the fence may be sufficient to halt any escape attempts. To do this, dig out a channel several inches deep and bury the chicken wire so that it becomes an underground extension of your fence.
For Climbers and Jumpers
Preventing climbers and jumpers from escaping is slightly more difficult than for diggers. But, there are a few preventative options you can choose from. Most obviously, if your dog can easily leap over a short fence, replace it with one that is taller. A 4-foot tall fence is a mere hurdle to many determined dogs. While most dogs are stopped by a standard 6-foot tall fence, the parents of truly gifted jumpers may need to go higher.
If your dog can climb a chain link fence, installing a wooden or vinyl fence instead may be all that's necessary to keep him from climbing out of the yard.
For those super determined dogs who have learned to scale a wooden fence, consider adding an extra layer of protection by attaching additional fencing to the top of your existing fence, and angling it inward, toward the yard. This way, if he can get to the top of the fence, he'll need to defy gravity to get over it!
Tips and Warnings
Make inspecting your fence for potential escape routes a part of your regular routine. Check for loose or broken slats, holes, or openings that can be slipped through.
If your dog is just too interested it what's going on outside your yard, take steps to block his view of what's beyond. Fill in any space between fence slats with additional slats or cover chain-link fencing with aprivacy screen. Then, make your own backyard more fun and exciting so he's less inclined to want to leave. Make the backyard a fun zone with dog toys, agility equipment, and plenty of play time with his very best friend - you!
Sometimes, even our best efforts aren't enough to contain our dogs. Keep in mind that there's always a chance of escape, no matter how solid your fence is. Never leave your escape artist unattended in the backyard.
In addition to keeping a watchful eye on your curious companion, make sure he
always wears a properly fitted collar with an identification tag while outdoors and that he is microchipped, should his collar be lost.
If your dog does happen to get outside, don't forget to praise your pooch for coming back to you each time you call him, even when you are a little upset because he has gotten out of the fence. You want your pet to continue on coming to you whenever you call him, right?
Whenever possible, avoid using electric, invisible fences that provide a quick static shock to your dog if he crosses the boundary. Although many pet parents swear by the use of these e-collars and invisible fencing, very often a dog will exit the yard, receive a static shock, and become afraid to return to the yard for fear of being shocked again. Instead, take the time to train your dog some important obedience cues like coming when called, "leave it", and stay.
If escaping the yard continues to be a problem despite taking the steps outlined above, consider consulting a trainer or animal behaviorist for additional advice.
What Every Person Who Finds a Dog Needs to Know
(Lost Dogs Georgia)
Not all stray dogs are homeless. You can't always judge a dog based on their appearance the day they are found. Lost dogs can be very resourceful and can escape captivity and live on their own for days, weeks, months and in some cases, even years before being caught. When found, they may look very different than they did the day they went missing. They may be thin, dirty and they may even appear dumped, abandoned or neglected, but they may have a family out there frantically searching for them.
With that message in mind, we'd like to touch on what someone should do when they find a "stray" dog.
FIRST ~ It's important not to judge a dog or his or her family based on it's current condition. A dog may have been lost for a long time and living on it's own and fending for itself. That can explain a dog's dirty, matted or thin appearance. A dog may also have a medical condition that could explain weight loss or skin issues. It's important to give an owner the benefit of doubt and go through the proper channels to search for it's owner.
SECOND ~ Even if neglect or abuse is suspected, a finder does not have the right or legal authority to make that determination and keep or rehome a pet. In Georgia, pets are considered property and it's illegal to take and keep someone else's property. You must contact your local animal control unit and file a FOUND report for any dog you find. Your shelter will advise you on what steps you must take. Some shelters require you to bring a dog in, but others will allow you to foster the dog as long as you file a FOUND report with them and conduct a reasonable search for a dog's owner. If neglect or abuse is suspected, it's up to that local animal control unit, not the finder, to investigate and intervene if needed.
*** Animals are considered property in Georgia and it is against the law to keep someone's property. The law is on the owner's side in the case of a found dog ***
THIRD ~ Conduct an aggressive search for a dog's owner. Owners with a lost dog will move heaven and earth to search for their lost dog, but finders can sometimes fall short. There are many reasons that a finder may not do an aggressive search for a dog's owner and we've just touched on a few. Other reasons could include a busy schedule or a lack of knowledge on all the ways to search for a dog's owner. Some people find a dog and want to help, but they have nowhere to house the dog so they feel the only option is to immediately rehome the dog or send it to a rescue. This way of thinking drastically reduces the chances of a pet being reunited with their family. There are many options out there to help you quickly reunite a pet with it's family if you are willing to do a little work.
Another common reason that someone may not search for a dog's family is that the finder becomes attached to the dog and decides to keep it. This decision is not only wrong, it's against the law. It can also put a dog's life in danger. If a dog has medical condition and is on daily, life sustaining medication, not being returned to their home immediately could cost them their life.
So what are some ways to conduct an aggressive search:
Let's all help educate our communities on the laws in our state and educate them on the many ways that they can search for a dogs family.
Please also help spread the word about our page and our mission. Giving our pet owners, pet finders, animal control units, vets and rescues ONE central location, nationwide to list lost and found pets will remove MANY of the barriers and missing links and it WILL get more pets back home!!!
9 Things to Consider Before You Foster a Dog or Cat
(DR. MARTY BECKER - Vetstreet| DECEMBER 11, 2013)
I am a huge fan of adopting pets from shelters— that’s how we acquired our dogs, Quora and Amazing Gracie. Adoption is a gift to yourself and to the animal. But sometimes I think an even greater gift is to offer to foster a dog or catin need.
Foster owners give animals a place to stay while they wait for a forever home, relieving crowding at the shelter and accustoming the pet to a home environment. Foster owners must sometimes see their charges through necessary veterinary care like heartworm treatment, help them lose weight or teach them manners before they can be put up for adoption. Fostering takes patience, love and a good eye for observation: One responsibility of a foster parent is to provide the adoption group with information that allows them to make the best match between the pet and potential owners. Fostering also requires the skills of a diplomat to ensure that your family’s own pets don’t feel left out.
Fostering is a good way to “test-drive” an additional pet or a different type of pet. For instance, fostering a kitten can be an opportunity to see how a cat would fit into your current lifestyle and get along with your other pets. But before you respond to that Craigslist ad or Facebook plea for foster pet owners, there are some important questions you should ask yourself — and the organization in charge of the foster program.
Before You Foster: Nine Important Questions
How much care, socialization or training will this animal require?
Bottle-feeding babies often means round-the-clock dedication. Older kittens or puppies, on the other hand, need lots of handling, training andsocialization, and they may need to be taken to the veterinarian for spay/neuter surgery or teeth cleaningwhile they are with you. Adult animals may simply need a place to stay until they are adopted, but sometimes they have special needs as well. Be sure you know what you're getting into before you bring a foster pet home.
Is this animal house trained?
If the answer is no, are you prepared to teach that skill and to ensure that your belongings aren’t damaged in the process? If you're up for potty training, you may want to roll up valuable rugs and put them away while you’re fostering — and you might need to pull that crate and baby gate out of the attic, too.
Are you prepared to treat a foster animal as a member of the family?
Fostering isn't just making sure the animal stays healthy and safe and eats well; you're also responsible for teaching your foster pet how to be a good family member. For this reason, it's important to make sure that everyone who lives in your house is on board with the foster plan and willing to help your temporary pet fit in.
Will your own pets get along with a foster dog or cat?
If your pet is possessive of your lap, how will she respond when a guest animal tries to sit there? Some breeds are more prone to quarreling than others, and the arrival of an additional animal, even just temporarily, can upset the balance of pet power in your household. Your normally well-behaved dog or cat may “act out” or forget his house training. You may need the skills of a circus ringmaster to maintain harmony.
Can you afford to care for an additional animal?
Ask up front what your out-of-pocket expenses will be. The rescue group should cover any veterinary expenses, but it may or may not pay for items such as food or cat litter. In addition, if you know that you will be traveling for work or vacation during the time you’ll be fostering, say so up front so the rescue group can decide whether it can afford the expense of a pet sitter or will help you find someone else to care for the animal while you’re gone.
Do you have time to take this animal to weekend adoption events?
Some rescue groups post pets online and take applications for them, but others hold regular adoption events at local pet supply stores or other venues. You may need to take your foster pet to those events until she’s adopted, which means looking carefully at your weekend schedule.
Are you prepared for a long-term commitment?
A foster animal may need a place for only a few weeks, or his stay could stretch out for months. There’s no guarantee that a foster animal will be adopted within a certain time frame, but until he's adopted, he needs a home. Be sure you can commit before you accept a foster pet.
Is the organization run in a professional manner?
You should expect phone calls to be answered or returned promptly and veterinary expenses to be covered by the organization. In addition, the adoption organization should be in contact frequently and should make every effort to find the animal(s) a permanent home.
When the time comes, will you be able to give up your foster pet to an adoptive home?
It’s all too easy to become attached to this little creature who is living in your house. People who end up adopting their foster pets are known affectionately as “foster failures.” Some rescue groups are OK with that, while others frown on it because it often means that you’re no longer available as a foster home for future animals. If you're not sure you will be able to say goodbye, think twice about fostering.
Fostering pets has its ups and downs, and you will likely cry when your foster pet walks out the door for the last time — but the rewards of seeing him blossom and watching a new family fall in love with him will have you signing up to do it all over again.
Play These 9 Games with Your Dog - Energizing for Him, Entertaining for You
(Dr. Becker - Healthy Pets)
Variety is the spice of life, not just for us humans, but for our four-legged family members as well. Neighborhood walks and dog park visits are fine, but for his overall well being and quality of life, your canine companion should be offered a wide range of games and activities that challenge his mental and physical abilities.
Rather than the same old boring daily walk with your dog, why not incorporate a few of these simple, fun activities into your routine? You can do several of them indoors, so winter weather is no excuse!
9 Games and Activities You Can Do with Your Dog
Unless your pup is whip smart or has played the game awhile, you’ll probably need to give him verbal cues as he gets close to, or farther away from the object. You can also give physical hints by pointing or moving toward the hiding place until your dog catches on to the game. When he finds the hidden object or treat, be sure to make a huge deal out of it with lots of praise and a few additional treats.
The flirt stick can be a fun way to help your dog with basic commands like sit, down, look, wait, take it, leave it, and drop it. It’s also useful for helping him practice listening while in a state of high arousal, and cooling down immediately on command.
Tailor the course to your dog’s physical ability, focus, and attention span. Teach him to handle one obstacle at a time, and make sure to offer lots of praise, treats, and other high-value rewards each time he conquers an obstacle. This should be all about fun, not work.
3 Reasons Your Dog’s Urine Kills Your Grass – And What to Do About It
(Dr. Becker- Healthy Pets)
A question veterinarians get asked all the time by pet owners is, “Why does my dog’s urine seem to kill my grass?” And “Is there anything I can do about it?” Actually, there is. Your pet’s urine pH has a lot to do with whether your grass stays green.
Since winter is on the way and in many parts of the U.S. people won’t be thinking about their lawns for a few months, I thought now would be a good time to offer some tips on how to naturally adjust your dog’s urine pH so he or she will be less likely to burn the grass next spring and summer.
The Three Reasons a Dog’s Urine Burns the Grass
There are three primary reasons why dog urine burns grass: alkaline urine pH, the concentration of the urine, and its nitrogen load. The most important of these factors is urine pH. The best way to find out which is the causative factor in your dog’s situation is to drop a urine sample off at your vet for a urinalysis.
Concentrated urine has more solutes (particles) than dilute urine, which can affect grass health. The reason many people believe female dogs kill more grass than males is because females typically squat and pee in one spot (depositing a whopper load of solutes), whereas males tend to urinate in smaller amounts as they wander from spot to spot.
In my experience, urine nitrogen can affect grass health, but only when the nitrogen load is very high. Normal nitrogenous waste excreted in urine should not kill the grass. But if a dog’s urine pH is in the correct range and his urinalysis shows a high nitrogen level, some pet owners have had success reducing urine nitrogen levels with products like Dog Rocks.
Your Dog’s Urine PH Should Be Between 6 and 6.5
Dogs are carnivores and should have a slightly acidic urine pH of between 6 and 6.5. (The higher the urine pH, the more alkaline it is.) Vegetarian mammals like rabbits and horses naturally have a very alkaline urine pH. Human urine is naturally slightly more alkaline (6.5-7), and many pet owners wrongly assume their dog’s body functions in the same manner as their own.
It’s important to keep your healthy dog’s urine pH below 7, because a higher pH will not only burn your lawn – it will predispose your dog to developing struvite crystals. The flip side of that coin is a urine pH below 6, which can cause dogs to develop a different type of problem -- calcium oxalate stones. So for the health of both your dog and your lawn, you should strive to keep your pet’s urine pH right around 6.5, and no higher than 7.
I recommend buying pH strips from your vet or at the local drug store to check your pet’s urine pH at home so you know when it’s in or outside the desired range. In the morning prior to feeding your dog is when you should collect the urine sample. You can either hold the pH tape in the stream of urine while your dog is voiding, or you can catch a urine sample in a container and dip the tape into the sample to check the pH. This should be done immediately with a fresh sample to insure accuracy. Don’t measure urine pH throughout the day after feeding your pet.
Dietary Recommendations to Lower Your Dog’s Urine pH
When we feed carnivores a cereal-based diet, their urine becomes alkaline as a result, and alkaline urine burns grass. Meat-based diets are innately acidic, which is perfect for carnivores. Alkalizing diets are not a good idea for carnivores. Not only do they create urine that burns grass, more importantly, they very often are the cause of chronic urinary tract infections (UTIs) because lack of acidity removes the antimicrobial activity in urine. Alkaline urine can also create cystitis (irritation of the lining of the bladder), crystals, and even uroliths, or stones, that require surgery.
Dry foods increase urine concentrations and also ammonia levels. Ammonia has a pH of 10 or more. A moisture-rich diet promotes a healthy specific gravity (urine concentration) that decreases the likelihood the urine will burn your lawn. In fact, a healthy dog's urine should act as a fertilizer -- everywhere she pees, the grass should be twice as dark, lush and tall as surrounding grass.
Often, a dog’s urine pH can be maintained naturally between 6 and 6.5 by feeding a species-appropriate diet. To reduce urine pH, you must feed a low-carb, grain-free, potato-free, and preferably fresh or at least canned food diet for the increased moisture content.
There are products on the market to reduce urine pH that contain the acidifying amino acid DL-methionine. This is a safe addition to your dog’s diet, but a more logical approach is to simply stop feeding grains and alkalizing foods.
Other Tips for Protecting Your Lawn from Urine Scalding
If you’ve managed to get your dog’s urine pH into the 6 to 6.5 range and his vet says his urinalysis is perfect, but he’s still killing your lawn, there are a couple of other ways to deal with those burn marks.
One way is to hose down or at least pour water on the patch of grass as soon as your pet urinates. I have a client who walks his dog in the grassy common area in his condominium complex. He keeps a couple of 16 oz. bottles filled with tap water, and grabs one along with the dog leash and poop bag whenever he takes his dog out to relieve himself. When the dog urinates, my client follows behind him and splashes or pours water on the spot.
Alternatively, you can cover the area with about an inch of compost. These methods will help rebalance the soil pH and reduce urine burning.
Why does dog urine cause brown spots on grass?
(By Jenna Stregowski, RVT, About.com Guide)
Grass burns from dog urine are a source of
frustration for dog owners who take pride in a beautiful lawn. Brown or yellow spots of dead grass are unsightly, but some dog owners feel that it's just part of living with dogs. In fact, there are ways to prevent grass burns from dog urine.
While nitrogen is an essential component in healthy soil, high concentrations of it can cause grass to turn yellow or brown. Urine is naturally high in nitrogen and alone can cause grass burns. However,lawn fertilizer also contains nitrogen. An excess of either or a combination of urine and fertilizer may result in an overdose of nitrogen, thus "burning" the grass. Salts and other compounds in dog urine may also contribute to grass burn. In addition, highly acidic or alkaline urine may alter pH of the soil in that area of your yard, adversely affecting the grass there.
It may seem like female dog urine causes more trouble to the lawn than male dog urine. This is simply because most females tend to squat and urinate in one place, while many males lift the leg and "mark" upright objects in multiple locations. The composition of a dog's urine does not vary that much between male and female dogs, especially when spayed or neutered.
There are a few ways to prevent brown or yellow spots on your lawn caused by dog urine. You can try more than one option at a time for maximum results. There is no guaranteed way to end urine spots in the yard, but the following methods might help stop grass burns caused by dog urine:
Losing A Pet: Dealing With The Death Of Your Dog
(Kate Barrington - PetGuide.com)
How to cope with the sadness and grief after losing a pet
Nothing compares to the heartbreak of losing a pet, especially if it comes suddenly. For many people, dogs are more than just pets or companions – they are best friends and part of the family. If you have recently lost a beloved pet, you may be wondering how you are going to get along without him. We’ve put together a few ways that can help your cope after losing a pet.
Understanding the Grief Process
When you’ve lost a pet, whether it be an unexpected loss or something you have prepared yourself for, know that it is okay to feel grief. Grief is a natural response to loss and it can manifest in different ways for different people. For example, some people go into denial, refusing to acknowledge the fact that their pet is gone and that he won’t be coming back. After denial, many people experience anger – anger at the world or at some higher power for taking their pet away, or even anger at themselves for not doing enough to keep their pet alive. In many cases this anger is irrational but it keeps the individual from acknowledging and accepting the loss of a pet.
The end of the grief process brings about acceptance – acknowledgement of the fact that your pet is gone and that there is nothing you can do to bring him back. This stage of the grief process may be accompanied by sadness, but that sadness will decrease over time and you will be able to remember your pet fondly. Different individuals experience the grief process in different ways and over different lengths of time. Just know that there is nothing wrong with feeling sad about losing a pet and that you have the right to grieve him in your own way.
Coping with Grief
Coping with the loss of a beloved pet can be a difficult process but there are a few things you can do to make the process a bit easier:
Try to remember that you are not the only one experiencing grief over his loss. Your children, for example, may be experiencing death for the first time and they could be confused and scared. Help your child to work through his feelings of grief by expressing your own and offering sympathy and support as you cope with your grief together.
In addition to children and other family members, other pets you own could be affected by the loss of their friend. If your surviving pet(s) had a strong bond with the pet you lost, they may refuse to eat or drink and they could become lethargic. Make sure to give your surviving pets plenty of love and affection and do your best to maintain a normal routine. Do not rush into getting another pet – you and your family need time to grieve and to say goodbye to your pet before you get another. When you do decide to move on, do not feel guilty about doing so. Bringing home a new pet doesn’t mean you are trying to replace the pet you lost, it is simply a way to sharing with a new pet the love you and your family has to give.
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor’s degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
Helping furbaby adjust
Put a blanket or towel that has your scent on it in the crate so the puppy will be more calm while in there and a safe toy to chew. Never use the crate as punishment or they will associate it with something bad A good rule of thumb is the number in months is the maximum hours a puppy should be in a crate. 6 months= 6 hours The second you open the crate go outside and when they go pee , highly reward them with love and treats. They will associate that with going outside instead of in the crate or house
8 Ways to Keep Your Home From Smelling Like a Kennel
(Dogington Post - January 14, 2015)
Fresh and clean isn’t always the first way people will describe a home with a dog. Let’s face it, that wiggly-bottomed, waggy-tailed, much-loved pooch can make a mess and leave a good trail of odors that can leave your home smelling a bit like a kennel. And, in the same way we become desensitized to our own perfume after a while, many often become “nose blind” to the smell of our own homes. Still, your houseguests may notice that you have a four-legged companion at their very first whiff, before they’ve been greeted by him!
Removing the source of any odors completely is the key to keeping your home fresh and clean in the presence of a pooch. The following tips and cleaning schedule will keep those stinky smells at bay:
1. Bathe or groom your dog regularly.
Even if your dog isn’t visibly dirty, regularly bathing him with a gentle, safedog shampoo will keep excess dirt, oils, dander, and any odors that may be clinging to his coat from being carried throughout the house. Be careful, however, not to overwash your dog as shampooing too frequently can strip his fur of natural oils, leaving his coat dull and drying out his skin. Bathe your dog only as often as he needs it.
Brushing and grooming can be done more often than bathing and can be just as important in terms of keeping a clean home. Brush your dog often - many dogs absolutely love being brushed and will welcome it daily! Whenever possible, brush your pup outside to prevent loose hair from finding its way into furniture and carpeting.
Keep a paw-washing station at the back door and clean his paws when he comes inside with muddy feet. A Brushless Paw Wash makes the job quick and easy and prevents unwanted dirt and odors from being tracked throughout the house.
2. Lint rollers are your friends.
When sharing your home with a dog, unless she’s the hairless type, dog hair on the furniture is almost unavoidable. That is, after all, why it’s called FURniture, right? To keep your home from smelling like a kennel, remove any dog hair from your home furnishings. Use a vacuum cleaner with a pet attachment or a lint roller to do away with loose dog hair at least once a week.
3. Don’t forget the floor.
Many pet parents have simply accepted that cleaning floors is a regular chore, sometimes needing to be done every single day. If your floor is carpeted, vacuum with an empty vacuum canister or bag. If your vacuum canister or bag is already full or fur or dander, turning the machine on will inevitably blow the odor into the air. A pet-safe carpet deodorizer will help to remove any ground-in pet smells and leave your home smelling fresh.
If you’re floors are tiled, wood, or laminate, make sure that you sweep well, apply some dog-safe floor cleaner, and then mop. For touch-ups and between moppings, a Swiffer WetJet is a pet parent’s lifesaver!
4. Check your air filters.
Change your air-conditioning or furnace filters at least once a month. If you have multiple pets or one that sheds a lot, consider changing your filters bi-weekly. Not only will your home smell cleaner, but dog hair can clog an air filter and break your A/C quicker than you might think.
5. Make use of disinfectants.
Many odors are caused by bacteria. Try to remove surface bacteria where odors linger using high-quality sanitizing cleaners that kill more than 99% of germs. Check your labels, though - make sure your cleaning products are safe for curious tongues and noses!
6. Don’t just mask odors, eliminate them!
Forget the standard spray air fresheners that just cover the smell up in favor of those that eliminate odors, like Febreze. Or, look for odor eliminating candles that are both beautiful and soothing to look at and destroy pet odors in the air.
7. Get rid of urine odors.
If your pup has an accident inside, clean the area thoroughly using an enzymatic cleaner designed especially for pet odors. Not only will these cleaners target the odor, they’ll destroy any pheromones or molecules left behind that might entice your pup to “go” in that same spot again.
8. Don’t forget their bedding.
When shopping for your pet’s beds, always opt for those with removable covers that can be thrown in the laundry. At least twice a month, remove all of your dog’s bedding, including any pillows, blankets, or fabric/washable toys, and run a load in the washer. A good rule of thumb is to wash the dog’s bedding every time you wash your own.
Do Dogs Really Like Hugs?
(Sonya Simpkins - I Love Dogs
Nothing is better than getting a hug from someone you like, maybe even love. It feels good and you want to return this act of affection as often as possible, right?
Not your dog. He doesn’t know, let alone understand, why you are in his space trying to restrict his movement. He is honestly confused by your demonstration of love.
Penn Vet Behavior writes on their Facebook page, “Many people love dogs, and they offer a multitude of gestures (hugging, kissing, snuggling, petting) intended to convey that affection. However, a great number [of] dogs do not understand, or truly enjoy, many of the interactions that humans initiate. They tolerate them at best, and some even exhibit fearful or aggressive behavior.”
Think about it.
You get in your dog’s face, which he hates. He immediately starts to back away, making you hug him even tighter. He starts to yawn and lick, which are huge clues he is in distress, but do you stop hugging him? No, because you didn’t read the signs correctly and you are convinced he actually loves to be hugged.
It’s Okay. That’s how humans show affection, emphasis on humans. But remember, a dog is an animal that will fight and bite out of fear. If you get in his face and start bringing him in for an embrace, you could be bitten, a stranger could be bitten – or worse – a child. Sadly, dogs that bite are usually put down through no fault of their own.
“To a dog, a hug symbolizes a social status ranking as dominance and an invasion of space—lower members of the pack give space to the higher members to show respect. The position of the body is also meaningful to a dog. The one on top represents a higher status ranking. Therefore, when you bend down and wrap your arms around a dog you are not only on top, but you are in their space,” writes dogbreedinfo.com.
Should you stop hugging your dog?
Not necessarily, but take a minute to read his body language and check your energy.
Dogbreedinfo.com says, “It is not bad to hug a dog that is familiar with you if the dog is calm and in a submissive state of mind, so long as you are hugging them at a time when you are relaxed and happy. As a matter of fact, the emotional sensation humans receive from hugging can be felt by the dog, and that energy radiating from the humans can be very calming to the dog. Not because the hug has the same meaning to the dog, but because he is enjoying the calm he feels coming from you.”
So what can you do to convey the love you are feeling for your dog without hugging him? Well, we happen to know that dogs love belly rubs and ear and butt scratches. In fact, most dogs will roll over for a good belly rub, and melt when you give them a good scratch behind the ears or on the rear. They completely understand this gesture and will beg you to perform these faves over and over and over again.
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
"just a dog"
For Those That Think “It’s Just a Dog"
(Brandy Arnold in Heroic &nspiring, Lifestyle w/ Dog - Dogington Post)
From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a dog," or, "that's a lot of money for just a dog." They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for "just a dog."
Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog." Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog," but I did not once feel slighted.
Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by "just a dog," and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.
If you, too, think it's "just a dog," then you will probably understand phases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise." "Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy. "Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person.
Because of "just a dog" I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog" but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.
"Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.
I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a dog" but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a human."
So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog." just smile, because they "just don't understand."
Author Richard A Biby
kissing your pet
Is Kissing Your Pet Okay or Risky?
(Dr. Marty Becker - Vetstreet)
There's a controversy in veterinary medicine that divides the profession, and it's over something that many pet owners never give a second thought: kissing your pets. As you might imagine, I have some thoughts on this topic. Because, yes, I kiss my pets, and yes, I know I probably shouldn't.
To Kiss or Not to Kiss
Not long ago, Dr. Christina Winn came out in favor of pet kissing in a Veterinary Economicscover piece. Dr. Winn was looking at ways to develop better communications with pet owners so pets will be more likely to get the care they need. The antikissing contingent blew her a raspberry soon after, with a letter signed by a handful of veterinarians, including my good friend Dr. Tony Johnson, a clinical assistant professor of critical care at the Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine. Their point: It is indeed possible to catch something from such close contact with a pet.
I've taken this issue on, in very public ways, and I have to admit that I can see both sides. I still remember doing a segment on Good Morning America about zoonotic diseases, or those that are transmissible from animals to humans. Looking right into the camera and pointing to my mouth for emphasis, I said, "It's really not a good idea to let your pets kiss or lick you on the mouth."
Upward of 4 million people heard my recommendation, and probably 3.9 million pet owners, including me, ignored my good advice. In fact, the evening after that show, I pulled into the garage at our Almost Heaven Ranch and opened the door of the pickup to Quixote, our 16-pound canine cocktail.
"Ah, you want to give daddy some sugars?" I said. And he did.
I Can't Help Myself
Despite recent studies about the transmission of bacteria between pets and people causing dental disease, I continue to let my pets give me kisses. And I do so knowing where those mouths have been. And while I know that my pets are in the very best of health - with regular brushings anddental cleanings under anesthesia when necessary - I don't draw the line there. I kiss my patients when I'm practicing too. Within reason, of course: Sick, scared or aggressive pets get a pass.
Kissing pets is popular, sensible or not. While disease transmission does happen now and then, it's usually more of an annoyance (such as ringworm) than a threat. A few months ago my wife and I tapped into the furnomenon by running a kissing booth at a local dog fair to raise money for our local animal shelter. Teresa and our two 16-pound doorbells, Quixote and Quora, worked the booth for two hours, raising more than $50 in that time. That was a slurp every 2 ½ minutes. Teresa even got a kiss from a Jack Russell terrier who rode by on his own horse. (No, I'm not making that up.)
Kiss Away... With Caution
But back to the risks. Shortly after the study about the transfer of oral bacteria from pets to people came out, I talked with Dr. Richard E. Besser, a pediatrician and the former acting head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the current ABC News chief health and medical editor.
"What do you think about this, Dr. Becker?" he asked me, to which I replied, "When's the last time you ever heard or read of a veterinarian dying of a zoonotic disease or having no teeth from dental disease?"
"Exactly," replied Dr. Besser. "I'm still kissing my dogs!"
And so am I.
Study Reveals: Smooching Your Pooch Can Cause Gum Disease
(Brandy Arnold - Dogington Post)
They say a dog is man’s best friend, but a new study shows that getting too up close and personal with your furriest family members could be detrimental to your oral health.
A special report in the Archives for Oral Biology found that kissing your dog may lead to tooth decay and gum disease in both humans and canines.
The Daily Mail reported, when Japanese researchers analyzed the germs from 50 dogs and their owners, they found that a potentially harmful oral microbe normally found only in dogs, but not in humans, was discovered in the mouths of 16% of owners. Likewise, oral microbes normally found only in human mouths were found in their dogs.
These microbes can cause gum disease, or periodontitis, an inflammatory disease of the mouth tissue. In fact, a strikingly high number of dogs suffer from periodontitis, making the chances of humans contracting it from their dogs much higher than anyone that loves sweet puppy kisses would like to admit.
Veterinarians say proper oral health for both you can your dog can greatly reduce the risk of gum disease in you both. Regular brushing, flossing, and annual teeth cleanings minimize the risk.
If you want to keep those kisses coming, better keep brushing! Not quite sure how to brush your dog’s teeth? This article will show you how – it’s easier than you might think!
Two Reasons Why Dogs Pull on Leash
Why does a dog pull on leash?
A lot of dogs learn how to pull on a leash the very first time they’re hooked up to one. What happens is the leash is clipped on, the dog then goes where it wants to, and the human is dragged behind. In the beginning the pulling might not be that bad, but typically it gets worse and worse. Before you know it what you end up having is an overexcited dog that no one wants to walk.
But how does this all happen?
Opposition Reflex plays a key role in it. This is when a dog feels tension on the leash in one direction, which causes the dog to pull in the opposite direction. E.g. Dog starts walking straight and hits the end of the leash, feels that tension, which causes Opposition Reflex to kick in leading to the dog pulling, which then results in the dog pulling even harder. It basically spirals out of control from there.
Another key role in why dogs pull on leash is because the behavior is reinforced. This works because the dog does a behavior, and then gets something it likes in return. In this instance, the dog pulls on leash, which is followed by getting something it likes. E.g. peeing on a tree, sniffing a tree, going in the general direction, getting to meet another dog etc. Because the dog keeps getting what it likes, the dog is very likely to continue to pull, which is how Positive Reinforcement works.
The combination of Opposition Reflex and this kind of Positive Reinforcement makes it very hard for a dog to naturally walk on a leash without pulling. This is why walking the dog is so frustrating to many people.
Are There Lemon Laws for Puppies?
Various states have puppy lemon laws that look out for the two-legged consumer; after all, you never know if some shady puppy dealer is pulling the wool over your Shetland’s eyes (“Dermatitis? Neva heard of it.”). Depending on your state, lemon laws apply to people who sell pets for profit or pay state tax on the sale of a pet, like pet stores and backyard breeders, so it often exempts humane societies and animal shelters.
Within these laws, you usually have legal rights for a full refund of the purchase price during a certain time frame (usually 10 to 14 days), or reimbursement for veterinary costs up to the purchase price. Some states will extend the warranty for up to a year for inherited defects, so check with your local state rules.
If you find a backyard breeder who isn’t responsible or is not willing to guarantee the health of your new puppy, find a better breeder. You don’t want to be putting money in these dealer’s pockets, anyway. If your state or county doesn’t have any lemon laws, rally your pet-loving friends and have your council member, senator, or representative pass pet-protecting laws to look out for our pets. At our clinic, we strongly support puppy lemon laws, as we want everyone to have access to healthy, happy pets.
Ten Things to Do If You Have Lost a Pet
(Katy Lost Pets)
TIP #1- If your beloved pet strays away from home, it can be a traumatic experience for both you and your pet but you should act immediately. The longer you wait, the farther your pet can travel and the chances increase that it may become injured. Shelters only give you three days to claim your pet before it's adopted to someone else or worse.
Tip #2- 1st post a sign in your own yard. Post signs at intersections within a 2-5 mile area of where your pet was lost. In addition, post signs at grocery stores, community centers, pet stores, veterinary offices, churches and apartment complex laundromats.
TIP #3 - Advertise in both local and community newspapers and check thoroughly all columns dealing with animals as well as “Lost and Found” for at least three months.
TIP #4- Search the neighborhood. Walk, ride a bicycle or drive slowly through your neighborhood several times each day. Whistle a few times, then call your pet’s name twice and then carefully ‘listen’ and look. Do this OFTEN. Your pet may be injured, frightened or trapped and unable to come to you. Hearing your voice may encourage your pet to answer you. After you call his name 2 or 3 times, remain in one place long enough for your pet to find you. A lost pet may hide during the day, so be sure to go out again at night with a flashlight and call for him.
TIP #5- Visit all animal shelters and animal-control agencies in addition to calling or e-mailing. File a lost pet report with every shelter in your city. Provide these agencies with an accurate description and a recent photograph of your pet. Check with the shelters every few days. Notify the police if you believe that your pet may have been stolen. We have a list of agencies in the "notes" section on our page.
TIP #6- If lost anywhere near a busy highway or road, contact the Texas Department of Transportation, to see if a car has hit your pet.
TIP#7- Contact veterinary clinics both in your area and surrounding areas. An animal could be injured, rescued and taken out of the area in any direction for some distance. Many vet clinics will post your lost/found signs in their clinics.
TIP #8- Leave items with a familiar scent outside your home. A litter box, pet bed or a sweatshirt recently worn by a loved one can attract a pet who has strayed and become disoriented.
TIP #9- If your animal is a purebred, contact breed specific rescue groups in your area. A list of breed specific groups is in our "notes" section.
#10-The most important! Prevention! Microchip and keep it updated! ID tags with current address and phone number. Make sure the collar is snug and can not slip off.
Katy Lost Pets
Please prevent the next lost animal from ending up in a shelter or worse.
1. Take a picture of your pet right now (register with Finding Rover).
2. Get tags with your address and 2 phone numbers. Keep them on your pet at all times. Google "personalized collars" to get a tagless collar.
3. Get your pet microchipped.
4. Secure your fence, check for loose boards.
5 Keep your pet indoors, animals left outside on their own are just an escape waiting to happen.
6. Get your pet neutered and spayed. Un-fixed pets want to roam and find love.
What You Don’t Know About Lost Pets Can Hurt Them
(Kathy "Kat" Albrecht, Founder, Missing Pet Partnership, May 2012 - Maggie's Fund)
Want to find lost pets?
Whether you're a shelter worker trying to help a guardian find a missing pet or you've lost a pet yourself, the first step to successfully locating a lost pet is to understand how they behave.
Lost pets do not behave like pets in their own homes. They demonstrate distinct patterns of behavior common in lost dogs and cats, often so different from their usual behaviors that their guardians fail to find them even when nearby.
Missing Pet Partnership (MPP), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reuniting people with their lost pets, has studied the issue of lost companion animals and discovered that understanding those patterns of behavior can dramatically increase the chances that a lost dog or cat will be recovered.
They've also put together a program based on those traits that can give shelter workers another tool to help pet owners find their lost pets, preventing those dogs and cats from ending up in shelters or being injured, stolen, or killed.
How Lost Pets Behave
Since 1997, Missing Pet Partnership volunteers have conducted thousands of physical searches and/or lost pet consultations, and identified these lost pet behaviors that can be used to more effectively search for lost pets.
Lost Outdoor-Access Cats
When a cat who is allowed access outside vanishes, it means that something has happened to interrupt the customary behavior of that cat coming back home.
Any cat that is transplanted into unfamiliar territory is a displaced cat. The majority of cases of displacement involve indoor-only cats that accidentally escape outdoors. However, outdoor-access cats can become displaced into unfamiliar territory as well.
Some outdoor-access cats can become displaced when chased from their territory (usually by another cat or a loose dog) and can end up just a few houses away, hiding in fear. While some of these cats may adapt after a few days and work up the confidence to return home, many become disoriented. One of the primary methods recommended to recover displaced cats is the use of digital wildlife cameras and baited humane traps.
Sick, Injured, and Panicked Cats Hide in Silence
The behavior of a sick, injured, or panicked cat is that they will hide in silence. Just because the cat owner does not see or hear their cat does not mean that s/he is not right there. The lost cat could be hiding in the neighbor's yard. If not found, the cat will likely end up in your shelter in a few months.
Cats who are afraid or injured will seek areas of concealment such as under a deck, under a house, under a porch, or in heavy brush.
Most critically, these cats will not meow. Meowing would give up their location to a predator. Their behavior has nothing to do with whether the cat loves you, recognizes your voice, or whether s/he can smell you. It has everything to do with the fact that a panicked cat will hide in silence. So just because you do not see or hear your cat does not mean that s/he is not very close to home.
The "Threshold Factor" in Cats
An interesting behavioral pattern that Missing Pet Partnership has observed with displaced cats is that many cats will simply not respond to food or break cover (from their hiding place) for several days.
Cats with confident temperaments initially hide in silence, but within hours (or sometimes days) break cover and meow, return to the front door, or finally enter a humane trap.
Cats with more skittish, fearful temperaments may take several days before they finally reach a threshold point (typically ten to twelve days) and before they will finally break cover. In one case, an extremely timid cat hiding inside the attic of a veterinarian's office did not enter a baited humane trap for twenty-two days, most likely due to barking dog noises that kept the cat in a constant state of fear. Cat owners should be encouraged to continue with trapping efforts even if their cat does not immediately enter the baited trap.
Wiggly-butt, friendly dogs are more inclined to go directly up to the first person who calls them. These dogs are at risk of self adoption because they end up with well-meaning rescuers who don't want to turn them into an animal shelter for fear they'll lose their lives there. Depending on the terrain and population density where the dog was lost, these dogs will generally be found fairly close to home or will be picked up by someone close to the escape point.
Dogs with aloof temperaments are wary of strangers and will initially avoid human contact. Eventually, they will be inclined to accept human contact once they have overcome fear issues and become hungry enough. The wariness of these dogs can be easily misinterpreted as "abuse," since many will cower in fear. In addition, these dogs are often not recovered for weeks or months after their escape, giving them the physical appearance (thinness, injuries, stickers, ticks, etc.) that they're stray and homeless rather than someone's lost pet.
Dogs with timid, skittish temperaments (due to genetics and/or puppyhood experiences) are more inclined to travel farther and are at a higher risk of being hit by cars. Due to their cowering, fearful behavior, people assume these dogs were "abused," making them reluctant to search for an owner. It may be necessary to use "magnet" dogs with a snappy snare, baited humane dog traps, or "lost dog calming signals" (see below) to capture a skittish dog.
How Humans Looking For Lost Pets Behave
Dog and cat caregivers often behave in ways that actually reduce their chances of recovering their lost pet.
Some develop "tunnel vision" and fail to find their pet because they focus on wrong theories. They assume their dog was "stolen and sold to research" when in fact their dog might have been rescued and put up for adoption through a local adoption event.
Cat caregivers are often discouraged by others who tell them "your cat was probably killed by a coyote," when in fact their cat is hiding under the neighbor's deck.
Alone and discouraged, both dog and cat caregivers experience "grief avoidance" and quickly give up search efforts because they really believe they will never see their pet again.
Sometimes rescuers who find lost dogs and cats behave in ways that reduce the chances that the animal will be reunited with their owners. Those who find skittish dogs assume that the cowering, fearful behavior means that the dog was "abused," when in fact the dog was simply born with a fearful temperament and has been shy and fearful since it was a puppy.
People who see a skittish cat darting under a deck automatically assume that the cat is "feral," when in fact the cat could be a tame housecat born with a fearful temperament and has been shy since it was a kitten. Some people who find a stray dog who does not have a collar automatically assume it is "homeless" and therefore immediately work to place the dog rather than attempt to find the dog's owner. In addition, the first place the caregiver of a lost dog will search for his or her dog - the local shelter - is typically the last place that someone who finds a loose dog will take it, for fear the animal will be killed.
Lost Pet Coaching
With everything working against them, people who lose their beloved dogs and cats need all the help they can get in order to achieve a successful reunion. Your willingness to guide them to the proper recovery techniques could not only save their animal's life, it could free up cage space in your shelter and save the life of another animal as well.
Now that you know about the human and animal behaviors that inhibit lost pet recoveries, here are some tips and techniques you can pass along to caregivers to increase the chances they'll find their lost dog or cat.
Tailor the Search to the Situation
One of the biggest mistakes related to advising pet caregivers how to search for a lost pet is to provide "one type fits all" lost pet recovery advice.
Lost dog incidents require different sets of advice from lost cat incidents because dogs behave very differently than cats do when lost. In general, dogs run and cats hide.
In addition, how people perceive loose dogs is very different from how people perceive loose cats. People pull over and rescue dogs, but most people ignore cats. Thus the search for a lost cat truly involves searching for the cat.
The search for a lost dog, on the other hand, usually involves searching for the person who has self-adopted/rescued the "homeless stray" (lost) dog that they found. In addition, the most effective methods that should be used to search for a missing outdoor-access cat are very different than those that should be used to search for an indoor-only cat who escaped outside.
Search Means Physically Look
It is critical to encourage cat caregivers to obtain permission from their neighbors to enter their yards and conduct an aggressive, physical search of their property, looking under and in every conceivable hiding space for their lost cat.
Just handing a flyer to a neighbor and asking them to "look" for a missing cat will not do. Most neighbors simply will not go out into their yards, get on their belly, and look around under their house or deck for someone else's cat. And yet many times neighbor's yards are the areas where a sick, injured, or displaced cat is likely to be found.
Based on knowledge of the effects of "inattentional blindness" and the poor visibility of most lost pet signs, Missing Pet Partnership has discovered a creative and highly effective tool for recovering lost pets.
When it comes to marketing a lost dog to people driving in cars who typically don't pay attention to signs, you have only five seconds using five words to get a message across to drivers who are traveling at 55 miles per hour. Most pet owners make the mistake of posting flyers (8 1/2" x 11" white pieces of paper) instead of posters. Flyers are too small and very few people passing by notice them. People notice neon posters.
Humane Traps and Wildlife Cameras
If the owner/guardian says that their dog is skittish and is running loose and they can't catch him, or if the owner/guardian of a missing cat says she is an indoor-only cat that escaped outside, suggest that they utilize feeding stations with baited humane traps and wildlife cameras to help recover their pet.
Missing Pet Partnership offers detailed information on this topic on their website, along with lost pet consultations to instruct dog and cat owners in how to use humane traps and/or wildlife cameras to help recover panicked dogs and displaced cats.
"Tagging" a car is when owners use neon window markers to write their lost pet information (most often used for lost dog cases) on the back window of their car. This is a fantastic way of "marketing" a lost pet while the family drives through their neighborhood and community.
An intersection alert is where the owner/guardian uses four giant, florescent "REWARD LOST DOG" posters to "market" their lost dog by standing on a street corner, holding the sign just like sign twirlers.
In the past, MPP instructed 43 families to do this and 14 of them got their lost dogs back by using this technique.
While the most effective method for finding cats is searching neighbor's properties, making a scene and "protesting" a lost dog is a highly effective method for recovering lost dogs.
House as Trap
This is a unique lost pet recovery technique that Missing Pet Partnership advises some pet owners to use to capture skittish dogs and cats. The concept is that when someone has a skittish pet who bolts outside and then returns to the home but won't allow anyone to approach and keeps darting away in fear whenever the owner/guardian opens or approaches the door, they can effect a capture by hiding behind the door, enticing the animal into the house, and slamming the door closed.
Lost Dog Calming Signals
Dogs with skittish temperaments that become lost are difficult to recover, primarily because they run from rescuers and often from their own guardians. By the time a guardian sees their skittish lost dog, it is probable that several would-be-rescuers already tried to capture him, sending the dog into a blind panic.
It is also important to understand that the olfactory portion of a dog's brain closes down during the "fight or flight" process and that a panicked dog likely won't recognize their guardian's scent. Guardians should be prepared that their timid lost dog may run from them.
Guardians should be instructed that if they should see their dog, they should not call or chase or even look at their dog. Instead, they should remain calm and do the following:
The biggest enemy that dog and cat owner/guardians will have is their desire to give up too soon. This behavior is called "grief avoidance" and is natural. In times of grief, people want closure and an end to their emotional pain.
However, people who give up too soon typically don't find their lost pets. The most critical and effective tool that you can give to someone who's lost a dog or cat is encouragement. Refer families to Missing Pet Partnership's website and advise and encourage them to not give up hope.
For more information on lost pet behaviors, shelter-based lost pet recovery programs, and community-based lost pet search-and-rescue teams, a 5-day Missing Animal Response course as well as in-house workshops for shelters, visit theMissing Pet Partnership website.
About the author: Kathy "Kat" Albrecht is a former police officer, field training officer, police detective, and K9 (police bloodhounds and cadaver dogs) trainer turned pet detective. During her ten-year career as a search dog handler, Kat and her dogs located physical evidence, missing people, and criminals. In 2001 Kat founded Missing Pet Partnership, a national nonprofit organization that is working to pioneer the concept of community-based lost pet services through the first-ever pet detective academy.
Tips for an Effective ‘Lost Dog’ Poster
(Brandy Arnold in Lifestyle w/ Dog10)
Your pooch is lost and even if you’ve already posted lots of “Lost Dog” notices all over the neighborhood, there is still no sign of him. Because you want your missing pooch to be found as quickly as possible, you have to improve your poster and make it more effective. One great way to increase the chances of finding Fido is to avoid some of the usual mistakes most weary owners commit while crafting their Lost Dog poster. These include making use of small unreadable prints displayed in cars, showing the missing dog’s poor-quality photo, as well as trying to write too many information on the flyer.
How to Make a Better Missing Dog Notice
1. Apply the basic principle, “Fewer words, larger prints”.
2. Because a computer’s 72-point font size remains unreadable from a moving vehicle , consider having the vital information printed in not less than a hundred point size.
3. As much as possible, create your lost dog’s description as accurately as you can, but not too detailed. It’s way better to receive too many phone calls, that you can dismiss through further discussion, than to get only a few because most thought that the dog they spotted somewhere wasn’t the one you have been looking for.
4. Never print your personal info. A good way to contact you, such as through a mobile phone number, is already plenty.
5. Try your best to make the Lost Dog posters as colorful as you can in order to easily catch people’s eyes. Show your missing pooch’s most recent picture as well as your contact number.
6. Ensure that your missing pooch is visible enough in the photo for the people to identify. Some poor flyers have pictures of their small, blurred pet amidst a crowd, a lawn, or a plaid couch. Though any picture is better than nothing at all, always bear in mind that drivers commonly have just seconds to clearly see the sign.
7. When you are outside searching for Fido, remember to bring with you lots of extra fliers. Once the posters have been made, immediately distribute them. Visit local area businesses, post offices, veterinarians, and local shelters.
8. If necessary, try recruiting for support and assistance. The extra hands the folks in your neighborhood, co-workers, and even the children will surely be of great help to find your lost pooch.
5 Tips for Finding Lost Pets
Simple Steps to Expedite Your Search
Panic can sink in when your pet fails to turn up for a routine event such as the sound of kitty or dog chow dropping into an empty bowl. After conducting a fruitless search of your pet's habitual hiding places and some possible new ones, it might be time to look outside the perimeters of your home.
Searching for a lost pet can be an emotional and frustrating event. However, following some simple steps from experts at Pets 911 might help bring your pet home before you can say "Fancy Feast."
1. Missing Pets Report
First, file a report at a site such as Pets911.org. Owners can write a description of their pet and upload a photo. At any given time there are an estimated 9,000 to 10,000 profiles of lost and found animals from across the county listed. (If you think your pet might have been stolen, call the police and contact your local Humane Society.)
2. Hit the Streets
Before setting out to scour the neighborhood, you should place food, water and an unwashed piece of clothing with your scent outside the door. These items might help lure your pet home and keep them put while you're out searching.
Bring these items with you:
An estimated 4-6 million pets are brought into animal shelters across the country annually. Only about half are picked up by their owner or adopted by new ones.
3. Get the Word Out
Start making brightly colored fliers if you pet fails to turn up after the initial search.
When posting fliers, keep in mind that as many as one third of pets are located more than 10 miles from their home.
If after a few weeks your pet is still missing, create new fliers and write "Pet still missing" at the top. If you locate your pet remove the fliers.
4. Notify Local Vet Hospitals
It’s possible that someone who has found your lost pet has contacted neighborhood vet hospitals rather than taking your cat or dog to the local pet pound.
Be proactive and take a copy of your flier to vet hospitals within a 10 to 15 mile range from your home. If you have access to a fax machine, faxing a copy of the flier to each hospital will expedite your search for your family companion.
5. Visit Animal Shelters
An estimated 4-6 million pets are brought into animal shelters across the county annually. Only about half are picked up by their owner or adopted by new ones.
Visit shelters at least every 1-3 days. Shelter workers may not recognize your dog based on your description. Research shows that dogs can travel up to 30 miles a day. Someone may have picked your pet up near your home and dropped them off at a shelter near theirs.
Find a shelter:
Be proactive: make sure your pet is wearing up-to-date tags on his collar at all times, or has microchip identification. The right pet ID can be one easy step toward reuniting you with a lost pet.
Phone App for Lost Pet
Besides papering the neighborhood in fliers when your pet goes missing, you might also consider a new app that claims to help people find their furry friends with a few clicks of a button.http://abcn.ws/1iFNe00
making pet part of family
INSIDE OR OUT? MAKING YOUR DOG PART OF THE FAMILY
(Arizona Humane Society)
SOME DOGS OWNERS BELIEVE that dogs, especially large ones, should be “outdoor only” pets. At the Arizona
Humane Society, we believe that dogs of all sizes are happier, healthier and safer when they can be indoors with
their people the majority of the time. Dogs have a need to be social just like we do.
Some people believe that dogs need to be outside so they can get plenty of exercise. The truth is that most dogs
don’t exercise when they’re in a yard by themselves; they spend most of their time lying by the back door,
waiting for “their people” to either let them in or come out and play with them. However, dogs do need exercise
every day, so we recommend walking your dog or engaging him in a regular game of fetch!
Dogs need to spend time with “their people” in order to learn their rules and how to get along with them.
Dogs who spend most of their time alone or only in the company of other dogs may demonstrate fearful,
aggressive or overactive behavior toward family members or strangers because they’ve never learned how to act
Dogs who spend most of their time outdoors are at risk for a variety of reasons. They could escape from the yard
and become lost; a disgruntled neighbor could throw poison over the fence or spray the dog with mace or pepper
spray; or the dog could be stolen and possibly sold to a research facility or dogfighting ring.
Dogs left alone in the yard for long periods of time often get bored, lonely and frustrated. As a result, they may
dig or bark excessively. Most cities have noise ordinances that penalize owners of barking dogs. If a dog escapes
the yard in search of interesting things to do, not only is he at risk of being injured by a car, but his owner is
liable for any damage or harm that he might do.
Dogs who spend time with their owners and feel attached to them are more likely to be protective of “their
family.” Dogs who spend most of their time outdoors may be friendly to any stranger who pets or feeds them.
Alternatively, some yard dogs may become overly territorial and feel the need to protect their territory even
from family and friends. If a dog is hardly ever allowed to come indoors, it will be difficult for him to distinguish
between family, friends and uninvited “guests.”
People who are away from home for eight to ten hours a day may be inclined to leave their new puppy in the
yard because he can’t control his bowels and bladder for that length of time. Although it’s true that puppies need
to eliminate more frequently than adult dogs, it’s also very important for puppies to receive adequate “people
time” at this formative stage of their lives.
If dogs aren’t adequately socialized when they’re young, they’re likely to become fearful or aggressive toward
people, and possibly other animals. Puppies are also more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions than adult
dogs. If you must be away from home for more than four or five hours at a time every day, this may not be the
right time for you to adopt a puppy.
While dogs may be safer in the garage than in the yard, unless people spend time with them in the garage, they’ll
still suffer from isolation and, as a result, may develop any of the behavior problems previously mentioned. Most
garages are very hot during the summer months and cold during the winter. Garages are often storage places for
tools and chemicals that could cause injury to a curious dog. If the garage has an automatic door opener, the dog
could run out into the street when the door is opened.
Some of us may have fond childhood memories of a family dog that lived outside, but times have changed. More
mothers used to stay at home and children used to spend more time outdoors. The outdoor dog had company
while mom hung laundry or gardened and the children played outside. With the advent of two-income families,
television and computer games, the outdoor dog is more likely to spend most of his time alone.
If you must leave your dog outdoors, unsupervised for extended periods of time, please provide him with
• An insulated shelter with a wind-proof opening. Some very short-coated breeds like greyhounds, beagles
and labs, may not be able to tolerate extreme cold, even with a shelter.
• Shade in the summertime. All dogs need shade, but remember that heavy-coated dogs, such as huskies
and chows, are more susceptible to the heat.
• Fresh food and water every day. In winter, you’ll need a heated water bowl to keep the water from
freezing. In summer, you’ll need a tip-proof bowl so your dog won’t tip the bowl over in an effort to
• Interactive play time daily.
• A daily walk.
• An escape-proof fence with a locked gate.
• “Busy” toys.
Most dogs do enjoy spending time outdoors, but the time dogs spend alone outdoors must be balanced with
quality time with “their people.” With a little time and training, dogs can learn to be well-behaved around
people and can come to respect the house rules. They can then be left inside alone without cause for worry and
be trusted companions and members of the family.
For more information, please visit
www.azhumane.org Adapted from material originally developed by applied animal behaviorists at the Dumb Friends League, Denver, Colorado
©1999 Dumb Friends League. All rights reserved.
Doggie Massage Basics
(Brandy Arnold - Dogington Post)
One of the fastest growing fields in dog healthcare is animal massage. The controlled, soothing touch not only help give dogs comfort but can also help in alleviating problems by managing pain, strengthening the immune system, firming up the muscles, joints, and tendons, releasing cortisone which relieves swelling and inflammation, as well as producing endorphins. Aside from that, doggie massage also helps in increasing overall circulation, improving digestion, and even in removing toxins in a pet’s body. Best of all, you get a few precious moments of bonding time with your furbaby!
Dog Massage: Before You Begin
Since dogs have different needs and biological makeup than people do, it is crucial for you to be knowledgeable and well-trained in canine anatomy and physiology before beginning to work on a dog that’s been stressed or injured. Without sufficient knowledge and experience, it’s possible to make problems worse or cause further injury. If your dog is injured, consult a veterinarian or dog massage therapist before beginning a massage routine.
· Talk to your dog’s veterinarian before starting a massage program.
· Call a professional dog masseuse if working with a delicate pooch or one with restricted mobility because of injury, joint problem, or surgery.
· Don’t massage Fido if he has a fever, is in shock, or has a serious illness or injury which hasn’t yet been diagnosed.
· Don’t massage an area with a lump, infected or open wound, or some sort of skin infection.
· Always check with a vet before massaging a dog which has cancer.
· If Fido is in good health, choose a word or phrase to let your pooch know that it’s time for a rubdown. Your dog has to learn this so he’ll recognize the routine and settle down gladly for the session.
· Wait until after your pooch’s potty break, and at least about 15 minutes after his mealtime to begin a massage.
· Look for a quiet spot, and try playing some gentle, soothing music.
· Sit in a comfy position or stand at a hip-high table so you can breathe steadily and deeply.
· Pet your dog gently, speak to him softly, and then start the massage routine.
You’re now ready to begin! Up next, step-by-step instruction for massaging your dog:
1. With your hands, start by stroking your dog from the back of his head down to the base of his tail. Just stroke gently in line with the lay of your dog’s fur.
2. With your fingertips, try to make small circular motions on each side of his spine: first clockwise, and then counterclockwise. Just begin near his shoulders, and then work your way to the base of his tail.
3. Start applying gentle, vertical pressure using your thumbs on each side of your pooch’s spine. Work down each leg to his paws with the same motion.
4. As you work on his back, try lifting your dog’s excess skin upward. Knead or roll between your fingers and thumbs while starting at his shoulders down to the base of his tail.
5. With the use of circular finger motion, massage Fido’s rump area.
6. After this, start massaging the base of your pooch’s skull where his head joins the back of his neck by putting your fingers on one side and the thumb on the other.
7. This time, massage Fido’s cheek muscles by gently sliding your hands frontward on the sides of his face.
8. While following the lay of your dog’s fur, try flattening your hand, and stroking from his nose up to the top of his head.
9. Hold the base of his ears, and then pull from there to its tip as you rub his earflaps between your fingers.
10. Let your pooch lie on his side. Massage the muscles on his shoulders with slow, deep, circular motions. Next, start massaging his forelegs between your thumb and fingers as you work your way to his paws.
11. Try squeezing muscles between and along your dog’s toes, and then start moving each of his toes up and down with the use of a gentle, wiggling motion.
12. Flex your dog’s paws gently as you extend each one inward and rotate it to relax the tendons. Using your hands, give his thigh a deep, gentle massage.
13. Using your fingers, massage Fido’s hip joint in a circular movement. Try massaging down the back of his leg to his foot. Knead his paws and toes. Help your pup turn over, and then work on his legs on the other side.
14. Finish the session by talking calmly to Fido as you use slow strokes using your palm and fingers. Do this from his head, down to his back, and then to the tip of his tail. Perform the same procedure from his hip, to his hind foot, and then shoulders to his forepaw.
Some dogs are sensitive to having certain parts of their bodies touched. You know your dog best, so, if he hates to have his paws touched, don’t force it – remember, this is supposed to be relaxing for you both! Eventually, he may become relaxed enough to let those toes finally be touched!
Benefits of Massaging Your Dog
(My Kids Have Fur)
Back: Massaging here on both sides of the spine just above the stomach will relieved pain associated with stomach illnesses and vomiting .
Ears: The ears of your dog are like a reflection of their overall physique. Massaging the ears and ear flaps will relax and invigorate their entire body.
Head: Massaging the dog head will help relax the dog, pay particular attention to temples and areas above the eyes. Pressure points near the eyes are associated to the stomach, bladder and gallbladder .
Front Legs Elbow: will help him cope with infections and allergies .
Help Your Pet Adjust to a New Home
A change of residence can make animals feel insecure. Here's how to ease the transition.
(Amy Goyer, from: AARP)
Here are some ways to help a pet transition to a new home:
Be consistent. Keep your routine schedule for feeding, walks, playtime, cuddling and bedtime. If a dog is used to using a doggy door, set one up in your new place. If your cat is accustomed to outdoor time, arrange for that — even if you have to use a leash initially for safety purposes and to keep him from running away.
Bring favorites. You may be tempted to get your pet new accoutrements, but this is not a good time to introduce new items. Instead, bring your pet's favorite bed, crate, toys, food and water dishes, treats and other familiar items. Put them in similar places as they were in your previous home. Favorites will help your pet feel in control and at home more quickly.
Minimize anxiety. Think of ways to ease your pet's transition. Some animals will feel best being near you no matter what you're doing. Others will do better in a crate away from the moving madness. Or perhaps it's better for your animal buddy to stay at a friend or family member's home during the actual move; joining you once you've unpacked. The more secure they feel, the better they'll weather the change.
Keep them safe. During the packing stage, the actual move and the transition in the new home, plan for your pet's safety. Some animals will be upset and scared once the boxes and suitcases take over. They may hide or run away. Set aside a safe place where they can't get lost or hurt. Make sure your pet has identification and your contact information, and that you have copies of veterinarian records. Learn about any aggressive animals in the neighborhood, or any structural risks in the home or yard.
Be patient. Allow your pets to take their time sniffing around their new digs. Let them explore — and if they decide to hide for a while, that's OK as long as they know where the doggy door or litter box is. Allow them to come out when they are ready. Their behavior may change for awhile, including eating and "potty" habits, barking, pacing or protection behaviors. They need time to get used to their new home, just as you do.
Love 'em up. Give your pet the attention he is used to. A bit of extra loving will go a long way as they come to feel at home in their new surroundings. Remember that difficult behaviors are a result of their discomfort with the change and a sense of not feeling in control. Difficult behaviors don't mean the pet is bad and can't change. Get help from a professional trainer or veterinarian if your pet's difficult behaviors persist, and remember all the unconditional love they give you.
Moving Day: How to Get Your Dog Ready for the Trip and His New Digs
(REBECCA WALLWORK- Vetstreet)
Whether you have a big dog or a small pup or you move by plane or by car, there are some universal tips that can help make relocating with your pet as smooth as possible.
Vetstreet asked certified dog trainer Dawn Wasicek of Semper Fido Austin to share her expert advice — some of which she recently put to the test during a move from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Austin, Texas, with her Shetland Sheepdogand a Border Collie in tow.
How to Prep Your Pup
Maintain That Routine: With all those boxes around, the noise of furniture being moved and your stress levels soaring, pets are bound to know something’s up, so it’s important to stick to their regular schedule when it comes to walks, feedings and playtime. “Moving is stressful on pets,” Wasicek says. “So try to maintain structure before and after your move.”
Get the Right Travel Gear: Once you know how you’re moving, make sure that you have the necessary safety gear, such as an airline-approved soft carrier, a doggie seat belt or a crate that fits in the back of your car.
Wasicek and her dogs, Shasta and Whisper, moved in the middle of summer and had an 1,800-mile car journey ahead of them. “I purchased two battery-operated fans for their crates,” she says. “Also, since there isn’t always a lot of shade when you stop on road trips, I had a mesh sun shade to wrap over my car if I had to leave them very briefly to run to the restroom.” If you plan to buy a fan, look for models with covered fan blades that are specifically designed for mounting inside crates.
Wasicek also took the extra precaution of putting harnesses on her dogs, in addition to their regular collars, just in case one of them slipped out of his collar.
Check IDs Please: “My biggest concern with moving dogs is having them become lost and disoriented or hurt while on the road — even in their new neighborhood. While traveling, your dog's city-issued ID tags will not be current, so make sure that your cellphone number is on your pet’s tag,” Wasicek says. “And if you know your new address, have current tags made up ahead of time.”
Make Time to Microchip: If you haven’t microchipped your pet, now’s the time to do it. “Call the microchip company to tell them about your move,” Wasicek says. “And be sure to write down your pet’s microchipnumber and the phone number of the microchip company and keep it accessible during your trip.”
Gather Medical Records: When moving — or even just traveling with your dog — it’s a good idea to bring along vaccination certificates, as well as your pet's medication. “ Rabies vaccines are required by law, and every state has different laws,” Wasicek says. “I kept medical records, along with my dogs’ microchip numbers, in an envelope in my backpack.”
Before you embark on any trip, take your pet to the vet for a health checkup and to make sure that all vaccines are current.
Travel Smart: As you plan your departure, think about the weather and other travel conditions, factoring your dog’s safety and comfort into each decision that you make. Wasicek’s move coincided with a heat wave, so she took extra precautions to keep her dogs hydrated: “Each morning before I left my hotel, I filled two portable water coolers with ice water.”
Book Hotels in Advance: Pet policies vary so be sure to call the actual hotel to learn whether they accept pets and what the various charges and rules are. Specifically, be sure to also check if the hotel has a weight limit or a nonrefundable pet fee.
How to "Unpack" Your PupCheck the Perimeter: “If you have a yard, make sure that your fencing is secure,” Wasicek cautions. “ Don’t let your dogs out unsupervised until they — and you — feel secure about their new surroundings.”
Get Out and About: Familiarize your dog with his new digs as soon as you can. “I walked my dogs all over the new neighborhood, so they could get to know the sights and smells of the area,” Wasicek says. “I wanted them to be familiar with where home is in case they got lost.”
Set Up a New Routine: There are still stressful moments to come for your dog as you settle into your new home — meeting a new vet, sitter, the neighbors and local pups. Maintaining structure will help smooth the way. “If your pets understand the rules and expectations before and after the move, the new surroundings will be less stressful,” Wasicek says. “A good routine will help them adjust more quickly to their new life.”
Moving With Your Dog: Tips for Adjusting to a New Home
(I Love Dogs)
As we humans know, moving to a new home can be very stressful. Yet it can be even more stressful for your dog, since he doesn’t understand what’s going on.
The following tips from Petco and Pedigree will help things go smoothly for your dog before, during and after your move.
Before the Move
9 Pet Friendly Resources
Take Your Pet
Pet Hotels of America
Pet Friendly Travel on Facebook
Pet-Friendly Outdoor Activities & Travel on Pinterest
pet proof your home
Don't Bring Home a New Dog Before Locking Away These 10 Items
(Dr. Becker - Healthy Pets)
Bringing a new pet into the family is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. There’s so much to remember and do to make your new animal companion’s homecoming a joyful and positive experience, it can be easy to overlook something – even something potentially hazardous.
If you’re planning to add a new dog to your household, preparation for the blessed event should include insuring your home is a safe environment for the new four-legged family member. With a new puppy this is a must, but it’s also crucial for helping an adult dog make a safe, smooth transition to his new forever home.
10 Pet-Proofing Steps for New Dog Parents
Best Spots to Pet
Most dogs are comfortable being petted on the chest, the shoulders and the base of the neck. When petting these areas, reach in from the side, rather than moving your hand over the top of the dog’s head. Individual dogs also have specific spots where they like to be petted; common areas are the base of the tail, under the chin or on the back of the neck where the collar hits. Most dogs dislike being touched on top of the head and on the muzzle, ears, legs, paws and tail. Slow petting, similar to gentle massage or light scratching, can calm a dog down. Place your hand on an area where the dog enjoys being handled and gently move your hand or fingers in the same direction the fur lies. Petting should be calming and therapeutic for both dog and person, both reaping the mutual benefits of shared contact. When you pet a dog in a relaxed, slow and gentle manner, he is likely to lean in tight for more.
5 Cool iPhone Apps for Dog Owners
Brandy Arnold - Dogington Post)
If you’re a pet parent and an iPhone user, you’ve probably browsed the app store for dog-centric apps, only to be overwhelmed with the enormous variety of available apps. From pet first aid, to dog park locators, and schedule keepers, there’s an app for everything. But, not all apps are created equal.
That’s why we dug deep and found the 5 coolest iPhone apps that every dog owner should have.
PetTech’s PetSaver App
With a push of a button and a swipe of your finger you will have instant access to your pet’s health and safety. Includes step-by-step instructions for pet CPR, first aid, and daily care for cats and dogs. Also included in the app is a comprehensive list of pet poisons, from plants to household chemicals, and foods. This app is the absolute must-have for any pet parent.
Available for $3.99 at iTunes.
We’ve all heard of a pedometer, the little gadget worn on the hip to count our daily steps. Based on the same principle of getting people – and their dogs – walking more, the Petometer tracks your dog walks by distance, time, pace, and route. Keep track of past walks and try to beat your best pace or distance, all while improving the health of you AND your dog!
Available for free at iTunes.
PetSnap is the perfect app for pet parents that love to take photos with the iPhone’s built in camera. The app features built-in sounds to attract your dog’s attention right to the camera lens, just as the picture is snapped! (Rumor has it, PetSnap is adding Facebook upload functionality in their next version, too!)
Available for $1.99 at iTunes.
Use this app to find pet friendly hotels, restaurants, and bars in your area. Locate local vets, dog parks, pet stores, animal shelters, pet sitters, kennels, groomers and more.
Available for free at iTunes.
This app is the ultimate in pet organization. Keep a schedule of feeding times, medications, vet and grooming appointments, play dates and more – with email reminders to keep you in the loop and on time.
Friends for life animal rescue and adoption organization - Houston, tx
Phone App for Lost Pet
Besides papering the neighborhood in fliers when your pet goes missing, you might also consider a new app that claims to help people find their furry friends with a few clicks of a button.
Teach your furbaby sit, come, lie down, stay. These commands are very helpful when trying to stage poses.
10 Pet Photography Tips
Capturing Candid Shots Can Be EasyOur pets are cute, whimsical and playful—characteristics we like to preserve on film for a lifetime of memories.
As active and uncooperative as our furry companions can sometimes be—after all, how many of our pets will sit and pose for us—it’s not surprising how difficult it can be to take a photograph that isn’t slightly out of focus or overexposed.
The good news is you don’t have to be a professional photographer to take frame-worthy photos of your pets. Nor do you need a high-end camera with fancy settings. With the help of pet photographer Laura Cowen, we’ve zoomed in on 10 pet photography tips that will fine-tune your skills behind the lens.
1. Capture Pets Off Guard
You might discover that some of your best pet photos are those taken when your pet is unaware you’re wielding a camera. Try capturing your pet in a “pet-parazzi” style, shooting from different angles while your subject matter is sleeping, playing or simply goofing around. Some of the best pet photos, says Cowen, are those taken when your pet isn’t posing for the camera and you can showcase your pet’s personality.
2. Use Props
Toys and treats can be a pet photographer’s best friend, according to Cowen. Use a squeaky toy or a dangling pet treat to get your pet’s attention and capture a particular expression. If your pet is a masterful beggar, you’ll undoubtedly coax one of those longing, big-eyed looks that you find so endearing on a daily basis.
3. Zoom In
Try your hand at a more editorial style of photography and get up close and personal with your pet. Rather than photographing your pet from a distance, move in closer and focus on particular features, such as his or her eyes, or a side facial profile. Using the macro setting on your camera, if possible, will showcase the finer details of your pet’s whiskers and fur and produce a sharper image.
If you have a camera with a zoom lens, says Cowen, you can capture these shots without having to actually get within inches of your pet and the overall quality of your photos will improve since cameras with zoom lens are built to isolate the subject matter at close range. If your camera doesn’t have a zoom lens, don’t sweat it: you can easily crop images on your computer using an editing application which lets you zoom in after the fact.
4. Choose a Location
Not every photograph will feature your pet close up, so consider what role the background could play in your photographs. Some pets will feel more comfortable in a familiar setting such as a room at home, a favorite spot on the patio or in the backyard.
You might also consider a favorite place of your pet’s, such as a park or the beach. Scenic shots will also go a long way in adding character to your pet’s photos and tell a story, advises Cowen, as will an ornate door frame or artwork inside your house. Prepare ahead of time so you won’t be disappointed with the outcome of your photos if the background is more distracting that complimentary.
5. Avoid Photographing from Above
Photographs taken from an angle looking down on your pet can distort the image.
Your dog, for example, will appear to have a large head out of proportion from the rest of his or her body.
In addition, getting on your pet’s level will depict your subject matter naturally. Cowen advises that you’ll have the best depth perception standing in front of your pet versus towering over your pet.
6. Try Different Angles
Have some fun taking your pet’s photo: use creative angles. Some of the best shots, says Cowen, are taken off-center at a side angle, at eye or shoulder level. If your dog or cat is down on all fours playing with a toy, experiment by positioning your camera on the ground near your pet to get a unique perspective.
If you’re using a digital camera, set up your self-timer to take multiple shots every two seconds so you can capture your pet playing through a rapid succession of photos.
7. Use Natural Lighting
While it’s tempting to always use flash when photographing pets because it reduces that blurred-out effect, it also washes out some of our pets’ best features and creates the dreaded red-eye. Some pets may also become frightened by the flash.
Natural lighting will dramatically improve the overall outcome of your pet photos. Cowen suggests finding a room inside that has an abundant source of natural light and one that isn’t too confined on space so you aren’t limited with your angle of approach. If possible, head outdoors to the backyard or a patio.
8. Play With Shutter Speed
If your pet can’t sit still and you’re having difficulty taking photographs that aren’t blurry as a result, experiment with your camera’s shutter speed. Most pocket digital cameras allow you to shoot in manual mode or offer you a “theme” mode such as “pets and children,” “portrait,” “nighttime,” “outdoors,” “sports,” and “beach.”
The faster your shutter speed, the quicker your camera can respond to your pet’s speed of motion and prevent taking photos that are out of focus. Try using “pets and children” or the “sports” mode first.
If you’re using a film camera, there are different speeds of film which you can purchase that will maximize your camera’s potential during action shots.
9. Experiment With Editing Applications
Along with the digital camera revolution came the wide variety of editing applications you can use on your computer. Nowadays, many of these applications can be found online and are free. And, says Cowen, they’re incredibly easy to use, with simple instructions that’ll have you feeling like a pro in no time flat.
One of Cowen’s (free) favorite editing applications is picmonkey.com. All you have to do is upload your photos and within minutes you can get to work. Try your hand at some funky filters that give your photos an antique finish or turn your image into a sketch drawing. Use these online tools to adjust the lighting or color of your photos, or crop and sharpen images.
10. Don’t Delete Photos!
Cowen advises pet owners not to delete photos that look out of focus in your camera’s viewfinder. You may be surprised, she says, to discover once you’ve uploaded them into your editing application that these may be the best photos you took. With the availability of editing tools these days, you can also try sharpening slightly out of focus images for the perfect finishing touch.
Photo Shoot Tips from Cathy Frost.
Simone suggested that some of you may want to learn how to do the backdrops I do on some of Cleo's photos. So here goes...
1. Choose an image that you want to use from google images and save it to your computer or usb.
2. Connect your computer to your tv by using an HDMI cable and turn your computer on. Change the setting on your tv to HDMI. Go to the photo that you have saved and it will also show on your tv. I have a big tv!
3. Place a sturdy table directly in front of the television. I put a bath mat on the table so Cleo feels secure and doesn't slip.
4. I put an adjustable standing lamp behind me so I don't have to use a flash (prefer photos without a flash).
5. Put your furbaby on the table and you are ready to go. Cleo really loves cheese so this is what I use to keep her attention on me and enjoying herself.
6. Take your photo.
7. Cleo's photo shoots only last about 10 minutes as she starts to get bored and wants to lie down all the time smile emoticon
I hope this helps anyone who wants to try and do some quick and easy photo shoots with their furbabies.
All my love, Cathy xoxo
Why Do Dogs Get “Red-Eye” in Photos?
The tapetum lucidium is the tissue layer in the back of the eye (specifically, the choroid) that gives off the red eye appearance in photos. This is an iridescent tissue layer that reflects light and allows dogs to see better in less light, while also making the eyes look like they are shining in the dark. When you take photos of your dog, the flash from your camera reflects off this tapedum, resulting in a red-eye appearance. This effect is more prominent in certain breeds; for example, dogs with blue eyes often have a red tapetum, while dogs with brown eyes have a green tapetum. Thanks to red-eye reducing camera functions, you can reduce the severity of it; if not, there’s always Adobe Photoshop.
10 Signs That A Puppy Is From a Puppy Mill
(Kristina Lotz - I Love Dogs)
So you are looking for a puppy, maybe you’re a first time dog owner. You have heard about puppy mills and know they are bad. But what you don’t know is how to make sure you don’t accidentally buy from one. Here are 10 signs to help you determine if the puppy you are looking at is from a puppy mill or not.
#1 – Out-of-State
You really should just stay away from pet stores when buying a puppy. Be especially worried if those puppies are coming from out-of-state, particularly Midwest states (Missouri and Illinois are two of the biggest).
#2 – No Parents
If the breeder cannot let you meet the parents, you should walk away. Not meeting the parents is like buying a car without knowing the make. Don’t do it. For all you know, these people did not even breed the puppy, but are selling him secondhand for unknown reasons.
#3 – Let’s Meet
If you call a breeder and they say “let’s meet somewhere” when you ask to visit their kennel, it’s a puppy mill. Usually they will try to get you to meet in a store parking lot or a park. Unless there are extreme circumstances, there is no reason why should not see where your puppy was born.
#4 – Several Breeds
Reputable breeders focus on one breed, maybe two, MAX. If you find a site offering five different breeds (and their mixes!), it’s a puppy mill.
#5 – Multiple Litters
When you call the breeder and ask if they have puppies, do they respond with “I have one litter coming, but there is already a waiting list” or “oh yes, I have 3 litters on the ground and 2 more on the way”? If the breeder has 30 puppies, that is definitely a puppy mill.
#6 – Vaccinations
Puppy mills don’t like to spend money, it deters from profits. So the parents may not be vaccinated (you should ask!) and the puppies probably are not. Or, conversely, they have so many puppies they lost track and your pup got vaccinated twice.
#7 – Extreme Promises
Dr. Kathryn Primm DVM, owner and chief veterinarian of Applebrook Animal Hospital, says to be wary about the breeder promising a certain size, temperament, or characteristic that seems extreme. For example, a dog came into her clinic that was supposed to be a Pomeranian and Husky mix that the breeder had promised would never grow lover than 7 pounds. She was 42 pounds.
#8 – Cleanliness
This goes for the dog and the breeder’s home or kennel. Dr. Primm says puppies from puppy mills are more likely to smell like a kennel and have poor coat quality.
#9 – Contract
Your breeder should care enough about what happens to the puppy that she has a contract protecting both you and her. Reputable breeders have a spay/neuter agreement, breed papers, health contract, and a request that you return the dog to them if it doesn’t work out (rather than dumping him at the shelter).
#10 – Too Young
Another way they can cut their costs is by giving you the puppy early, because they do not have to feed them, give them shots, etc. Question any breeder wanting to give you the puppy before they are eight weeks old. This is the minimum age you should be taking a puppy from their mother and litter-mates.
Dogs Remember Events from the Past, Study Says
(Dr. Becker - Healthy Pets)
If you own a dog or have ever spent any time around one, you know that canine companions rely heavily on communication cues from their humans. Dogs learn by watching humans and are easily influenced by us when we are training them to do something.
However, experts in canine psychology have long believed dogs – unlike humans -- have little or no memory for events that happened in the past.
It appears they were wrong!
A new study conducted in Budapest, Hungary and published in the July issue ofAnimal Cognition1 suggests that dogs can mimic novel human actions simply by seeing them, but not actually practicing them. Dogs can learn, remember and replay actions taught by humans after a short delay.
8 Dogs Were Trained to 'Do As I Do'It is generally thought that animals have no sense of time and therefore have no episodic memory. Episodic memory coupled with semantic memory (the capacity to understand meanings and concepts) gives us the ability to remember facts and information, which represents declarative memory.
Researchers at Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary wanted to determine if canines were capable of these same types of memories. They asked the owners of 8 adult dogs to train them to “do as I do” (for example, ring a bell or walk around a bucket), and then make them wait for 5 to 30 seconds before they were permitted to try to copy the action they had just observed their owner perform.
For the study, the dogs watched their owners perform the tasks for 1.5 minutes. For some tasks the dogs were allowed to copy the task in two actions; for other tasks, they could only sit and watch. Then the dogs were walked behind a screen so they could no longer see the objects used in the tasks. The dogs remained behind the screen anywhere from 40 seconds to 10 minutes, during which time people played with them or they were allowed to do whatever they wanted.
The purpose of the break behind the screen was to determine if the dogs would remember how to perform the tasks without ever doing them.
Study Results Suggest Dogs Have the Ability to Consciously Recall MemoriesWhen the dogs were brought back, whether it was the owner or a stranger who commanded the dog to “do it,” they typically performed the task. In fact, the dogs could complete the two-action tasks after being behind the screen for up to 10 minutes. They were also able to perform the tasks they had only watched after spending a minute behind the screen.
The researchers concluded that:
"The ability to encode and recall an action after a delay implies that the dogs have a mental representation of the human demonstration. In addition, the ability to imitate a novel action after a delay without previous practice suggests the presence of a specific type of long-term memory in dogs.
"This would be so-called declarative memory, which refers to memories which can be consciously recalled, such as facts or knowledge.”
I’m not sure we needed a study to prove our canine family members have good memories, are you?
From my experience, rescues help the dog with behavioral conditions to be retrained; medical conditions to be healed; and housetrained to make the pet adoptable to a permanent home.
Jena Scammell Healy, from NC said in her experience
(not an expert), Rescues are organizations who take responsibility for the pets behavioral or medical issues. Allowing animals to go to rescues only often time transfers that responsibility from the AC to the rescue. Rescues can place in a foster home to give the pet time to decompress be assessed, get the medical attention they need and be given proper time to heal from whatever the procedure may be. There is very much a likelihood that a Rescue will allow a potential adopter (who has been screened and approved) to foster knowing they have an interest in adopting.
save on pet costs
5 Ways to Save on Pet Costs
(Brandy Arnold - Dogington Post)
The ASPCA estimates that the owner of a large breed dog can spend up to over $1800 a year on their pet, not including unexpected vet bills. With that in mind, we went searching forways to save on pet costs while still taking the best care possible of your dog.
US News & World Report compiled these 5 tips for saving on pet costs:
1. Choose the right pet for your lifestyle and budget.
In other words, choose a breed of dog that best fits your lifestyle. If you choose a dog that is highly energetic or active, make sure you have the time and space to devote to your pet, or you may be adding expenses such as dog walkers, day care, or even a doggie treadmill to keep him in shape.
Also, be careful to choose a dog who’s typical health issues you can handle over the years of his life. Bulldogs, for example, are prone to respiratory and skin conditions that you’ll need to be prepared to deal with.
If you’re in the market for a new dog, check out our breed selector first. We detail expected health issues and lifestyle concerns for each breed. Choosing wisely now could save you big money down the road.
2. Invest in preventative care.
Keep up to date on your dog’s vaccines and make regular veterinary office visits. Waiting until your dog is sick or making a middle-of-the-night trip to the emergency vet can cost thousands. By making regular veterinary visits, you’re more likely to catch an illness before it becomes an urgent issue.
Also, think of preventative care in terms of avoiding accidents. When traveling with your dog in the car, use restraints. Keep poisons safely out of reach of your dog. Consider taking a dog first-aid course to prepare yourself to deal with an accident at home. Here are some ideas for what to include in your pet’s first aid kit at home.
3. Consider the cost of pet insurance.
There is no clear consensus regarding whether or not pet insurance is a wise investment. While many dog owners have been thankful for having it in the long run, others may go the entire life of their dog without using it even once. If you do choose to purchase dog insurance, read your policy closely. Some policies won’t cover conditions that are common to your breed.
Another option could be to invest in a savings account each month and keep it available for a pet emergency rather than send a check to the insurance provider each month.
4. Feed your dog the right food.
Not only can you save money in the shorter term by purchasing dog food in bulk, but you can also save in health costs in the long run by feeding your dog a premium food now. Though you may spend a little more on a daily basis, your dog will be healthier and happier, saving you on vet bills later on.
Also, don’t overfeed your dog. Not only will this cost you more on food costs, your pet will suffer as he ages, as overweight dogs are much more prone to illness and joint health issues as they age. Consider using a measuring cup rather than estimating how much to feed each day.
5. Focus on attention over fancy toys.
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars each year on fancy collars and toys, play with your dog – that’s what he wants! Sure, chew toys and bones are good for their teeth, but for getting exercise and attention, a walk down the street, a good game of fetch with an old tennis ball in the backyard, or a no-cost-at-all belly rub will make your dog happier than the priciest of dog toys.
3 Easy Ways to Help Your Pet Cope While You’re Away
We all hate to leave our pets, but sometimes a trip away is necessary. Whether you decide to place your pet in a kennel or a pet sitter’s care, there are a number of things you can do to make your time away from them as easy as possible.
Keep the Routine
Be sure that whoever will be caring for your pet knows their routine, and will stick with it. Your pet should be fed, walked, and played with at the same times each day as he is accustomed to. Your being away will be enough of a change; keeping the rest of the routine the same will help to ease your pet’s stress. Be sure to always leave your pet with plenty of his regular food; don’t put him through the stress of a diet change while you’re not there.
Leave Familiar Objects
If you’re leaving your pet at a kennel, send him with a few of his favorite toys. You might even include his pet bed From home, if he has one. Be sure to leave him with a shirt or blanket that smells like you – familiar toys and scents act as a reassurance to your pet.
Don’t Make Leaving a Big Deal
When it’s time to leave your pet, don’t make it into a bigger deal than it needs to be. A quick hug and a pat goodbye should suffice – drawing out the goodbyes into a longer, more emotional departure will not only alert your pet to the fact that you are upset, it will also cause him unneeded stress. As much as you may want to give your pet a long goodbye, keep things short and simple for his well-being.
Your pet will certainly miss you, but by following these steps you can make your time away as easy on him as possible. If you suspect your pet might truly be distressed by your leaving, get him accustomed to the idea of being away from you by leaving him in someone else’s care for several shorter periods of time before your longer trip.
13 WAYS YOUR DOG SHOWS LOVE
(Paul Ciampanelli - PawNation)
Dogs have been our constant companions for thousands of years. The history of dogs is closely tied to our own history, and no other animal on Earth shares as close a relationship with humans as dogs do. Dogs and humans understand each other, and it’s because of the undying love they show us that we keep them by our sides. We call them “man’s best friend” for good reasons.
Here are 13 of them.
We often think of a dog’s wagging tail as a sign of happiness, but that’s only part of the truth. A dog's tail communicates many different emotions, including happiness, fear, tension or even an imminent attack. Generally, the looser and more relaxed your dog’s tail is, the more relaxed she is. When your dog is happy, she’ll wag her tail with her whole butt, and her tail will sweep bag and forth in a friendly way, or even in circles.
FOLLOWING YOU AROUND
When your dog seems to shadow you wherever you go, it’s just his social nature rearing its head. Humans are social beings too, but we have more of a tendency to balance our social lives with a certain amount of solitude for peace and quiet. It doesn’t really occur to your dog to seek out “alone time.” It doesn’t cross his mind to want to be apart from you. His devotion means that wherever you are, that’s where he wants to be.
LICKING YOUR FACE
Dogs lick people’s faces for a few different reasons, but in many cases it’s a sign of love and affection. Puppies typically lick faces even more than adult dogs. This behavior comes from wolf cubs, who lick their mothers’ faces to signal hunger so they will be fed. Dogs don’t feed their young the same way wolves do, but the licking istinct remains. A dog may also lick you in a submissive way, to let you know that it is not a threat. And of course, your licking dog may also simply be grooming you. Dogs groom each other as a gesture of intimacy when a solid bond is in place, so you can definitely take grooming as a sign of love from your dog.
Jumping is generally considered an unwanted behavior for pet dogs, and most dog owners go through the process of training it out of their dogs. That can be difficult though, partly because we recognize it as a sign of love. When we walk through the door, it can feel nice to have a dog jump up and greet us with excitement. It really is an instinctive display of affection from the dog. As a puppy, a dog learns to lick its mother’s face and eyes. That’s why your dog jumps on you. It wants to lick your face because it recognizes you as its “parent.”
A bit of roughhousing is your dog’s natural way of playing and showing affection. It’s not only healthy, but also a necessary part of your dog’s social development, and it plays a big role in a forming a bond between your dog and you. Of course, sometimes roughhousing can go too far, so teach your dog that roughhousing shouldn’t be too
rough: no barking, biting or swiping. Keep it safe!
Dogs are technically a subspecies of wolves. Wolves, of course, are extremely social creatures that live in family packs. Our dogs similarly are hard wired to be social. When the crucial role you play in your dog’s life quickly becomes apparent to him, you become his “pack leader.” You are the most important individual your dog has, and he
looks to you for guidance, approval, companionship and love, and will provide the same whenever possible.
If there’s one thing you can count on your dog for, it’s that you can count on your dog. Everyone knows that dogs are among the most loyal creatures on the planet. Loyalty also comes from wolves. Despite the common term “alpha male” implying that a male wolf rules over his pack, the fact is that wolves mate for life, and mating pairs share responsibility in running their packs of offspring. Living as part of a nuclear family unit is built into your dog’s instincts, which is what makes them so loyal and such terrific family pets.
SLEEPING NEXT TO YOU
In the wild, wolves in packs sleep curled up together. Dogs curl up with each other too. Since you are your dog’s best friend and family, it’s only natural that she expects to be able to hop up on the bed and sleep up against you (and anyone else who may be in the mix). Whether or not this behavior is acceptable is a point of contentious debate among owners and experts alike.
LOOKING AFTER YOU WHEN YOU’RE SICK
Because dogs are inherently social animals, they possess an instinct to care for their “pack,” just as wolves rely on the care of their families. In the wild, wolves will often lick each other’s wounds, and dogs retain this instinct. Yes, they may lick your actual wound, but their need to care for you can also extend to simply recognizing when you’re
Want To Show Your Dog How Much You Love Them?
(The Animal Rescue Site)
Sloppy kisses, cuddles on the couch, and tail wags…There are many different (and adorable) ways our furry friends show us their love. Do the same for them by showing how much you care about them in ways they will understand! Show your dog how much you love them this Valentine’s Day with these tips!
7. Take Them For A Walk.A daily walk is healthy and fun for any dog, and for you! They get to spend time with their favorite person, explore the neighborhood, and release some of their energy. It really is a win-win! Grab their leash, slip on your tennis shoes, and enjoy the outdoors with your furry friend.
6. Puppy Play Date!Whether it’s a trip to the dog park or inviting a friend over for an afternoon play session, setting up play dates is beneficial for your dog’s mental and physical health. Plus, it’s just fun! Grab your favorite pal and their dog and have a puppy play date!
5. Treat Them With A Tasty Surprise!No dog can resist a delicious treat! These Himalayan Dog Chew Yaky Yam Very Veggie dog treats are baked, gluten-free, and made of healthy, nourishing ingredients. Yum!
4. Cuddle Time!Nothing beats cuddling on the couch with your best friend! Your dog enjoys lazy nights on the couch almost as much as you do, as long as they get to cuddle with you! Pop in a movie, grab a blanket, and spend some quality time with your furry best friend. You won’t regret it!
3. Take A Trip To The Dog Park.Look up the local dog parks in your area and pick the one that works best for you and your dog. Visiting a dog park allows your dog to make friends, explore new smells, and exercise. Dog parks are a great way to give your dog the socialization and play time that they need!
2. Surprise Them With A New Toy!No dog can resist a brand new toy! I try to avoid stuffed toys in my house because they tend to last about two seconds before being shredded all over the floor. Such a mess! I’ve recently discovered puzzle toys, and I’m in love! You will love watching them try to figure this puzzle toy out, and you can also feel good knowing that they are being mentally stimulated while having fun.
There are lots of toys to choose from, but this awesome puzzle is one of my favorites:
1. Pet Them!Probably one of the most obvious, but also overlooked, ways to show your dog how much you care is to simply pet them. Talking on the phone? Pet them with your other hand. Watching TV? Give them a good scratching while enjoying your favorite show. Better yet, devote your full attention to them and spoil them with endless amounts of petting! They deserve it!
Tips: Before You Bathe Your "Skunked" Dog
1. Before handling your dog, you may want to put on some old clothes. Skunk spray is actually an oil and is very difficult to remove from clothing. Do not let your dog lay in his dog bed or the skunk oils will get on the bed.
2. If possible, leave the dog outside to prevent the odor-ridden oils from getting into your house.
3. Determine where the spray hit the dog. Depending on your dog's hair type, you may be able to trim away or comb out some of the affected hair.
4. You can use paper towels to soak up the oils from the coat before you begin washing. If you use a real towel you will most likely have to toss it as the oils may not come out 100% and your towel may smell for a long time. Be careful not to spread the oils from one part of the dog to another. Only wipe where the oils are already to avoid making the problem worse.
5. When you're ready to wash the dog, only clean the sprayed area. Skunk spray is oily and can easily be spread all over the dog. You will most likely have to give the dog more than one bath, so save an all-over bath until the second or third washing.
How do I get the odor out?
It may be particularly hard to get the odor out of those dogs with thick double coats. If quick action is not taken it is possible to smell the odor on your dog for up to two years, especially when the dog gets wet.
It is best to bathe your dog with a shampoo before the skunk's sulfuric spray dries on the fur. After bathing you can try some of the following methods.
Store bought De-Skunking Products
There are several products you can buy at the store to de-skunk your dog, which I think work best, but one does not always have them on-hand when their dog gets sprayed.
Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover
Earth Friendly Skunk Odor Remover
Tomato Juice or Mouthwash
A couple old methods used include saturating the dog's coat in tomato juice or mouthwash and then bathing the dog thoroughly with a canine shampoo. However the effectiveness of these methods are questionable and it is said that the tomato juice will leave your dog’s coat all red.
Another Somewhat Effective Method
Paul Krebaum, a chemist, invented a new more effective formula for de-skunking a dog. Mix in an open bucket or bowl:
1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide
¼ cup baking soda
1 teaspoon of strong liquid soap such as dishwashing detergent.
Mix the ingredients in an open bucket or bowl. The mixture will fizz. Wet your dog and thoroughly massage the solution into the coat. Be sure to keep the mixture out of the dog’s eyes, nose and mouth. If it is necessary to apply it to the dog’s face, very carefully use a washcloth or a sponge. After applying the mixture to all parts of your dog that may have been sprayed, rinse the dog thoroughly.
This mixture can be explosive, as it will fizz and creates pressure if it is enclosed in a sealed tight container. Never store unused portion; always discard. Be sure to only mix in an open container and do not try to store or cover it in any way. Do not get the mixture into the dog's eyes, nose or mouth.
FAR Better than Tomato Juice as a Skunk Rinse...
(Dr Becker - Healthy Pets)
Today I want to give you my skunk rinse recipe, and here's hoping you never have to use it!
If, heaven forbid, your dog or cat is ever sprayed by a skunk, you should have this recipe on hand. The sooner you apply the solution to your pet's fur, the sooner he'll get relief and smell better.
Skunk Rinse Recipe
Tomato juice isn't nearly as effective as this recipe, and it's easy to follow.
In a pail mix:
Wear dishwashing or other household gloves if you like during the whole de-skunking process.
Don't wet down your pet. Apply the mixture to your pet's dry coat from the collar back toward the tail. Don't pour it near the eyes because the hydrogen peroxide solution can burn them.
Lather the mixture into your pet's coat and skin. Rub the solution around for about five minutes or until the skunk smell starts to dissipate.
If the front of your pet is as stinky as the back, use a sponge to apply the solution to your pet's chin, cheeks, forehead and ears, being very careful not to go near the eyes. When you rinse the head area, tilt your pet's chin upward so the solution does not run down into the eyes, instead allow the water to run back off his neck.
Do a complete rinse once the smell starts to decrease, then repeat the entire process again.
You may need to repeat the lather and rinse process up to three times, but it's a very effective method for removing the skunk smell from your pet.
Make sure to completely rinse the solution off your pet. Your final rinse should be very thorough.
You can't prepare this solution ahead of time and store it – it won't be effective when you need it. It must be made fresh, right before you apply it to your pet. So it pays to make sure you have all the ingredients ahead of time!
Good luck … and I hope you never have to use my skunk rinse recipe!
Once in a while you may find that you, or your pet, came too close to a skunk and got sprayed. Using tomato juice might be effective but it's messy and hard to clean. Instead, pour Coke all over yourself or your pet while in the shower, make sure to use a lot, so all areas are covered. Wait for a few minutes and then rinse off. You will smell fresh and clean once you're done, and so will your pet.
- See more at: http://www.chacha.com/gallery/2783/what-are-10-things-you-can-do-with-coca-cola/24136#sthash.o8fF6SJm.dpuf
Yikes! My Dog’s Been Sprayed By A Skunk!
(Brandy Arnold - Dogington Post)
Like dogs, skunks spend a bit more time out and about when the weather is warm. Skunks like to hang out under houses, in bushes, near haystacks – all the places that curious dogs like to check out.
When a skunk is startled, it normally makes an odd purring sound, sometimes growling. Before it emits mercaptan, that stinky sulphuric spray, in self-defense, it will first warn the target. The four-legged, striped little creature will raise its tail, stand on its hind legs, and stomp its front feet. If this behavior isn’t enough to scare off your dog, he’s probably going to get sprayed.
The mercaptan it usually sprays not only carries a terrible, unforgettable odor but, if it hits the target’s eyes, it can cause blindness for a couple of days. If this happens, get your dog to the vet right away to make sure he makes a full recovery.
If it’s just the smell you’re dealing with, keep reading. The smell is very difficult to remove from dog’s fur. If you do not act immediately, your pooch may smell for quite some time.
What to Do before Bathing your Smelly Pooch
Before you handle your “skunked” dog, you’ll want to put on some old clothes. Because skunk spray is actually oil, it is very difficult to get rid of from your clothing. If possible, leave your pet outside to keep the stinky oils from getting inside your house. Also, determining where the spray struck your pooch would be helpful as you may comb out or trim away some of the affected fur depending on your pet’s hair type.
Before you start washing your pooch, use paper towels to soak up the odor-ridden oils from his coat. Avoid spreading the oils from one part of your pet’s coat to another. It is important that you wipe only where the oils are already so you can prevent the problem from getting worse.
How to Get Rid of the Odor
For dogs with thick double coats, it may be especially hard to get the odor out. If immediate action is not taken, it is likely that the stench will remain for up to a couple of years, particularly when the pooch gets wet. It is recommended that you start bathing your dog with a shampoo before the sulphuric spray of the skunk dries on your pet’s fur.
After washing your dog, quickly get to the nearest pet supply store for a skunk odor eliminator. Home remedies like bathing your dog in tomato juice are not only ineffective, but can also stain your dog’s coat. (We’ve heard great reviews of Nature’s Miracle Skunk Odor Remover)
sleeping belly up
Why Do Some Dogs Sleep Belly Up?
(VETDEPOT on FEBRUARY 20, 2014)
Most of the time, dogs choose to snooze with their bellies facing down. This is done for two reasons: comfort and security. For centuries, dogs in the wild have curled up into a little ball while sleeping to keep warm on a cold night and to protect their vital organs from potential predators. Most domesticated canines tend to follow this rule and catch their z’s resting comfortably on their tummies. However, there’s always an exception to the rule.
A small percentage of dogs, around 5 to 10 percent, sleep with their bellies exposed to the air. Many factors can contribute to this behavior. Dogs that have a relaxed personality may be more likely to sleep on their backs. These are the dogs that are most temperamentally different from their wild ancestors. In other cases, dogs that are well-socialized, confident, and feel extremely safe in their own home might assume the belly-up sleeping position. Dogs with a shy personality aren’t likely to be comfortable with feeling so exposed.
Lastly, a dog’s sleeping position is sometimes simply a matter of preference. Some dogs just find it more comfy to roll over on their back during nap time.
sleeping with you
Do You Let Your Pet Sleep in Bed With You? We Polled Readers and Veterinary Professionals
(KRISTEN SEYMOUR - Vetstreet)
It's a topic so divisive that it has been known to be a significant factor in choosing a spouse: Do you let yourpet sleep in your bed with you?
In some households, it's the norm. All pets are allowed everywhere, all the time. In others, it's no pets on any furniture, ever. But in many, the answer lies somewhere in between: Perhaps the cat or small dog is given a spot to snuggle, but the Great Dane has to remain on the floor.
Many factors come into play, of course. Some pet owners suffer from allergies and sleeping with a face full of fur only exacerbates them, or maybe they can't deal with the dirt a dog would track onto the duvet. But plenty of pet owners — and veterinary professionals — can't imagine drifting off to sleep without their kitty or Cocker Spaniel cuddled up nearby.
We polled Vetstreet readers and veterinary professionals[i] (such as veterinarians, veterinary technicians and office managers), and as it turns out, a lot of you do like to catch some shuteye with your furry friends.
Yes or No?A whopping 83 percent of the readers and 75 percent of the veterinary professionals we polled said they allow a pet to share the bed. But while pet owners were more likely to let their dog sleep in their bed than were veterinary professionals, veterinary professionals were more likely to let their cat sleep in their bed than were readers.
And veterinary professionals also scored big when it came to allowing both dogs and cats in the bed — they were 52 percent more likely to allow the whole zoo up there than our readers!
A Help or a Hindrance?If you don't snuggle up with your pup or kitty, you might find it hard to imagine that an animal in your bed would not disrupt your sleep, but in fact, there are some who believe their pets actually help their sleep. Thirteen percent of veterinary professionals and 33 percent of readers who allow their pets in bed said they believe their pets help them sleep, although 28 percent of veterinary professionals and 14 percent of readers indicated their pets hinder their sleep. Slightly more than 50 percent of veterinary professionals and 45 percent of readers said they saw no difference. The remainder answered "Other," with some stating that the purring or soft snoring soothes them but that the cramped quarters (not to mention the squirrel-chasing dreams) sometimes pose a problem.
[i]Results based on a survey completed in March 2014. Number of pet owner respondents: 2,369; number of veterinary professional respondents: 255.
HOW TO Stop Your Dog From Snoring
(Laura Goldman - Find A Vet US)
Does your dog snore loud enough each night to wake you (not to mention the entire house)?
While it’s normal for all dogs to saw logs every once in a while, if your dog regularly sounds like a cross between a Harley and a chainsaw when he’s snoozing, here’s how to make nights more restful for him – and your household.
Why Does My Dog Snore So Loud?
If your dog is a short-nosed (also called “brachycephalic”) breed, such as a Bulldog, Pug or Boxer, he’s probably not a very silent sleeper. These dogs typically have narrow nostrils and windpipes, which can exacerbate the snoring, according to Mar Vista Animal Medical Center.
Because these breeds have pushed-in faces, it’s difficult for all of their soft palate tissue to fit in their smushed mouths and throats. This means the tissue that doesn’t fit ends up loosely flapping in their throats, making them snore and snort. Yet another factor is the flattened windpipes common to these breeds, reports Vetinfo.com, which make it difficult for them to breathe.
If your dog doesn’t happen to be one of these breeds, his excessive snoring could be caused by any of the following reasons, according to Mar Vista and Vetinfo.com:
Obesity – Just like their short-snouted brethren, overweight dogs may also have excess soft palate tissue in their throats, which flaps in their throats and may block their air passages.
Allergies – Pollen from trees and weeds, along with cigarette smoke and dust, can cause nasal allergies. The build-up of mucous blocks your dog’s nostrils, which leads to snoring.
Smoke – If you smoke, here’s yet another good reason to quit: Tobacco smoke is a major irritant to dogs, so as long as you puff, Fido will snore.
Common cold – If your dog has a cold, the congestion may be causing him to snore.
If your dog has suddenly begun to snore, take him to the vet for an exam. Although it is rare, a tumor or cyst may be causing the snoring, reports Vetinfo.com.
How Can I Make My Dog Stop Snoring?
If your dog has a short snout, your vet may recommend soft palate surgery to help him breathe easier. This is especially important if your dog suffers from sleep apnea (pauses in his breathing, which can be caused by a blockage of his airway).
“To properly care for a Bulldog, soft palate resection is perhaps the most necessary procedure, dramatically improving their comfort level,” writes Dr. Patty Khuly on the Fully Vetted blog. “… To be sure, the surgery’s not cheap, but our planet’s supply of ‘free’ oxygen is priceless to your dog.”
Besides surgery or investing in quality earplugs, here are some other ways you can help reduce any dog’s snoring.
If you think your dog is suffering from allergies, be sure to clean his bedding every day. You should vacuum rugs, carpets and draperies regularly, and dust your home often. Vetinfo.com recommends that you walk your dog in the morning, “when the pollen levels are low and there isn’t too much traffic.” To make your dog more comfortable, your vet may prescribe an antihistamine for his allergysymptoms, or anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the swelling of his nasal passages.
Help your plump pooch lose weight by walking and exercising him every day.
Change your dog’s sleeping position to see if it eliminates his snoring. You can try elevating his head with a pillow, Vetinfo.com suggests.
A round bed in which your dog can curl up snugly may help, since your dog is less likely to roll over onto his back. “As with humans, many snoring dogs sleep on their backs with their paws up in the air,” writes Susan M. Callahan on snoringtreatmentinfo.com. Callahan also suggests the “tennis ball trick:” Glue a tennis ball to the middle of a sash, then loosely tie the sash around your dog’s midsection, with the tennis ball on top of his back. “If during the night they try to roll over on their back, the tennis ball will nudge them awake,” Callahan notes.
If you smoke, don’t do it near your dog or around his sleeping area.
Use a humidifier to moisten the air in the room where your dog sleeps.
If none of these ideas work and you’re still not getting a good night’s sleep, Vetinfo.com suggests having your dog sleep in a different room (the results of a recent study indicate that sleeping apart from your dog may be better for your health in other ways, too).
Easy Spring Cleaning Tips for Pet Gear
(Kim Campbell Thornton - Vetstreet)
After a long winter, the early days of spring can be a good motivator to start cleaning up, airing out and getting ready for warmer, sunnier days.
I started my own spring-cleaning recently, and it got me thinking about pet-related housekeeping tasks that we probably do less often than we should. Take crates: When is the last time you cleaned yours — other than that time your dog vomited in it? What about your pet's other belongings? Do they need to be cleaned or replaced?
Clean gear helps protect your pet's health and safety, and a thorough spring-cleaning is an easy way to establish good habits for keeping your pet's possessions pristine all year long. In the spirit of spring refreshment, here’s a list of maintenance tasks to keep pet paraphernalia clean and in good working order. Some of these tasks need to be done seasonally, while others should be part of your weekly routine.
Carrier or Crate: A clean pet carrier is more pleasant for your dog or cat, but that's not the only — or even the best — reason to give it a good once-over. A clean crate is less likely to harbor parasites or contribute to pet odors in your car. It’s a good idea to clean it frequently, especially if your pet often rides in it.
The padded portion of the crate or carrier can be cleaned in the washing machine on the hottest cycle possible (check the washing instructions first). This is also a good time to wash soft (drool-covered) chew toys. Vacuum the interior of the crate or carrier to suck up crumbs, hair, flea eggs and the like. If you don’t have a good way to vacuum it at home, take it with you the next time you have your car washed and have it done there.
Wash hard-sided or metal crates using warm water and a mild, unscented dish detergent. Rinse thoroughly, making sure you don’t leave behind any residue that could irritate your pet’s skin. If the carrier needs a higher level of sanitation because your pet had an accident in it, use a mixture of one-half cup bleach and one gallon of water to kill bacteria. Let the bleach solution sit on the surface of the crate for at least five minutes before rinsing thoroughly with clean water. Let it air-dry completely in the sun.
To clean a soft carrier, dip it in warm, soapy water in the bathtub or wipe down the interior using a clean sponge and warm, soapy water. Remember to use a mild, unscented soap that won’t irritate your pet’s skin or annoy his sensitive nose. Rinse the carrier thoroughly in clean water and let it dry in the sun.
Collars and Leashes: Whether your pet’s collar and leash are made of nylon, leather or some other material, there’s a good chance they need to be cleaned. Collars get stained with skin oil and dirt, and they may retain odors. Leashes are often dragged on the ground or accidentally peed on. Keeping them clean not only looks more attractive, it also helps keep your pet’s skin and fur healthy.
To clean nylon collars and leashes, remove ID tags and hand wash the collar and leash in warm water with mild, unscented dish soap or a gentle-cycle laundry detergent (best for delicate collars with embroidery or other adornments). Scrub stained areas with an old toothbrush. You may be stunned at how dirty the water gets. You can also put nylon collars into the washing machine with the dog beds; make sure collars dry thoroughly in the sun before putting them back on your pet.
Scrub leather collars and leads in hot water with saddle soap or oil soap. Wipe them with a clean, dry cloth and let the collar or leash dry flat. Then, rub them with baseball glove oil, neat's-foot oil or leather shoe oil. Conditioners like these keep leather supple and shiny. Buff them dry with a clean cloth.
Replace collars or leashes if you notice any fraying or weakness in material or hardware. You don’t want to run the risk that they could break under stress. When you put the collar back on, make sure it fits well. It shouldn’t be too tight or too loose. You should be able to comfortably fit two fingers between your pet's neck and collar.
Weekly Cleaning Litterbox: Experts recommend cleaning your cat's litterbox biweekly. Dump out the litter, and clean the container thoroughly with hot water and a mild, unscented dish soap. Let it dry in the sun, then add fresh litter.
To make this process easier — and to make sure your cat doesn't have to do without a litterbox for any length of time — it's a good idea to have an additional box, so you can just swap them every two weeks.
Beds and toys: Wash beds and soft toys weekly (or as directed on the label) in the washing machine with hot water on a bulky setting. Use a mild, unscented detergent to reduce the risk of allergic reactions and smell-sensitivity.
Depending on their construction, these items can then go into the dryer, or they can air-dry outdoors. Avoid using the dryer if the item has any plastic or rubber components. If beds can’t go in the washing machine, give them a going-over every time you vacuum the floor.
Brushes and combs: Clean these weekly by removing hair with your fingers or a comb, then washing in warm, soapy water (use a mild soap or shampoo). Let them dry thoroughly, with bristles sideways or down, in the sun. This is especially important if the item has any wood parts. You can also use Barbicide (available at beauty supply stores) or a cleanser made for makeup brushes. Clean pet toothbrushes after each use in hot, soapy water and rinse thoroughly.
Food and water bowls: Clean these items after every use. Wash them separately from human dishes in hot, soapy water in the sink or run them through the dishwasher using high-heat and sanitize settings.
Replace chipped ceramic bowls. The broken areas can harbor bacteria. The same is true for battered plastic dishes. Areas where the plastic has been cut with a knife or other sharp object make a nice living space for bacteria, which can contribute to pet acne or other infections.
As a final touch, give your pet a bath so he’ll be spring-clean, too.
SPRING CLEANING - PAWS
How to Create a Pit Stop for Your Dog’s Paws
HOW TO TRIM YOUR DOG’S NAILS WITHOUT HURTING HIM
Spring is in the air and mud is on the ground. What better time to set up a paw-cleaning station?
A shallow pan of water just outside the door can loosen and dissolve some mud. Add to that a strategically placed towel, a canister of baby wipes, and a small wastebasket just inside the door and you'll be ready to tackle those muddy paws before they ruin your carpet and furniture.
If this little cleaning station doesn't fit in with your decor, keep cleaning supplies stashed inside a cabinet, basket, or portable container you can grab on your way to the door to let the dog back inside. Teach your dog to wait just inside the door while you lift his paws up, one at a time, and wipe them off. (It might help to have someone else hold his collar until he learns.) You'll save yourself a lot of trouble and time spent spot-cleaning and vacuuming the hous
A good trim of the nails and paw hair can also reduce the amount of mud your dog tracks inside. Long nails scoop up mud like little shovels, and hair between paw pads can act like a sponge. If you've been lax over the winter with nail trimming, now is the time to break out the trimmers or grinders and shorten those nails to a neat and sensible length. With a blunt-tipped scissors, trim hair from between paw pads and around paws. Neat paws are easier to clean, too.
HOW TO Relieve Stress in Dogs
(Linda Chavez - Find a Vet.US)
Stress in dogs comes in all sizes. It can be caused by a large-scale event like a hurricane, flood or other natural disaster. It can also be prevalent in everyday situations, such as a toddler energetically tugging at your pup’s tail, or a menacing neighbor provoking your poor dog with a rake.
No matter the degree of stress, there are ways to alleviate your dog’s woes.
“Any type of change in routine can cause stress [in dogs],” said veterinarian Dr. Michele Hoag of Plaza Del Amo Animal Hospital in Torrance, Calif. “Some animals are very sensitive, cats in particular. Dogs are more resilient, but still susceptible to stress. In situations like a natural disaster you can probably assume that they’re going to be stressed out. They can feed off of our stress as well. If we’re stressed out, they can feel it.”
Dr. Hoag explained that a dog’s natural instinct tells him to run away from a natural disaster like a fire. But although his instincts tell him to run, he has nowhere to go since he’s most likely confined to a house or a yard. While it makes sense to humans to safely secure our dogs in our homes, our pups might still desperately try to satisfy their urge to run away like wolves, and feel trapped by the inability to do so. This frustrating circumstance can be very stressful for dogs.
What Are the Symptoms of Stress in Dogs?There are a number of signals that a pet parent can note to determine whether their dog is in distress. Some signs are subtle, and to the untrained eye may be misinterpreted as “normal” or “cute” pup behavior. In other circumstances, stress signs that seem like “weird” behavior might be easily dismissed.
These are some of the symptoms of stress in dogs, according to Dr. Hoag:
How Can I Relieve My Dog’s Stress?
Will a rose-scented bath and the calming sounds of Enya help your dog relax? Not quite, but close!
To begin with, if you feel that your pup’s stress might be the result of a medical condition, your first move should be to get him to the vet right away.
If the stress isn’t caused by a health issue or a sudden change in your dog’s routine, then taking any of the following actions might do the trick.
“If it’s a chronic anxiety condition, there are some pharmaceutical-grade medications that can treat dogs for anxiety,” Dr. Hoag said. She noted that this type of treatment is reserved for cases of long-term anxiety that have led to unmanageable behavior.
Keep an eye on the small signals, remember a little tender loving care goes a long way, and always provide your dog with adequate exercise, socialization and mental stimulation.
Find A Vet HOW TO articles are intended for informational purposes only. You should always consult with your veterinarian about any health issues affecting your dog.
Do Any Dogs Really Need Sweaters or Coats?
(DR. MARTY BECKER -Vetstreet)
Q. How do I know if my dog needs a sweater or coat this winter?
A. I feel safe in saying that if you have a healthy, young Siberian Husky or Alaskan Malamute who’s acclimated to the cold and has the glorious coat common in the Northern breeds, you likely won’t have to invest in canine clothing for walks in the snow. In general, there are three kinds of dogs who benefit from the insulation provided by a sweater or coat, as well as the protection afforded by life as a pampered house pet:
At our house, our two little Heinz 57s, Quixote and Quora, get jackets when they go out in the snow, as do our two thin-coated grand Pugs, Bruce and Willy. Our big dogs, Gracie (Labrador Retriever-Pit Bull mix) and Shakira (Golden Retriever), do just fine without sweaters or coats. In fact, they love the snow.
If you have a dog with arthritis, protective clothing is just one thing you can do to make winters more comfortable. Pet-safe heated orthopedic beds are a great idea; you can also talk to your veterinarian about nutraceuticals, such as glucosamine and omega-3 oils that are clinically proven to ease joint pain. Other dogs may benefit additionally from the use of pain-control medication, typically nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Even if your dog doesn’t need a coat, having one certainly won’t hurt him. I know many people who put slickers on their pets before taking a walk in the rain or snow because it saves them the trouble of cleaning a wet dog at the door before coming inside, for example. Boots help keep things neater, too, and where de-icing solutions are used, they can protect your pet from licking toxic chemicals off his paws.
thankful for pets
7 Reasons to be Thankful for Pets
Reasons to Celebrate our Furry Friends
Anyone who has ever owned an animal knows how much love and joy they bring to our lives. From greeting us at the door when we get home to keeping us warm at night, we have plenty of reasons to be thankful for their very presence. Here are a few of those reasons:
1. Pets Love Us Unconditionally
Animals do not discriminate against age, race, sex, weight or physical ability; they accept us for who we are. It does not matter if our makeup is not done, if we missed our sales goal at the office this week, or if we did not make the three-pointer on the basketball court—as long as we are there to give our pets the affection they need and deserve at the end of the day, there is no limit to the amount of love and affection they will return.
2. They Make Us Laugh
Melissa Warren, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, says she is grateful for her dog Oscar’s ability to make her laugh. “He sometimes runs around in circles like a maniac for no apparent reason,” she says.
Many pet owners have similar entertaining stories of dogs that run laps around furniture with new-found bursts of energy, cats that chase the ever-elusive shadow mouse or leap up walls just for the sake of jumping.
3. They Make Great Companions
Any pet owner will tell you animals truly are man’s best friend. Erin Douglas, an art director in Irvine, Calif., owns two West Highland terriers, PigPen and Lily, and says her dogs sense when she is sick or upset. “When I cry, my dogs know I’m sad and will actually lick my tears and sit with me until they know I’m better,” she says. “If I’m sick, they always curl up next to me and keep me warm all day.”
Jeff Thompson, of Marshalltown, Iowa, has owned pets all his life, and says just seeing his dog at the end of the day makes him happy. “The adoring look I receive when I get home from work reminds me that I'm loved when it is so easy to forget.”
According to a report of the American Heart Attack Survey, within a year of surviving a coronary event, there was more of a chance for long-term survival in pet owners versus non-pet owners.
4. Pets Help Teach Us Responsibility
Pets, like humans, have basic needs of food, water and shelter. They need to be cleaned up after and they are demanding of attention.
Children often benefit from taking on the responsibility of caring for and training a pet. Pets help teach children the importance of treating a pet humanely and becoming responsible for their overall well-being, such as identifying their pets with collars, identification tags, and the importance of annual veterinarian check-ups.
5. Pets Have Positive Therapeutic Effects
Studies show that animal-assisted therapies such as visitation programs for nursing home residents can help decrease anxiety and help overcome loneliness and depression.
Christina Miller, a former convalescent home activities director in Southport, N.C., says she witnessed the positive impact animals had on elderly patients when a local animal shelter made weekly visits to her facility. “Residents who normally weren’t active were suddenly getting up, petting and talking to the cats and dogs, smiling and interacting,” she says. “Patients would ask me, ‘Are the dogs here? Did they come yet?’ Half the patients had better reactions to the dogs and cats than they did to people.”
6. Pets Help Us Exercise
Whether going for a walk or jog, or throwing a ball or Frisbee to Fido, people who have pets often have better health since pets can increase opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities. Walking is one of the best health activities you can do, and because it is good for overall health, owning a pet can be credited with helping to improve our well-being. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control lists decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels as additional health benefits of owning pets.
Walking and being outside with pets also increases the likelihood of socializing with others, since pets act as great ice-breakers and make us more approachable.
7. Pets Are Good For Our Hearts
There is evidence to suggest pets contribute to overall cardiovascular health. According to a report of the American Heart Attack Survey, within a year of surviving a coronary event (heart attack, stroke, etc.), there was more of a chance for long-term survival in pet owners versus non-pet owners.
The National Institutes of Health also suggests that owning a pet promotes greater psychosocial stability to pet owners, helping to protect people from heart disease similar to other tried-and-true therapies such as stress-management, relaxation and meditation.
Of course, there are many more reasons to be thankful for our furry friends. What are yours?
5 Ways Thieves Could Steal Your Dog
Top Five High Risk Pet Theft Scenarios
#1 Dogs in Autos:
In the blink of an eye, a partially opened window is forced down or the window is smashed and the dog can be removed from the vehicle. It takes 20 seconds or less to abduct a dog and by the time the pet guardian returns to the car, their dog is long gone. The American Kennel Club reports a 70% rise in dog theft in 2012 and a 40% rise the year before. A weak economy is fueling financially motivated dog-napping and a dog in a car is quite simply a sitting duck.
Leaving your dog in the car is a bad idea for so many reasons.
#2 Highly Prized Breeds or Dogs With Special Abilities:
A purebred dog or a dog with special skills is a bit like a gold watch. Thieves see dollar signs and that’s more than enough temptation. Any dog left unattended under any circumstances can be taken, but there is far greater motivation for criminals to walk off with a dog who can bring in a large sum of cash.
#3 Pets Left in Fenced Backyards:
Everyone loves the convenience of a doggy door, especially criminals. Homeowners who let their pet explore the fenced yard without supervision have the illusion of safety, but police departments across the country will tell you that the theft of these dogs is climbing.
In broad daylight on a single Saturday in November, Corning (California) Animal Shelter Manager Debbie Eaglebarger documented the theft of four Dobermans, four Australian shepherds and two Rottweilers. There were actually other dogs taken that same day but the first few calls were not recorded as the shelter had not yet realized that the town was in the midst of a widespread crime wave. One neighbor saw a man and a woman driving a green pick up truck lure one of the dogs out of a backyard and into their vehicle. All dogs taken that day were purebred, but that is not always the case.
#4 Pets Left Tied in Front of Businesses:
This one may sound like a no-brainer, but particularly in urban areas where people take their pets on their errands on foot, it’s not uncommon to find dogs tied up in front of a bank or grocery store. Typically, these are dogs with a gentle demeanor making them highly susceptible to the commands of a would-be thief.
“Leaving your dog tied up in front of a store is about as ludicrous as leaving your child out front and saying, ‘Wait right there, I’ll be back in 10 minutes,” explains Howard Simpson of Integrated Security and Communications in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts. “Do yourself a favor and realize that there are security risks in even the safest of neighborhoods. Being naive makes you a target.”
#5 Strangers in the Neighborhood:
Any strangers on the property can be a risk to your pets. Whether they are invited contractors, deliverymen or activists with a petition in hand, visitors could easily grab a pet during a moment when the homeowner is distracted. In some cases, they are making a mental note of homes with valuable breeds or easy-to-subvert home security that will facilitate a quick dog-napping at a later time. It bears mentioning that it’s not uncommon for cats to jump into the back of truck beds for a snooze and to be unwittingly carried off at the end of the day.
Which Breeds Are Most Likely to Be Stolen?
According to the American Kennel Club, the most-stolen dog of 2011 was the Yorkshire Terrier, followed by the Pomeranian, Maltese and Boston Terrier. Small breeds are targeted by thieves because of their size but also because of their value on the market as a single dog can fetch well over $1,000. Among the large breeds, Labrador Retrievers are a frequent target and Pit Bull Terriers and Pit Bull mixes are frequently coming up stolen for perhaps a much more sinister purpose.
Dog Thieves: Why They’ll Steal Your Pet
1. Bait Dogs & Labratory Dogs: This is every dog guardian’s worst nightmare. Indeed people involved in dog fighting will gather “bait” dogs to be used as training tools for fighting dogs. It happens in both urban and rural areas and there has been no measurable decline in dog fighting in recent years despite attempts to police against it. And, despite some legislation intended to stop the sale of undocumented dogs to research laboratories, under-the-table purchase of dogs continues and, in some countries, these exchanges are not considered a crime.
2. Financially Motivated Theft: “For the first time ever we’ve seen a trend now where shelters are being broken into and purebred and mixed breed dogs are being stolen,” said Lisa Peterson, spokesperson for the American Kennel Club. In fact, any pure bred dog, particularly puppies, are considered a high-value commodity. Even with a microchip, it’s often too late by the time a pet buyer discovers that they have purchased a stolen dog. By then, the thief is long gone.
3. Emotionally Driven Theft: What’s often overlooked are the emotionally motivated crimes that rob dogs of their families. This can happen because the perpetrator feels that a dog is not being properly cared for. Some animal lovers will feel justified in stealing a dog that is tied in front of a store or who gets on the loose one day. Other times it’s an act of revenge, and there are many reports of dogs being taken where a former romantic partner is considered the prime suspect.
One very risky move...
Whatever the scenario or the motivation, dog guardians can best protect their dogs with watchfullness. Never leave a dog unattended. Secure your home, including all doors and windows, to the best of your ability and budget. And be wary of strangers in your neighborhood at all times.
New scam: Thieves steal pets so they can sell them online!
(Animal Cruelty Exposed)
Criminals are preying on pets to make quick cash in an activity called "pet flipping". Dogs are the most often flipped pets, with pure breeds popular due to high cash value. Pet flipping involves a criminal picking up a pet, either by stealing the animal or claiming to be the pet parent of a missing pet, and then quickly selling the animal for a profit. Is your blood boiling yet? It gets worse!
According to Time, pet flipping is on the rise in cities including Kansas City, St. Louis and Indianapolis. The stolen dogs are often purebred and very valuable. In March, an Indianapolis man was arrested after a three-month investigation found he had been stealing dogs for years, mostly purebred German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Pit Bulls.
“Many of these pets are housed in puppy mill-like conditions until they can be flipped—no food or water, caged and sick,” Dawn Contos, of Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, said in an interview following the arrest.
Because of the possibility of theft, pet owners are urged not to leave dogs or other pets unattended in the yard. Also an implanted microchip, done at your veterinarian’s office, is the best way to confirm the identity and owner of a pet.
If you have lost your pet or it has been stolen, you are encouraged to scour the local pet ads. If you do find your pet for sale by someone else, don’t hesitate to get the police involved.
Many pet flippers place pet ads on Craigslist or other local online sites. The pet flipper will usually have a convincing story for why the pet needs a new home, such as moving to a no-pet apartment or overseas, or a family member who has developed severe allergies.
Some Bichons and thus some Shichons fit the definition of therapy dogs.....
More About Therapy Dogs
Therapy dogs are personal pets which meet certain requirements of good manners and good health, and pass testing and evaluations:
Therapy dogs must –
Therapy dogs are not considered assistance dogs and do not have the legal access rights that assistance dogs have. A TDInc. member who misrepresents his/her registered therapy dog as an assistance dog violates the TDInc. Rules and Regulations and places his/her membership and the integrity of the organization at risk.
Pets May Benefit Children with Austim
(Deborah Mitchell - Autism Awareness Page)
If you have a child with autism and you’re wondering what to get as his or her 6th birthday gift, a pet may be the answer. A pet could be the birthday gift that keeps on giving in important ways for many years, according to a new study.
PETS CAN HELP BUILD SOCIAL SKILLS
One of the hallmark signs of autism spectrum disorder is social impairment, in which children have great difficulty relating to other people.
Pets can help build social skills
One of the hallmark signs of autism spectrum disorder is social impairment, in which children have great difficulty relating to other people. Among the social deficits shown by children with autism are an inability to
According to a French research team led by Marine Grandgeorge, PhD, of the Centre Hospitalier Regional Universitaire de Brest, children with autism who were given a cuddly pet--dog, cat, rabbit, or hamster--after their fifth birthday showed improvement in two important social skill areas.
In contrast, children with autism who had shared the first five years of their life with a pet displayed these social skills at a level similar to those of autistic children without pets. Here's how the researchers arrived at their conclusions.
The investigators conducted two separate analyses and selected the children from a pool of 260 who had autism spectrum disorder. In the first analysis the authors matched 12 children who did not have a pet before age 4 or 5 but who were given a pet after their fifth birthday with 12 children who had always been pet-less. At the time of evaluation, the average age of the children was 10.8 years (range, 7-15).
The second analysis involved matching 8 children who had grown up with a pet since birth with 8 children who had always been without a pet. The average age at evaluation was 11.1 years (range, 6-16).
All the children underwent two evaluations, which included an assessment of social interactions, verbal communication, nonverbal communication, and stereotyped behaviors and restricted interests. Parents were also asked questions about how their child interacted with the pet.
The authors found that:
It's already been shown that children who are assigned a service dog (an autism assistance dog) show significant improvement in social, language, and behavioral skills. Organizations such asDogs for Autism, 4 Paws for Ability, and Autism Service Dogs of America, among others, provide these critically helpful companions.
However, not every child with autism needs an autism assistance dog. For children with autism, perhaps a cuddly pet around the 6th birthday could be a gift that lasts a very long time.
tips for healthier dog
Toronto Bark Watch
There are a lot of things dog owners do right but often there are a few things they could do better. So today I'd like to give you some important tips on how you can make your dog healthier.
1. Take a good look at your dog every day. Is he or she walking OK? Eating OK? Vomiting? Having normal bowel movements? Pet owners that really monitor their dogs can usually diagnosis problems early.
2. Keep your dog on flea control and heartworm prevention medications. These medications are created to protect your dog from annoying and potentially dangerous problems. These medications are easy to give relative to the dangerous and even deadly problems they can create.
3. Give your dog plenty of time and exercise. If you make the commitment to have a dog, you need to ensure you are spending time with your dog and giving him or her plenty of attention. For some – this is no problem. For others – it is. Even on busy days – it is important to spend at least 15 minutes with your favorite buddy taking a walk, playing with a favorite toy or just enjoying a good head rub.
4. Keep your dog a healthy weight. Obese dogs really have more problems than dogs at an ideal weight. Dogs at an ideal weight feel better, have less medical problems and in my opinion they are much healthier. Is your dog too fat? Find out here. Have you ever lost weight and just felt better about yourself? I have and I really believe dogs feel the same.
I hope this helps you and your dog.
Until next time,
P.S. Another tip – don't let your dog roam. Dogs that roam get in to trash, toxins, and fights. We see many dogs at our clinics with bite wounds, lacerations and what we call “garbage gut”, which is severe vomiting and diarrhea from eating something they shouldn't have.
tips from trainer
Tip of the Day: Associating Touch with Things he/she Enjoys.
(All Dogs Go To Kevin LLC)
It is important to practice touching your dog all over its body. If you do this the right way it can make your dog enjoy being touched just about everywhere! But why is this important? This is important because the last thing you want is for someone to come up to your dog and randomly touch the wrong spot, which could result in a bite. Places that dogs are typically sensitive about are their feet, ears, muzzles, and genitalia.
What I recommend doing is one of two things. First you can try grabbing a spoonful of peanut butter and have the dog lick it while you touch everywhere. This will condition your dog to enjoy being touched in these spots. I recommend starting off with less sensitive areas like the top of the back and then slowly moving toward the more sensitive spots. Secondly, you can practice touching the sensitive areas, and then follow it with a treat. (Be cautious with this and make sure that you are using a super high value treat.)
All Dogs Go To Kevin LLC
Tip of the Day: Collars
A dogs collar should fit snuggly to the point where you can only get two fingers in between the collar and the dog's neck. If it is any tighter it could choke the dog, but if it's any looser it could slip off. #dogtraining
Tip of the Day: Coming When Called
(Dogs to Kevin)
A system that I go with when doing off leash hiking with my dog is if he comes back on his own without me asking, he gets 1 reward. If he comes back when I call and it was quickly, I will give two rewards. If he comes back when I call when there is a huge distraction I give a ton of rewards. I don't even think I count. Just one after another with plenty of sincere enthusiasm. Most importantly, after he comes when called and gets his reward, I release him to go off and run again. This turns it into a double reward system. Try this out, you should have a lot of success with it. Definitely use a long leash at first until you trust that your dog will come back every time you call.ere to edit.
All Dogs Go To Kevin LLC
Tip of the Day: Friends Cue Dog
Practice having other people cue your dog to do things. This will give your dog a good response to the cue no matter who asks. #dogtraining
Tip of the Day: Nervous Dogs
(All Dogs Go To Kevin, LLC, )
When dealing with a nervous dog, it is important to allow the dog to adjust to you at its own pace. The harder you try to get the dog to like you, the longer it usually takes. I recommend avoiding eye contact. I also recommend tossing things that the dog loves to it. This will make you a bit more intriguing instead of frightening. to edit.
Tip of the Day: Raising a Pup
(All Dogs Go to Kevin)
When raising a pup it is extremely important to keep negative experiences to a minimum. This is most important when the pup is having its first couple interactions with the new things. Examples of new things include people and other animals. Basically anything in the dog's environment. The reason this is so important is because its all about associations for dogs. After their first couple interactions they will start,to either be nervous, neutral, or excited.
All Dogs Go To Kevin LLC
Tip of the Day: Teaching Children to Respect Pet
It is important to teach children at a young age how to respect a dog. (or cat etc.) I see pictures and videos online often of small children sitting and jumping on dogs, while the dogs have very stressed looks on their faces. Usually it is accompanied with "the dog just bit the child out of the blue." In response to that, very rarely does a dog bite without showing signs prior. It is our job as dog owners to be aware of these signs, and not put our children or dogs in a dangerous position.
Some signs of a stressed dog include:
-Panting. (If a dog is panting and it is not directly after exercise, it is probably stress related.)
-Whale eye. (seeing the whites of the dog's eyes.)
-Lips stretched all the way back toward ears.
- These can all lead up to a bite.
Things children should not to dogs:
-Climb all over them. (Dogs are not jungle gyms.)
-Poke or Punch them.
-Be unsupervised with them.
It is very important to teach children to ask before they pet a strange dog. I always tell the kids thank you for asking. I also remind them they should ask if they forget to. #dogtraining
ASK A VET: Is Playing With Bubbles Safe for Dogs?
(I Love Dogs)
There are many occasions when our pets may be interested in inedible products that are designed for the entertainment of humans. Their curious nature may lead to physical inquisition with the nose, paws or tongue.
In general, my clinical practice experience leads me to state that if a product claims it is safe for human children, then it is likely also safe for our pets. Still, this is not always the case; therefore, it’s best to use common sense when allowing your dog to play with any liquid or solid substance that is marketed for people. Invariably, the product will be sniffed, licked or otherwise ingested.
According to CleaningInstitute.org, ”Soaps are water-soluble sodium or potassium salts of fatty acids. Soaps are made from fats and oils, or their fatty acids, by treating them chemically with a strong alkali.” So, soap contains chemical ingredients that can potentially cause at least some clinical signs of illness if enough is consumed, or if susceptible body parts come into contact with a significant enough quantity.
Clinical signs of illness from ingesting or coming into contact with soap include:
I hope that you and your pooch have many fun play sessions with soap bubbles in your collective futures.
– Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA
JW Pet Company 46125 EverTuff Treat Pod Nylon Toys for Pets, Large, White Bone with Colored Pods of Orange, Green, Blue
Ever tuff Nylon Treat Pods are on a durable nylon bone. Treats can be inserted into each pod for a challenging reward and the bone will satisfy the dogs chewing instinct in a healthy way. Available in 2 sizes.
Kyjen DG40112 Paw Hide Treat Toy Dog Toys Scent Puzzle Training Toy, Large, Red
Why Do Dogs Love Stuffed Toys
History of the Dog and His Stuffed Toy
No one knows when the dog discovered his love for stuffed toys. It was more than likely the same time that people discovered that they enjoyed playing with soft toys. Many dog owners find that their dogs love these toys and quickly work to either destroy, cuddle or carry around his favorite stuffed toy. What most people wonder about their dogs is as to why do dogs like stuffed toys. While it may be just that the dog is mimicking his owners or showing interest in the product that the human has gifted him, there are other thoughts on the matter as well.
Love for the Kill
There is a theory that sometimes dogs like to practice their killing instincts on stuffed toys. This is thought to be seen in those dogs that bite and chew their toys, disembowel them and shake their heads with the toy in their mouths. In the wild, wolves and other canines have to catch prey to survive. In order to kill these prey animals, these canines will catch the prey and thrash them around to break the neck and spine of the animal, provided the animal is small. While dogs are domestic, they can sometimes display some hints of their wild ancestors.
Soft Chew Toys
As many dogs age, they experience a weakening of the teeth and wearing of the gums. This can make it painful to chew on toys that are hard. Since dogs enjoy chewing on things, the soft stuffed toys make ideal chew toys. They have a slight bounce, allows the dog to bite down without hurting his teeth or gums. This makes for better chewing satisfaction for the dog. This is thought to be one of the reasons as to why dogs like stuffed toys, although the idea that the dog only likes these for chewing due to sore teeth and mouth would eliminate the need for puppies and young dogs to chew the stuffed toy.
Human Value Applied
Dogs look to their human pack members for leadership. What the pack leader places value on, the dog then places value on. Many humans give their dog the stuffed toy, placing a value on the toy. The dog would then treat this toy with the care and love that the dog experiences for his owner. The dog would then like the stuffed toy because he believes that his owner, or pack leader, likes the toy and gave it to him as a reward or gift. This causes the dog to carry the toy around, play with the toy and even potentially destroy the toy during the playing.
Puppy See, Puppy Do
A lot of people like stuffed toys, especially children. If a dog is raised in a family with small children, there is the potential that the dog might play with the stuffed toys because the children in the family play with those same toys. These toys would smell of the children, and the dog can easily see the fun that they are having with the toys and attempt to imitate the children. This theory only works in families that have children though, and does not explain why dogs who do not have children in their families will continue to play with the stuffed toy.
No Absolute Answers
Until people learn to speak dog, or dogs learn to speak human languages, there is no real way to determine why dogs like stuffed toys. In addition, each dog could very easily have his or her reasons for liking the stuffed toy over any other toy. This question does not have any absolute answers. If you want, feel free to watch your dog, try to find the reason for his love in the stuffed toy, and feel free to leave a comment and have your input as to why the dog loves the stuffed toys.
Zany Dogs Toys - What Drives Dogs Nuts
We never want to do anything that would hurt our pets. Just the thought of our dogs coming close to danger or injury is enough to give any pet lover pause. You always want to give your dog the best and safest life - that's what a good pet guardian does.
Unfortunately, it can be easy to slip up when protecting them. Harmful toys are one of the most common ways that dogs get hurt. Toys which are harmful to your dog’s health can result in hours (or even days) at the emergency clinic and thousands of dollars in bills…not to mention all the pain and stress that you and your dog could experience.
To keep your dog safe it is absolutely necessary to check their toys regularly and buy only toys that present no danger. I want to help you do this so today I’m sharing 7 tips to use when buying dog toys.
When choosing safe and fun toys, you should consider the size of your dog, his or her activity level, breed, tendencies, and preferences. For example, you wouldn't want to purchase an easy-to-tear-apart plush toy for an aggressive chewer, a huge chew toy for a tiny teacup, or a bite-size ball for a large breed.
Your new toy needs to be safe as well as being durable and fun. Please keep in mind that no toy is truly indestructible but some are more durable and sturdier than others. You should always supervise your dog at play with any toys.
If you’re looking to get a toy that’s great all-around, the best toys are often interactive. These types of toys allow both you AND your dog to play with the same toy together. What's more, toys that present an element of surprise or give your dog's brain a workout are especially beneficial.
Please keep the following 7 tips in mind when choosing toys:
First, dog-proof your home and get rid of dangerous items that dogs can mistake for toys. Remove or keep the following in a safe place away from your dog: string, ribbon, rubber bands, children's toys, pantyhose and anything small that can be ingested.
Toys should always be the appropriate size for your pet. Balls and other items that are too small can be choking hazards. Pay special attention to any pieces which could be chewed off and inhaled or swallowed.
Small pieces of rawhide can be chewed off and become lodged in a dog's throat or damage their mouth. It is best to avoid it altogether.
Be especially cautious of items with squeakers; many dogs will try to chew them out of toys.
Avoid toys with fillings that can harm your dog, including nutshells and polystyrene beads.
Keep a variety of toys available for your dog to access. If you dog has a favorite “baby,” you may want to leave it out all the time.
Interactive toys are important for providing quality active “people time,” which not only engages your dog but helps strengthen the bond between you. Playing also reduces stress and boredom. The opportunity to interact also helps dogs develop better socialization skills and learn appropriate behavior.
Overwhelmed in the search for a great new dog toy? Take the word of someone who has spent hundreds of hours evaluating dog toys – my very own colleague Dr. Debra.
She and her team from PetProductAdvisor.com recently came across a new dog toy that has everything I look for in a safe, engaging and fun toy. It's called the Zany Ball Rope Twister and I LOVE it! This is by far one of the most exciting and innovative dog toys I have seen. Here's why…
When you turn it on, it twists and turns and wiggles and wobbles about the room, interacting with and enticing your dog to chase, grasp and play with it (and with you) for hours. While the toy is spinning around, it resembles a “twister”…right in the middle of your living room (but without all the destruction). Even dogs that get bored by other toys can't resist this one.
Here's the best part: because its motion activated, the Zany Ball Rope Twister springs to life when your dog least expects it. A simple tap on the toy by you or your dog will set it in motion again and again. Your dog will think the Rope Twister is alive and will continue to hunt for his “prey” as long as you let him.
To see a short video of dogs playing with the Zany Ball Rope Twister in action click on the image below.
Did you see the dogs it this video? Dogs and their pet parents just love it!
Zany Ball Rope Twister is a great way to play with your dog and get that physical contact and exercise you both need. You can toss the Rope Twister for your dog to chase, fetch, capture and retrieve. If you want your dog to entertain himself, just tap on the switch and set it on the floor and the Rope Twister is ready to play and interact with your pet.
Take a look at what one pet industry expert had to say:
“As a TV news reporter and radio personality in the pet industry for the past 20 years, I have reviewed tens of thousands of pet products for manufacturers over the years. The Zany Ball Rope Twister is one of the most exciting products I have come across. What makes this product so exciting is the motion sensor. When the ball is approached, the rope creates a spinning action, which dogs go wild over. It really activates the play drive and captivates a dog's interest for hours.” – Mitch Wilder, Pompano Beach, FL
This exciting toy is the perfect size for all dogs from the smallest to the largest breeds. To get one for your pet, simply click here now. Your dog will love you for it!
Until next time,
P.S. - A dog just cannot have enough fun toys, so even if your dog has a well-stocked supply there’s always room for one more. Variety is the spice of life for humans and for dogs! Go to: Zany Ball Rope Twister
P.P.S.: All of Pet Product Advisor's items are covered under a 90-day guarantee; it’s one of the best in the business. Try any product risk-free and simply return it if it doesn't live up to your standards. Your pet deserves the very best!
Traveling with Pets
Getting ready for a trip, traveling by plane, train, auto, or bus with your fur baby?
Here's a little checklist put together by Shannon, Angel, and a few other Krazy members that have posted input:
First they must have their own suitcase packed with the following:
Bows (and bands)
Foldable car seat
Meds just incase
Booties for walking and hiking
Extra dog tote bag
Tote bag for the flight
Brush, Shampoo (grooming supplies)
Up to date shot records
Remedy for air or travel sickness
Traveling with Pet Passengers in Tow?
Ruffin’ It on the RoadPlanning on taking a trip? Why not make it fun for the whole family—four-leggers included? With more and more pet-friendly options for travelers, you don’t have to leave Rover or Princess behind this year. Before you hit the road, here are a few tips to help make your journey a little easier.
First Things First
As you plan your trip, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to make sure that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date and he receives a clean bill of health. Ask your veterinarian about health concerns specific to where you’re traveling since problems like Lyme disease, certain parasites and fungal infections are more prevalent in some areas of the country.
Don’t Get Left Out in the Cold
Be sure to call your destination ahead of time and get information on pet policies. The last thing you’d want to do is arrive and find out that pets aren’t welcome! Check our list of pet-friendly Web sites that can help you narrow down your lodging options. After you’ve selected a place to stay, it’s a good idea to call the hotel or campsite to doublecheck their pet policies and find out what fees and restrictions may apply.
Particularly while traveling, you must be able to provide proof of your pet’s rabies vaccination status at all times. Depending on state regulations, a pet without proof of current vaccination may be quarantined.
Flying the Furry Skies
Each airline has different rules when it comes to traveling with pets, so be sure to do your research before booking your flight.
Air Travel Guidelines for Pets
It’s imperative that you check each airline’s guidelines prior to boarding a plane.
Take these precautions to help protect you from distraction and your pet from injury.
Wherever your destination takes you, plan ahead and make sure you have pet-friendly accommodations available. Here are a few resources to help get you started.
Keep this checklist handy when packing for your next trip.
Top 5 Pet Travel Tips
Smart Solutions for Pet Owners on the Move
(Veterinary Pet Insurance)
Whether you’re traveling for the holidays or purely for a much-needed vacation, you may be one of the 29.1 million Americans1 who hit the road with your pet.
According to PetRelocation.com, an international pet travel and transportation industry service provider, most pet owners travel at least once a year with their pets.
So, how can you and Fido have a stress-free journey? Here are the top five tips on maintaining creature comforts while in transit.
1. Pet identification
You don’t leave home without a proper ID, and neither should your pet. Make sure your cherished family companion wears a collar with current identification, including multiple phone numbers. If visiting family, consider having a new tag printed that also lists a local phone number. Also ensure that your pet is microchipped and that their microchip registration is current. Many pets escape without their collars and tags, and if they are far from home, a microchip may be their only chance of getting home.
2. Pet photo and vaccination records
Pack a recent photo of your pet along with current vaccination records. If you and your pet become separated, a photo will greatly help your search efforts.
Up-to-date vaccination records are required when traveling on any airline, and, in case you want to pamper your pet at a daycare facility or need last-minute boarding, these records will be required.
Also, be sure your pets are current on their heartworm pills and flea and tick control, especially if they’re going to a pet-friendly hotel or on an outdoor vacation where these parasites are going to be common.
Pack enough of your pet’s favorite treats or kibble in case you suffer delays; having these readily available will help maintain your pet’s feeding schedule, reduce anxiety and prevent an upset stomach by not introducing new food.
4. Pet-friendly hotels
According to the Travel Industry Association, 29% of those traveling with pets stay at hotels. Book a hotel that has a pet-friendly environment, such as first-floor accommodations so that your pet doesn’t have to ride in an elevator, and one that offers an outdoor area suitable for short walks. Bringing your pet’s favorite blanket or toy to keep in the room can help minimize any anxiety due to unfamiliar surroundings.
5. Air travel strategy
If your pet is traveling in the cargo bay, choose early morning or late evening flights to avoid temperature extremes that may affect your pet’s health. If traveling over the holidays, try leaving a day or two before or after the main rush, and use direct flights whenever possible to avoid accidental transfers or delays. Space for small pets in the cabin are limited, so book early.
For more tips, read “Traveling With Pets” and “Traveling Guidelines.”
1Travel Industry Association of America
Traveling with Pets: Things to Know Before Hitting the Road
The phrase “extended family” has come to mean many things, but for pet owners, it’s a phrase that sums up how they view their pet’s place in their hearts. In keeping with that feeling, it’s only natural that pet owners are taking their pets along in greater numbers when they travel.
In fact, a recent Travel Poll* conducted by the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA) indicates that, in the past three years, 14% of all U.S. adults traveled with a pet on trips of 50 miles or more away from home. That’s 29.1 million Americans who shared their travel experience with their pets!
Think AheadOf course, taking your pet outside its natural surroundings can be a shock, so it’s important to consider the pet’s health and personality. Pets who are very young, very old, pregnant, sick, injured, prone to biting or excessive vocalizing should not travel.If in doubt, discuss the trip with your veterinarian.
The mode of travel is also an important factor to consider when making your vacation arrangements. Amtrak, as well as Greyhound and other interstate bus lines, do not accept pets. (Seeing-eye dogs and other service animals are exempt from the regulations prohibiting pets.) Cruise lines rarely accept pets. Reptiles or exotic pets may not be welcomed.
Following are some easy-to-follow travel tips that can make for a happier experience for all.
Rolling Down the Highway
The TIA research notes that 76% of the adults who traveled with pets identified a car or truck as their primary transport. We suggest that if your dog or cat isn’t used to traveling, a few short practice trips before you embark on your journey would be advisable.
For dogs, a carrier or restraining harness should be used. Again, if you’re not sure which is best for your pet, consult with your veterinarian. Cats should always be in carriers. They can be made more comfortable by lining the interior with shredded newspaper or a towel. If they’ve never traveled by carrier before, it’s a good idea to leave it open on the floor for them to check it out before you travel. You can even entice them to explore by putting one of their favorite toys inside.
Dogs love sticking their heads out the window of a moving car. This is dangerous as they could be hit by roadway debris. Compromise by keeping the window open a few inches so they can feel the air go by. Don’t allow pets to sit in the front seat, since an activated air bag can cause severe injury or death.
Finally, feed your pet two or three hours prior to traveling in order to avoid stomach upset. Take along ice cubes as well because they’re easier on your pet than too much water. And never leave your pet unattended in a car. Even in the shade with windows left slightly open, cars heat up in a very short time to life-threatening temperatures.
Traveling with a pet means there’s always a risk that the pet will be separated from you and become lost. The best way to avert this tragedy is to be sure your dog or cat is wearing a durable ID tag.
Flying HighAirline guidelines for traveling pets are in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS). Regulations state that dogs and cats must be at least eight weeks old and weaned at least five days before air travel.
Before taking to the air, have your veterinarian examine your pet to ensure that he is healthy enough to make the trip. Airlines and state health officials generally require health certificates for all animals transported by air. In most cases, health certificates must be issued by a licensed veterinarian who examined the animal within 10 days of transport. So, if your travels will last more than 10 days, you may need to have another health certificate issued.
Your best option is to take the pet on board with you in a carrier if your pet (in carrier) is small enough to be stowed under the seat. Because cats, snub-nosed dogs, including Pugs and Pekingese, and long-nosed dogs such as Shelties are prone to severe respiratory difficulties in an airplane’s poorly ventilated cargo hold, it is especially important for these pets to travel only in the passenger cabin with their owner. Policies and fees can vary from airline to airline, so be sure to make advance arrangements with the airline you are using.
Note: AWA regulations do not apply to animals traveling in the cabin.
If putting your pet in the cargo hold is the only option, be sure to ask specific questions such as the temperature of the hold, where the carrier will be placed and what happens if there are delays. Also ask if you can watch your pet being loaded and unloaded into the cargo hold. Some airlines will not accept pets as cargo during certain months of the year when outside temperatures are extremely hot or cold. Again, policies and fees can vary so contact your airline to make advance arrangements.
Helpful Hints From The USDA-APHIS
Even though pet-friendly lodgings are easier to find now, the Travel Poll survey indicates that 32% of travelers with pets are likely to stay with friends or relatives. But the percentage of those who share a hotel or motel room with their pet is almost equal at 29%. Another 16% cite nights spent in a camper, trailer or recreational vehicle with their pet, while 10% roomed with their pet in a cabin, condominium or vacation home.
Naturally, each option needs to be researched for your trip. Pet-friendly policies for hotels and motels vary, so inquire when making a reservation. Your friends and relatives might welcome your pet, but check to be certain their home or apartment is pet-friendly and that allergies aren’t an issue.
You know your pet’s personality better than anyone, so ask yourself if they will be comfortable being left in strange surroundings on their own. Will they bark or meow constantly? Soil the floor? If so, then you may want to consider a kennel or pet sitter. Even if your pet is well behaved, always bring along toys and blankets from home to create a little bit of home in a strange place.
Also, if you’re in a hotel or motel, instruct housekeeping not to enter the room if the “privacy” sign is displayed. This prevents your pet from running out and going missing.
Let’s See Some ID
Traveling with a pet means there’s always a risk that the pet will be separated from you and become lost. The best way to avert this tragedy is to be sure your dog or cat is wearing a durable ID tag, which displays your most current contact information. If your pet becomes lost, the finder can contact you immediately to reunite you. Another option is to have your pet microchipped so that he can be scanned by a rescue shelter or veterinarian in an attempt to reunite the two of you.
With these simple tips, you and your pet can enjoy the pleasures of travel together!
Additonal Travel Resources
Traveling With Pets? What to Remember Before You Leave
Getting ready to book your next family vacation? Why not bring your dog or cat along? You’ll need some extra preparation to accommodate your pet’s needs, but introducing your pet to new experiences can be rewarding for both of you.
Vacation spots across the United States and around the world are increasingly accommodating pets, but traveling with your four-legged friend requires advanced planning to help ensure that all aspects of your trip are pet friendly. When making all plans, including transportation, ask whether your cat or dog will be welcome.
Think about which destinations match your pet's personality — smaller cities or rural areas that include dog parks, outdoor cafes, campgrounds, pet-welcoming beaches or hiking trails are often better choices than are bustling, noisy cities.
European and other international destinations often welcome pets, but international travel requires additional preparation. You will need to contact your destination’s consulate or embassy to learn that country’s requirements, such as possible quarantines, for pets. Something to note: Hawaii also has a quarantine period.
Work with your travel agent or search the Internet to find pet-friendly lodging. If you need to leave your pet alone in a hotel room, place the "do not disturb" sign on the door and confine him to his carrier. This will help prevent undesirable interaction between your pet and hotel staff.
The home of a family member or friend may seem more accepting of your pet than a hotel or bed-and-breakfast. But before you take this route: Make sure that the homeowners truly want your pet there, that your pet gets along with any resident pets (or other household members, like children) and that the house is pet proofed.
The Pre-Trip Veterinary Visit
At your pre-trip vet visit, let your veterinarian know where you are headed. Your veterinarian will make sure your pet is current on all necessary vaccinations and is given appropriate medication to protect him against threats that are native to your destination. Also remember to refill and pack your pet’s regular prescriptions before leaving for vacation.
If your pet has motion sickness or becomes stressed when traveling, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to help combat these concerns. However, if your pet needs to be heavily medicated, he may not be suited for travel.
For both cats and dogs, proof of rabies vaccination must be shown when traveling to another country and is sometimes required when flying to another state. In addition, you may be required to obtain a health certificate for your pet. These documents can be obtained from your veterinarian. Check with your airline and destination for specific requirements.
If you and your pet become separated, you want to have the best chance of being reunited. Many veterinarians recommend microchipping pets in addition to having them wear collars and ID tags. Should your pet go missing, a scanner can be run over his neck to detect the microchip and trace it back to you, increasing the likelihood of a happy reunion. For entry into some countries, pets are required to be microchipped.
Getting Carrier-ed Away
Take extra care in preparing your pet’s carrier, which is needed for pets not using a harness in a car and is required for travel by plane. Ask your airline for its specific guidelines, but in general, a carrier should:
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
To prepare for a lengthy car ride, take your pet on shorter drives ahead of time. Make a list of emergency clinics along your route, as well as at your destination, in case your pet gets sick or injured. Feed him at least two hours before you depart and provide small amounts of water as needed throughout the trip. Never allow your pet to stick his head out the window, because he could be injured by debris. Take breaks every couple of hours to exercise your pet and let him eliminate. Do not leave your pet unattended in the car and make sure he is on a leash when out of his carrier.
Traveling by car is usually preferable to air travel, but there are ways to stay on top of your pet’s plane trip. Federal and state regulations, as well as those imposed by each airline, are in place to keep your pet as safe as possible. Try to book direct flights during less-busy hours, have your pet fly in the cabin with you if possible and avoid traveling during the hottest and coldest parts of the day. If your pet must travel in the cargo hold, have the airline verify that the area is temperature controlled.
The day before your scheduled flight, check with your airline to make sure nothing has changed and that your pet can still be accommodated. Feed your pet six hours before your flight takes off. Find out in advance where in the airport you and your pet need to report and arrive two to four hours before scheduled departure. You will need to take your pet through airport security, including the metal detector, and your pet’s carrier may be X-rayed. Each airline has its own regulations, which may be updated periodically.
Alert the plane’s crew that you have a pet on board and, as soon as your plane lands, pick up your pet and inspect him. If anything looks suspicious, see a veterinarian as soon as possible. Keep in mind that pet insurance is portable and can be used wherever you travel.
Beyond car and air travel, options for transporting your pet may be limited. Most modes of public transportation do not welcome pets, with the exception of service dogs. If you are traveling by boat, check with the cruise line to find out whether kennels are available.
By keeping your pet healthy on the road (and always), choosing your destinations wisely and planning ahead, you can find plenty of places and activities to enjoy with your pet. Bon voyage!
Movin’ On Up
Many tips for safe travel also apply to moving, but a smooth move requires some additional preparation:
travel - canada & international
Canadian and International Travel With Your Pet
(The AAA Pet Book)
Travel To and From Canada
Traveling across the international border with your pet – either from the United States into Canada or from Canada into the United States – should prove largely hassle-free, although some basic regulations need to be kept in mind.
All U.S. citizens traveling by air between the United States and Canada are required to present a passport book for air travel. A passport, passport card or other Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative-compliant document
(such as a Trusted Traveler card or state-issued Enhanced Driver's License) is required to enter Canada by land or sea. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State’s Web site travel.state.gov for the most current information regarding border crossing requirements; for passport information, contact the National Passport Information Center at (877) 487-2778.
If you plan to travel abroad with your pet, prepare for a lengthy flight and at least a short quarantine period. Be aware that airline and animal workers in other countries may not be bound by the same animal welfare laws that exist in the United States and Canada. Contact the embassy or consulate at your destination for information about documentation and quarantine requirements, animal control laws and animal welfare regulations. As with any trip, have your pet checked by your regular veterinarian within 10 days of departure to obtain a health certificate showing proof of rabies and other inoculations.
If you are traveling with an animal other than a domesticated dog or cat, check with USDA - APHIS for restrictions or additional documentation required. The booklet "Pets and Wildlife Licensing and Health Requirements"’ has general information about traveling abroad with animals; write to U.S. Customs & Border Protection, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20229; phone (877) 227-5511, or visit www.cbp.gov.
Note: Island nations such as Australia and the United Kingdom, which are rabies-free, have adopted the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) to allow entry for dogs and cats from the U.S. and Canada without the usual 6-month quarantine. Pets must be tested and vaccinated for rabies at least 21 days prior to travel, be implanted with microchip identification and receive a certificate of treatment from an official government veterinarian. For information, visit the U.K. Web site for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) atwww.defra.gov.uk. Hawaii, which has a standard 120-day quarantine for all imported animals except guide dogs, has adopted a similar expedited program of 5 days or less; a pet must have been vaccinated at least twice for rabies in its lifetime.ere to edit.
travel - rv
Read This Before Bringing a Dog to an RV Park
(KIM CAMPBELL THORNTON - Vetstreet| JULY 2, 2015)
It’s vacation time, and RV owners are on the road in their rolling homes. More often than not, they are accompanied by their dogs, which can raise a whole host of questions about etiquette — or, in this case, petiquette!
Traveling and living with dogs in an RV is quite a bit different from living in a single-family home with a private backyard, and good pet manners are crucial. You’re living in close proximity to your neighbors, often without fences or individual yard space, and what your pet does can affect everyone’s enjoyment of the area. We gathered some tips to help ensure that you and your dog are welcome at RV parks and that you both make lots of new friends on your travels.
One planning note: Before you hit the road, call ahead to ask about pet policies. Some RV parks may restrict the number or size of pets. You don't want to pull in after a long day of driving and find out that your dogs aren't welcome at your destination.
Meet and Greet
At home, your neighbors probably know you and and your dog, but you are strangers at an RV park. Not everyone loves animals, and some people are actively fearful of them, especially loud or large dogs.
Help your dog be a good ambassador for his species; keep him on leash and don’t let him run up to other people or dogs. Teach him to sit when he meets people, and don’t allow him to jump on them. Ask other people with dogs if it’s all right for you and your dog to approach. Not every dog is as friendly as yours.
Carry treats for other people to give your dog when he meets them — but only if he has doesn’t nip when people hand him food.
Treat your dog with parasite preventives. You don’t want him to pick up or spread fleas, ticks and internal parasites. “Check with your veterinarian about the types of parasites you might encounter where you’re going and the best preventive for them,” says Dr. Marty Becker. Make sure his vaccines are up-to-date as well, for his safety as well as that of the other dogs he may meet on your travels.
Some areas are strictly for people. Keep your dog out of the pool, off the picnic tables and away from any other areas where pets aren’t permitted. If the RV park has a dog run or park, share it with others. If your dog doesn’t like to share his space, pack up and go when other people bring their dogs to use it.
“Always take some type of tethering rope or chain to keep your pet within the confines of your campsite,” says Laura Busch, who travels frequently by RV with her husband, Chris, and their Weimaraners, Barley and Heidi. “An outside pet bed, crate or x-pen is a good option for your pet if you will be outside your RV for an extended period of time. It gives your pet a safe, comfortable place to lie down while you are setting up, playing, cooking or just enjoying the view.”
Now Hear This
You might tune out your dog’s barking at home, but RVs have thin walls, so it’s courteous to keep your dog’s voice to a low roar. If he barks when he sees others pass by, thank him for the alert and then ask him to be quiet. If possible, block his view, so he doesn’t notice every Rex, Fido and Baxter who walks by your RV. Introduce him to people who walk by frequently, so he is less alarmed by their presence.
Dogs often bark when they’re bored. If you’re going out, leave the TV tuned to a nature channel, so he’ll hear human voices and have something interesting to watch. A puzzle toy or stuffed Kong can also help keep him occupied. Even better, take your dog with you if you know he barks when you’re gone.
Observe the quiet hours posted by most RV parks, and don’t let your dog make noise early in the morning or late at night.
Follow the Boy Scout motto, and always be prepared to pick up poop. Stick a plastic bag in your pocket before you and your dog set foot out of the RV. Take him to the designated pet area to do his business. Don’t let him lift his leg on someone else’s vehicle or pee or poop in their pathway.
Keep an eye on what he’s doing while you’re having a conversation with someone. A common complaint in RV parks is people who don’t notice when or where their pet has pooped, and then they leave the mess for someone else to step in or pick up.
Be a good neighbor and bring an extra bag in case you see someone who needs one, or you run across a pile left by another dog. Sure, it’s not your job, but the other residents — and the park management — will appreciate your effort.
Tips for RV Travel With a Pet
(Kimberly Kilmer, eHow Contributor)
Keep pet safety in mind when traveling in an RV.
According to the American Pet Product Association 2009-2010 pet statistics, 62 percent of all United States households include a pet. Dogs live with 45 percent of the pet owning public, while cats bunk with 38 percent. Recent statistics are not available on how many people pack pets into their recreational vehicles (RVs), but it is clear that pets are on the road. Plan ahead, travel safe and travel smart when accompanied by your pet.
3 Tips For Handling An Unfriendly Dog
Vet and you
7 Things Pet Owners Do That Drive Veterinarians Crazy
(DR. PATTY KHULY - Vetstreet)
It’s a tough subject to tackle. After all, veterinarians do plenty of annoying things, too. But this particular post is all about you — well, not you, but the annoying yous among you. Not that most of you deserve this, but some of you just might! So without any further hedging, let me launch into the most annoying things pet owners do.
1. Answer Their Cells
Need I say more? Is there anything more annoying and disrespectful than answering a phone call while your vet is delivering her state-of-your-pet’s-health address? OK, it might be worse if you dug out your phone to initiate a call midexam, but only by a smidge. They’re both just plain rude.
2. Bring Their Kids
I dearly love children (mine mostly, but yours can also be cool), but very young or badly behaved children are an unnecessary liability in a veterinary environment. It’s hard enough to keep pets safe — much less kids. So unless your children are old enough and/or chill enough to hang out in a vet setting, they should probably stay home.
One exception: If your pet has an emergency and you have no one to care for your kids, you are most definitely excused. We’ll understand. Call ahead and we may even assign an employee to keep tabs on them so you can concentrate on what’s wrong with your pet.
3. Let Their Dogs Run Amok
This is not the dog park. And, for the record, retractable leads should remain in the shortest, locked position for the duration of your visit. After watching an innocent human get taken down in the lobby by an overlong retractable line, I decided there should be a law against these in vet hospitals.
4. Carry Their Cat
I've never been able to fathom why some owners insist upon bringing their cats to the vet hospital without carriers. Some will use harnesses, which won’t help them when faced with a truly motivated dog. And, honestly, I’d never blame a dog for attacking a cat in a veterinary hospital environment. After all, these cats are probably giving off cornered prey vibes that some dogs can't ignore.
Remember my post on cats in carriers? Cats are more comfortable in uncertain environments when they’re enclosed.
5. Deny, Deny, Deny
It drives us crazy. These clients effectively employ us to be their experts, then they put up roadblock after roadblock: No, my pet is not fat. No, my pet’s teeth are not rotting. No, he’s too old for surgery. No, her claws are not too long. It’s exasperating!
I can understand why you might (and should!) question your veterinarian about health care issues that are important to you, but why come to the vet if you’re unwilling to have an open dialogue about what your pet needs and doesn’t need?
6. Refuse to Pay
It happens more often than you’d think. Pet owners agree to hospitalization and procedures — and later refuse to pay. Sometimes they say that they forgot their checkbooks. Other times they claim to have misunderstood the payment policy, even though there’s a sign in almost every veterinary hospital in the United States that explains payment is expected when services are rendered. I even had a client cancel her Amex payment after we saved her anemic cat’s life with a blood transfusion.
7. Don’t Follow Through
There’s no shame in admitting that you can’t medicate your difficult cat or trim your unruly dog's toenails. Veterinarians are pet owners, too. We absolutely understand why you might not be able to manage these not-so-simple tasks.
But you’ve got to let us know if you can’t, don’t or won’t do what we say. After all, we have plenty of alternatives to offer. And there are few things more frustrating to a veterinarian than failing to treat a patient who could have been helped if only the vet were able to employ some ingenuity.
Want to give your veterinarian the best holiday gift ever? Resolve to be a more honest, open, conscientious, cat box-carrying, child care-finding, cell phone-shirking client. For my part, I promise to offer you a New Year’s post on my personal mea culpa. It’s a fair trade, don’t you think? That is, as long as I do as I say and follow through.
10 Things You Should (Probably) Not Say to Your Vet
(DR. PATTY KHULY - Vetstreet)
As a breed, we veterinarians are not particularly prissy or picky. Indeed, you can generally say anything you wish in our presence. We encourage it, actually. Nonetheless, there are times when you may see your veterinarian’s hackles materialize.
With that in mind (and because it’s always a good idea to spare everyone the discomfort of an unintentional transgression), I offer you these 10 examples of my own personal not-so-favorite comments and questions.
Think Before You Speak
1. She doesn’t bite. It’s never a good start to a visit when a pet owner defends his pet’s growls with these three words. Because even if it’s true, I’d be stupid to trust the owner when his pet is offering me the most reliable warning I know of.
2. It’s only been there for a few days. Mark Twain has a great saying at times like these: “It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” So unless you reallyknow, you should explain to your vet when you noticed whatever it is that's amiss, rather than rely on the infallibility of your memory — not when your pet’s health so clearly depends on it.
3. Can you backdate this form? Never ask us to put pen to paper in ways that might put our veterinary licenses — not to mention our professional ethics — at risk.
4. Euthanize this [healthy] pet. Not that YOU would ask, but plenty of others do. And no, many (dare I say most?) of us won’t.
5. He’s NOT fat! Don’t argue with your veterinarian on this one. The point is not to quibble over words but to get results. So if your vet happens to be an insensitive boor when it comes to delivering advice (as I can be), let it go. Whatever you do, just admit that the person you’ve charged with helping to maintain your pet’s health has recommended he lose weight. Whether another word might’ve been more apropos is not the issue.
6. Perform [fill in the blank] procedure. Your veterinary hospital is not Burger King. Which (in case you’re not old enough to know) means you can’t necessarily “have it your way.” Your veterinarian is a partner in your pet’s health care, and just as she should not play dictator in your decision-making process, you should not expect that your demands be well received. In particular, I’m thinking of the problems that arise in the case where pet owners expect their veterinarians to perform convenience-based or cosmetic procedures.
7. Prescribe [fill in the blank] drug. A corollary to #6, these expectations become similarly problematic when behavior-modifying drugs are sought, or when pet owners demand drugs inappropriate for a pet’s condition. This happens more often than you think — more so every day now that pet drugs are advertised directly to consumers. (This latter point clearly has its pros and cons.)
8. Will pet insurance cover this? In most cases, the answer to this question is, “Yes. It would … if you had an existing policy.” Trouble is, most of this query’s askers aren’t active policyholders. Rather, they’re wondering whether a new pet insurance policy will cover a pet’s current illness. Which is an uncomfortable question since we’re then required to defend not only our prices, but another industry’s policies and procedures too. Awkward!
Two Little Words Vet Professionals Need to Hear
(DR. ANDY ROARK - Vetstreet)
Caring for animals — whether you’re a veterinarian, a shelter worker, a technician, or any other fur-loving friend — requires compassion and dedication. It can be hard, emotionally draining work. When you get the chance to say thank you to the people who take care of your pet, please do. It will mean more to them than you know.
5 Easy Ways to Save on Vet Costs
Being a responsible doggy parent takes a great deal of commitment - and often times a great deal of expense. Not only does your furry best friend require your time and attention, he or she also needs regular veterinary care. Caring for a dog isn't just about putting out food and providing shelter - it's usually a 10 to 20 year commitment that includes vaccinations, medications, and other expenses, especially as your pup reaches her senior years.
Fortunately, there are simple preventative measures you can take that help cut your costly vet expenses, without sacrificing your dog's well-being. In fact, by following these tips, you'll not only save money, but you'll help your dog live a healthier and happier life! You see, preventative care is the best way to keep your dog healthy as she ages.
1. Spay or Neuter Your Dog
Besides preventing unwanted litters of puppies, spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer in female dogs and keeps them from going into heat. Neutering prevents testicular cancer in male dogs and curbs their desire to escape and roam away from home. Altered pets tend to be much better behaved animals, too.
So how does spaying or neutering save money on vet bills? Well the cost of this surgery is far less than the cost of raising litters of puppies and the cost of treating medical conditions like infections, cancers, or even injuries that may arise from unaltered dogs who escape their yards. Save even more money by searching for low-cost spay/neuter clinics in your area!
2. Stay Current on Vaccines and Other Preventatives
If you stay on top of vaccines and parasite prevention, you're much less likely to incur vet expenses down the road from illnesses that are easily preventable!
You shouldn't wait for your dog to become infested with parasites. Instead, use flea and tick preventatives and, if you're in an area of the country where mosquitos are a concern, use heartworm preventative, too. Call the animal control organization in your area or your veterinarian to inquire about low-cost vaccination options.
3. Practice Good Hygiene
Believe it or not, grooming and cleanliness can prevent infection. Start trimming your dog's nails on a regular basis when he's a puppy. Get a great pair of nail trimmers and get him used to having his paws handled at a young age so that the process is easy for both of you. Brush your dog's teeth regularly or use dental cleaning water or food additives to keep your pup from developing plaque and gum disease. Use an ear cleaner or ear wipes to keep your dog's ears clean and dry.
4. Provide and Excellent Diet and Adequate Exercise
Keep your dog at her ideal weight. More than half the dogs in the United States are either overweight or obese! Excess weight in your dog can lead to such health problems as Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory disease, joint disorders, kidney disease, some forms of cancer, and decreased life expectancy. All of these issues can lead to costly vet bills. The best thing to do is keep your furkid at a healthy weight, and the best way to do that is through a healthy diet and daily mental and physical stimulation.
Not sure what to feed your furriest family? Here is a collection of some of the top-rated, highest quality dry dog foods available.
5. Dog-Proof Your House
Protect your pup from potential household hazards by taking certain precautions that could prevent costly emergency trips to the veterinarian. Store your medications in tightly closed containers. Keep chemicals like household cleaners out of her reach, make sure your dog doesn't have access to chew on your electrical cords, and be sure you don't have toxic plants in your home.
Remember, preventing an accident, illness, or disease is always more cost effective than treating one!
Make Visits to the Vet Easier on Your Pet
(DR. MARTY BECKER |Vetstreet)
Want to make your pet’s trip to the veterinarian easier on you, your pet and the entire staff of the veterinary hospital? My advice for you is simple: Relax.
Though there are a lot of other things you can do, I find that a change of attitude can have the most dramatic effect. If that surprises you, it shouldn’t. Our pets are incredibly attuned to our moods, and if you’re acting as if a veterinary visit is a bad thing, your dog or cat is more likely to feel that way, too. A cheerful, optimistic outlook is contagious, not only by animals but also by the folks at the veterinary hospital. Of all the things that can be spread at a medical facility, a positive outlook is the one I hope goes viral. It just makes things so much easier for everyone.
Adopting a more relaxed attitude may be the easiest thing you can do, but it’s not the only strategy to help get your pet through a veterinary visit with minimal anxiety.
Here are more techniques.
For many pets, especially cats, car trips seem to end poorly (in the pet’s opinion). If the only time you got in a car you were going to get a shot or have a stranger poke a thermometer somewhere you’d rather he didn’t, you’d have a bad attitude about travel, too. Mix it up. Take your pet for rides he’ll enjoy. For dogs, head for a place to hike or to a store where pets are welcome. Though your cat likely won’t enjoy visiting, just getting out for a ride with treats and praise can help make him less nervous about future journeys.
Like the car, for many animals a carrier means a trip to the veterinarian because that's the only time they're in one. That’s why many pets make themselves scarce the moment the carrier comes up from the basement or down from the garage rafters. Change the script: Make the carrier part of the household furnishings. Though you may not want it as part of your formal living room, make space for it in an area your pet sees daily, such as the laundry room. Pets who are familiar with their carriers are more comfortable in them when it comes time to get on the road.
Synthetic pheromones mimic scents animals create to calm themselves and others. They’re available for both dogs and cats, and in many cases they can help calm an anxious pet. Spritz some on the cushion or towel inside the carrier, and spray even more on a towel to put over the carrier. This will turn the carrier into the cat equivalent of a cozy den with the smell of cookies coming from the kitchen.
Hungry Is Better
And speaking of cookies, take treats but make sure your pet is hungry enough to want them. It won’t kill your pet to skip the meal before a veterinary visit, but it will make the treats you’ll have at the hospital seem even more delicious. Bring on the really yummy, juicy, meaty treats, such as baby-food meat sticks, deli turkey or bonita flakes for cats.
My longtime friend and fellow pet expert Arden Moore gave me this tip, and I love it! If you have more than one pet, take them all in when you visit the vet. Let them all get treats and praise. It will teach them that the vet's office is a fun place to be. Only one gets the “real” veterinary visit, but they all get a good experience. Or if you're a single-pet person, arrange to take your pet into the vet's office for a visit and treats when there’s nothing wrong. The results will be the same.
Some pets really need a little more help than a loving owner can provide. If your pet is one of these, ask your veterinarian to prescribe a mild antianxiety medication for your next visit.
Obviously, you’ll need to work out the details with your veterinarian before you put some of these strategies into place, but I doubt you’ll have any problem doing so. We veterinarians love animals, and we don’t like seeing them scared of us. Anything that can change a scaredy cat into a happy pet is something we can get behind — so much so that you shouldn't be at all surprised to see your veterinarian also working to make visits more pleasant for all.
6 ways to volunteer with your pet
(Bekka Burton - Pets Matter/March 11, 2015)
If there’s one thing our pets provide more than anything else, it’s unconditional love. And with National Volunteer Week kicking off on April 12, now’s the perfect time to extend that love to others. Getting involved and volunteering with your furry pal is a fun way to spend time together while making a difference in the lives of others. It is also a great way to socialize your pet, helping her to get used to being around other people and animals. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about all the ways you might want to make a difference with your pet.
Charity walks or runs
Get both of your heart rates pumping by partaking in a charity walk or run. Animal-related charities typically allow you to bring your pet with you. For example, in Greenville, S.C., supporters are encouraged to bring their dogs to Paws for a Cause, which is a canine charity walk that raises money for cancer research. Don’t forget to call the organization prior to signing up to ask if animals are permitted.
Dog Scouts of America (DSA), a nonprofit organization, aims to enrich the lives of dogs and their owners by promoting responsible dog ownership. The DSA has programs that allow you to earn merit badges for your dog by participating in community service. Can’t find a DSA in your area? Check out their website to learn how you can start a group in your area—now that’s a way to do some real good.
Giving from within
Accidents happen, and just like human blood, animal blood is often needed to help save the life of a dog or cat who has lost too much of his own blood. Donating your pet’s blood is a fairly painless procedure that takes no more than 20 minutes but can mean everything to another pet and her owner. There are certain guidelines that must be met, however, so contact your veterinarian and the blood bank to be sure your pet is healthy enough to donate.
Canine reading program
If your dog likes children, consider donating his time to being an attentive listener to a child struggling with reading. These programs are designed to invite a nonjudgmental listener to act as support for the emerging reader. Many of the children in these programs suffer from low self-esteem as a result of not being at the same reading level as their peers. Dog listening companions can boost reading levels often because the child begins to associate this once-unpleasant task as something fun and exciting. Reading programs are popping up all over the country—a quick Internet search will help you determine if there is one in your area.
Search and rescue
The most notable breeds for search and rescue (SAR) operations are German shepherds, border collies, Labrador retrievers, and golden retrievers. However, even if your dog isn’t one of these breeds, you could consider SAR training if he has excellent scenting capabilities, strong drives (prey, pack, play), and plenty of physical endurance and stamina. Your canine must be intelligent and easily trainable. Training requires a considerable time commitment, beginning from puppyhood. You and your four-legged pal would be aiding local, state, and federal authorities while helping to save lives. If you’re interested in pursuing this option, check out the American Rescue Dog Association or the National Association for Search & Rescue.
People in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals can benefit from some one-on-one time with your pet, and it doesn’t just have to be your dog or cat. Rabbits, horses, pigs, birds, llamas, alpacas, guinea pigs, and even pet rats can be registered as therapy animals. The animals typically have to go through special training and health exams to be approved for visits to various facilities. Habitual visits from animals not only provide much-needed social interactions but also something for a patient to look forward to regularly.
If you think you and your pet have the makings to be a good volunteer team, more power to you! It’s a win-win situation: Your community will benefit greatly as will your relationship with your pet.
The Dog With the Yellow Ribbon
(Brian Beltz - Huffington Post)
"I can't let you get close to me, I'll end up hurting you."
"It's not you, it's me. I just need my space."
If you see a dog wearing a yellow ribbon, this is what it might say. But instead of a cheesy break-up line, the dog's ribbon would serve as a warning of potential danger.
The Yellow Dog Program uses yellow ribbons to warn the public that it's wearer needs space and should be treated with caution. As designated by the ribbon, "Dogs in need of space" -- or DINOS -- are not necessarily aggressive dogs, but more often are dogs who have fear, age or pain issues; are in training or are service or working animals .
Rather than an excuse for a lack of training or aggressive behavior though, the program's goal is to educate the public and dog owners to identify dogs needing space and promote appropriate contact of dogs.
And, with the growing trend towards dog-friendly everything, it's an education that the public -- and parents -- could really use.
According to the American Humane Society, an estimated 4.7 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. And children are considerably more vulnerable than adults. In fact, nearly half of all dog bite victims involve children and 70% of dog bite fatalities are children under 10 years old.
The Humane Society has the following recommendation for parents: "If you want to meet a dog, first ask the owner for permission. If the owner says it's OK, hold out your hand in a fist for the dog to sniff. If he's interested, you can give him a little scratch under the chin (not over the head) and say hello."
The problem is that many dog owners don't realize that they should not let a stranger near their dog, especially when it's a child. Most recently, a 3-year-old boy was attacked by an Akita in a California Lowe's home improvement store after the dog's owner gave the boy permission to pet him.
This is exactly the type of incident that the Yellow Dog Program could be instrumental in preventing. Had the dog involved been wearing a yellow ribbon, it's owner been aware of what it was capable of or the child's parent mindful that maybe letting a 3-year-old child pet a strange dog is a bad idea, then perhaps this incident -- and many similar incidents -- could have been avoided.
So, if you see a dog wearing a yellow ribbon, remember, maybe it just needs it's space.
Follow Brian Beltz on Twitter: www.twitter.com/buckleyourbeltz
10 Websites Your Vet Wishes You Knew About
(Dr. Andy Roark - Vetstreet)
“I found something on the Internet...”
This is a phrase veterinarians hear frequently, and it freezes us in our tracks for one of two reasons.
The Internet can clue people in to new information from the rapidly advancing veterinary world, and when that happens — when pet owners find educational, reliable and useful stuff online — I want to give those clients a high-five. When pet owners feel empowered to do research on their pets’ behalf, we make even better headway together.
However, when a pet owner stumbles upon bad information, it can be a headache for everyone involved. Erroneous or misleading websites can create confusion, encourage false hopes or even lead to an owner making dangerous mistakes regarding a pet’s treatment.
So where can you find helpful, trustworthy information online? There are probably hundreds of great websites out there, but here are the top 10 that I recommend to pet owners — along with Vetstreet, of course.
1. The Indoor Pet Initiative. This website is supported by The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. It uses the most up-to-date science to educate both veterinarians and pet owners, with a specific focus on creating an optimal environment for your pet to thrive.
2. Pets & Parasites. Looking for information on parasites such as hookworms, coccidia, heartworms or anything else your cat or dog might acquire? The Companion Animal Parasite Council has you covered.
3. Winn Feline Foundation. The Winn Feline Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports research into improving the lives of cats. It has a wealth of information on cat health on its site, some of which is based on research its grants have supported.
4. Partners in Animal Health. Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has an outstanding site with information for pet owners as well as veterinarians. Special topics include caring for diabetic cats, a pet owner’s guide to cancer, and managing destructive scratching behavior in cats.
5. House Rabbit Society. You need just one thing to appreciate this site: questions about rabbits.
6. ASPCA Pet Care. The ASPCA Pet Care section has direct links to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, a Pet Loss Center, Pet Food Recall news feed and many more resources. It’s good information from an organization out to do good in the world.
7. VCA Animal Hospitals Pet Health Information. VCA Animal Hospitals (a partner of Vetstreet) runs this site. Whether you want to learn about tortoises, tumors or alternative therapies, you’ll find lots of tips with real medical weight behind them.
8. American Association of Feline Practitioners. With videos, articles and a search engine to find feline-friendly vets (although I know there are lots of great vets who don’t show up on the list), this site is worth your time.
9. Worms & Germs. This University of Guelph blog is put together by Drs. Scott Weese and Maureen Anderson of the Ontario Veterinary College's Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses. It focuses on infectious diseases in pets, with a large emphasis on zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be passed to humans from other species).
10. Dr. Sophia Yin. Dr. Yin is a veterinarian, author, animal behaviorist and international expert on low-stress animal handling. Her blog covers a range of topics, and I am a fan of her work on reducing patient stress in veterinary clinics.
Bookmark these sites, and you’ll have safe, interesting information at your fingertips anytime you need it.