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Why does my dog keep stealing my spot?

Dogs aren’t always easy to understand.

They don’t speak the way we do, but they DO tell us everything we need to know with their actions.

Dogs can’t just tell me what’s wrong, like when I go to my doctor and complain about my symptoms.

That’s why their people so often come into my office and ask, “Why does my dog DO THAT?”

Today, I’ll be answering another one of the most common questions I get from curious pet parents…

Why does my dog keep stealing my spot?

There are four main reasons that your dog might steal your spot when you leave the room… and one of them can be a problem.

Reason 1: It’s warm, and smells like his favorite person

You probably guessed this one.

One reason your dog might steal your seat is for comfort — it’s a nice, warm spot that smells like you!

Yeah, it might seem a little weird, but dogs love to soak up their person’s unique scent. It helps your pup feel at home, like when I smell chicken soup simmering in the kitchen.

This could also be a sign of loyalty and love. Your dog might think he’s protecting the alpha’s space until you come back.

Reason 2: They know you think it’s cute

Yeah, you read that right.

The first time your pooch snuggled up in your empty seat, it could’ve been for the warmth and comfort…

…but, if you scratched and patted them when you returned, you may have unknowingly reinforced the behavior!

Remember when you were a kid? What if you knew that if you cleaned the kitchen after dinner, you’d then get dessert or a piece of candy? You’d probably clean the kitchen every night!

If your dog thinks you’ll reward them with belly rubs, they might steal your spot more often, too.

Some dogs simply like the affection they get when you return and find them sitting in your favorite spot.

It can be a little annoying… but the play for your attention is ultimately harmless.

Well, unless it’s…

Reason 3: They’re struggling with anxiety

This behavior could be a red flag for separation anxiety.

Read your pal’s body language. If you come back and he’s shivering or panting, he’s probably anxious.

In this case, your dog may need a little help understanding that his favorite human will always come back to him!

Don’t make a big deal out of leaving OR coming back. It could also help to establish a word or phrase when you depart — like, “I’ll be right back!” for example.

This can help your dog adjust to the routine of you leaving and coming back.

Reason 4: They’re trying to establish dominance

Stealing your spot can also be a sign of disrespect and disobedience — Fido might want to actually ‘take your place’ at the ‘head of the pack.’

If your dog sits and stares at you when you tell him it’s time to go, they might need a reminder that YOU are the alpha.

To do this, you don’t want to be forceful or angry. Show your authority by calmly giving a command. Hold their stare. Your dog should break the staring contest and move.

If this keeps happening (or you see other signs of defiance), you can work with a trainer to re-establish your position as the gentle leader of your pack.

Again, it’s important to look at the context.

For example, if Fido nudges you roughly and growls for you to move… this is obviously a problem.

But if he takes your spot when you leave, then moves over and/or wags his tail when you come back, he might be showing you respect.

I know. Dogs can be confusing.

What ‘weird’ things does your dog do? Reply to this email and tell me all about their funny behaviors.

You never know, I might answer it in an upcoming newsletter.

From my pack to yours,

Dr. Jeff

From my pack to yours,

Dr. Jeff Werber, DVM

DOG GROOMING GUIDE

How to Properly Groom Your Dog at Home

Keeping your dog clean is an essential way to improve her health. Not only that, but it makes cuddling and bonding time more joyful and memorable. One of the best ways to improve your dog’s hygiene and cleanliness is grooming.

However, not everyone knows how to do it properly. In fact, grooming your dog in the wrong way may lead to injury and uneven haircuts. In this post, you will learn how to properly groom your dog at home!

Brushing

Brushing is a perfect way for you to get rid of dead hair and dirt. You need to brush starting from head to tail. When getting to the more sensitive parts of your dog like the tummy, be extra gentle. Brushing can be done every day of the week for dogs with long hair or simply once a week for those who have shorter ones. Trust your gut feeling when determining the frequency of brushing.

Every dog comes with a unique type of coat and hair. You may want to consult your vet or research further to know what type of brush to use. However, generally speaking, a high-quality brush or comb is recommended. For long hair, metal-pinned brushes would be ideal while a brush with rubber teeth is good for dogs with shorter hair.

Bathing

Make sure that you brush your dog first before you do bathing. Brushing can lessen dirt that might turn your bath water dirty. Use a shampoo specially designed for dogs. Avoid using cheap shampoos that may come with harsh chemicals. If you are going to use a water spray, avoid pointing it to your dog’s face. You might hurt his eyes or your dog might not like it and make bathing more of a struggle. Use lukewarm water to keep your dog relaxed and cooperative. Be systematic in shampooing and rinsing your dog so you don’t miss a spot. Pat your dog dry with a clean towel.

Haircut

After brushing and bathing, your dog is now ready for a haircut. Ensure your dog’s hair is dry. It is important that you use the right equipment for a haircut. Use professional shears and clippers to facilitate an easy and safe procedure.

When trimming your dog’s face, tail, and feet, use only the tips of a sharp shear to prevent you from cutting your dog especially when she suddenly moves. Place your fingers on the edge of your dog’s ears when you’re trimming that area. This ensures that you don’t cut beyond the ears. By the way, if your dog has a matted fur, don’t use scissors, but choose clippers instead.

Shaving

Shaving your dog can be a little tricky. Professional groomers recommend that you use no. 10 blade for the face, private areas, and underarms. Keep the blade flat against the skin, working your way from the neck down the body. If you are not confident to shave your dog, you might as well skip this step. Sometimes, shaving is better left to the professionals.

Nail Trimming

Trimming can be done with a dog nail clipper or a nail grinder. The procedure is straightforward, but the important part to remember is to avoid clipping the pink part of your dog’s nail. That’s the area where blood vessels are located. Damaging the blood vessels could lead to bleeding. If in case your dog’s nails started to bleed, apply styptic powder immediately.

If you don’t know how to trim your dog’s nail, then have a professional to do it for you. You can then observe how they do it and perhaps, next time, you’ll be more confident and skilled to trim your dog’s nails on your own.

You Can Do It!

A lot of pet owners, guardians, and parents are able to successfully groom their dogs right in the comfort of their homes. So, don’t think that this is an impossible task. .Don’t be nervous when grooming your dog. Your furry friend can detect nervousness. When you’re nervous, your dog can easily get nervous as well and make grooming tougher for you. In most cases, you won’t be too successful in the first try of grooming. However, don’t lose heart! This is a normal part of the process. If your dog isn’t comfortable with grooming, just do it again slowly until your dog eventually gets used to the process. Before you do anything, you might want to speak to your veterinarian first. Your vet can give you some pieces of advice and check if you have the right equipment and knowledge for the job. That way, you would not only have a beautiful and clean dog, but a happy and healthy one too!

            Remy & Louie

 

   …send wags and kisses! 

Budget-Friendly Tips for Keeping Pets Safe on Your Summer Adventure

This month we have an article from Ryan Goodchild filled with great tips for your pups during the hot summer!

Good pet parents have routines for taking care of their fur babies’ needs, but when the seasons change, our pets’ needs change, too. We may think of summer as a time to relax and unwind, but summertime can also pose extra risks to our pets. Thankfully, most of these risks are easy to avoid if you’re prepared. What’s even better is that you can take these precautionary measures without spending a lot of time or money.

Explore More… Safely

After being cooped up all winter, it’s normal to want to get outside and explore in the summer. Outdoor adventures can be great fun for both you and your pup, but they require some advance planning to make safety a priority. For example, if you’ll be traveling with pets, you’ll need a way to keep them safe in the car. To find the right option for you, take a look at Outdoor Dog World’s guide to the best car harnesses for dogs, which includes a top-rated budget pick.

When you’re getting out and about more, another issue to consider is dog etiquette, which is especially important if you go to dog parks or trails where your dog runs off leash. To begin with, it’s important to make sure your dog is ready to go off leash, which includes teaching them essential commands like Come and Leave It. When you do allow off-leash time, make sure you can see your dog at all times. And when it comes to etiquette, you should always clean up after your dog’s messes. A budget-friendly solution is to keep plastic grocery bags with you, but if you prefer pet waste bags, buying them in bulk is the best way to save money.

Beat the Heat

Anytime you’re outdoors in summer, heat is a top concern for both you and your pet. The number one rule to remember is that the inside of a car gets much hotter than the air temperature outside, which is why you should never leave your pet in the car. If you travel with your pet, you may even want to get an inexpensive window shade to keep your car cooler for when you’re ready to go.

Keeping all four paws cool in the summer may require extra pet supplies, too. The easiest way to stay budget-conscious when buying gear is to search for online deals. For example, you can find PetSmart coupons, promo codes, and cashback offers to stretch your budget even further.

So, what are the top summer supply must-haves? You’ll need to have enough bowls so your pup has plenty of water both inside your house and outside in your yard. And if you spend a lot of time outside at your home, consider getting a raised pet bed that has a built-in canopy. Along with protecting your pet from the sun, make sure to consider his paws too because surfaces like pavement and sand can get extra hot and burn sensitive paws. The best solution is to avoid these surfaces, but you can also get dog shoes to shield a pup’s feet from the heat.

Beware of Backyard Dangers

When it comes to keeping pets safe this summer, don’t forget about dangers that could be in your own backyard. According to Reader’s Digest, the top backyard dangers for pets include toxic plants, sticks, pesticides, and fertilizer. Affordable solutions include checking a list of plants that are harmful to animals, along with choosing natural DIY pesticides instead of chemicals (make sure they’re pet-safe first).

And remember that bugs cause problems for more than just your plants. Fleas and ticks love the warm weather, too, so you’ll want to stock up on pet flea meds to keep the bugs away.

Being a pet parent is a rewarding job, but it’s also a major responsibility (not to mention a strain on your budget). That’s why we all need these budget-friendly summer safety tips! After all, our fur kids rely on us to give them the best, no matter the weather or season. 

Photo credit: Pixabay

Best,

Ryan Goodchild

Thank you so much for the informative article, Ryan!  Woof!  Pet Lovers Market

4 Ways Dogs Show Love

Dogs are excellent pets that have proven their loyalty and love for humans over the years. Many household have dogs as pets.

These canine companions provide security for their owners and serve multiple functions in various homes. Dogs have been adopted as a means of therapy for certain individuals, and they also aid visually impaired people – these are just a few things among the many other functions that dogs serve.

The nature of dogs has made humanity to fall in love with them. The dynamic bond between humans and their pet dogs can be seen all around. People of all ages enjoy having them around. Dogs are highly intelligent animals that express themselves in many different ways. This article addresses 4 different ways by which dogs express their love for us.

If you’re able to tell when your dog is showing love to you, it will help to strengthen the bond between you two.

Here are some ways through which your dog could express its love:

1. Eye Contact

First is eye contact. There’s a lot of truth that reflects in the eyes. When you’re staring into your dog’s eyes, you can sense the love that exists between you two.

Based on extensive research, it has been discovered that anytime you’re staring into your dog’s eyes, there’s a rise in the level of oxytocin in the dog’s system. This oxytocin is a chemical that affects feelings of love and closeness in dogs.

As you stare into your dog’s eyes, you need to keep in mind that another dog could react differently. Dogs that aren’t closely related to you can take eye contact as a direct confrontation – which could be dangerous. Also, it could be the fact that you are holding a bag of delicious dog treats too!

2. Face Licking

Another common experience with dogs is face licking. If you have a dog, you’d have probably experienced this many times.

This is a means by which your dog expresses its love for you. Baby dogs have a higher tendency to perform this action that older ones. If you were worried about a dog being hostile, you can calm down if it starts licking your face. This is usually a sign of friendliness. One other reason for licking in dogs is the need to clean their body.

It’s common for dogs to lick their coat in an attempt to remove dirt. Therefore, if your dog starts licking your face, it might just be trying to give you a saliva bath and get you clean.

3. Tail Wagging

This is an act that’s popularly associated with dogs. When your dog wags its tail, there are many messages the pooch could be passing. This act is not restricted to only feelings of excitement, but it could reflect a warning, uneasy feeling, and even show that the dog is afraid. If the dog is calm, your canine friend won’t wag its tail around so much.

The happier, excitement-related, wagging is usually wholesome; the entire backside is in a gyration along with the wagging tail. Generally, a happy tail wag has its unique welcoming aura.

Don’t forget to brush your dog’s tail frequently too!

4. Jumping

Lastly, your dog’s love can be reflected through jumping. If you own a dog, you may have, on different occasions, been taken by surprise when your dog jumped at you as you entered the apartment.

This is usually a sign that your dog has missed you and is excited to see you at home. However, if you don’t want your dog to jump on you whenever you walk through the door – maybe you’re carrying a fragile package – you can train your pooch to greet you in a calmer manner. 

Conclusion

Clearly, dogs are great companions in the home. They are friendly, loyal, and affectionate animals. They are also highly intelligent.

If you’re a dog owner, you would have experienced, first hand, the loving nature of these canine wonders. Dogs protect their owners and do many other things to show their love. If you can successfully tell when your dog is showing its affection and attraction to you, it will boost your bond with dear Fido.

Making use of the information provided in this article, you can start paying closer attention to the different behaviors your dog exhibits.

Bio

Pete Decker is the lead editor at TheGoodyPet.com. For the past 20 years, Pete has been working professionally with dogs, and he has spent time volunteering in animal shelters across USA and around the world. Now, Pete dedicates his time towards TheGoodyPet, a pet educational website made by pet lovers for pet lovers.

You can find more from Pete on his website, TheGoodyPet.com  or by following TheGoodyPet on Twitter or Facebook.

Worth Repeating!

10 Things Dogs Teach Us About What Matters Most

Whether they’re eating a bowl of kibble or chasing a ball, dogs live for the present moment. The past is gone; you can’t do anything about it. The future is unknown. The only thing you can really enjoy and affect is the present moment.
Remy & Louie send wags and kisses!

I’ve been around dogs since my childhood and have always loved being in the company of our four-legged friends. When I told my husband I wanted a dog, he wasn’t too thrilled with the idea at first. I was traveling a lot for work at the time, and he knew he’d have most of the responsibility. The compromise we made was to let him choose the breed. I wanted a small, non-shedding, off-leash dog. What we adopted, however, were three husky puppies. A large breed known for shedding and wandering. And despite the years of constant vacuuming up dog hair, we loved the breed so much that when our original three passed away, we adopted two more huskies! Our dogs have been a constant source of love and amusement, but even more so, they’ve taught us some of the greatest life lessons.

1. Live in the moment.
Although dogs remember things like where the treats are kept, what street takes them home and who they’ve met before, they only access that information when they need it — in the moment. Whether they’re eating a bowl of kibble or chasing a ball, dogs live for the present moment. The past is gone; you can’t do anything about it. The future is unknown. The only thing you can really enjoy and affect is the present moment.

2. Overcome fear with love.
There are plenty of stories about frightful, aggressive dogs who transformed into kind, gentle dogs after they were placed in a loving environment. Dogs can overcome their fear and insecurities through love, and so can humans. Love truly does conquer all, and the first step for us is to love ourselves. If you can replace fear and self-criticism with self-love, no matter what situation you’re in, life gets easier.

3. Don’t hold grudges
A grudge is a feeling of resentment toward someone. It originates in our mind. Humans are probably the only species that holds a grudge. A dog will never be angry with you because you didn’t give him a treat after dinner last night. Holding a grudge weighs you down emotionally and keeps you from moving forward in life. Let grudges go and you will create your own personal freedom

4. Play every day.
Dogs love to play, which usually involves lots of movement, whether it’s running, chasing or jumping. This is a good reminder for us to play and move our bodies every day as well. Playing opens up your mind and spirit to all kinds of new ideas and creativity. It’s a needed break from the constant 24/7 work environment. And if you can exercise while you play, even better. Dogs actually give you a reason to get out and go walking, hiking, running, biking or even Rollerblading. (Although, I wouldn’t recommend Rollerblading if you have dogs that pull like I do. Very fun for them. Very scary for you!)

5. Jump for joy when you’re happy.
Have you ever seen a dog circling around or jumping up and down at the thought of getting a treat or chasing a ball? Wouldn’t it be fun if we could all jump around when we’re excited about something? We live life so fast that we often forget to get excited and celebrate the good times because we’re already on to the next thing. We live in a miraculous world where the sun comes up every day, flowers bloom and seasons change. There is much to jump for joy about.

6. Accept yourself.
Can you imagine a terrier wishing she were a boxer or a poodle envious of a collie’s mane or a pug wanting the nose of a greyhound? We humans spend a lot of time trying to make ourselves look like someone else’s version of perfection instead of loving our unique features, our unique life, and yes, our unique problems. How boring it would be if all dogs (or all humans) looked and behaved alike! Love everything about yourself — the good, the bad and the ugly!

7. Enjoy the journey.
When dogs go for a car ride, they stick their head out the window, smell the air and feel the wind against their fur. They don’t care where they’re going. They’re just enjoying the journey. Although goals are great to set, we often forget that it’s the journey that matters most. When we get too attached to the outcome, we set ourselves up for frustration, depression or even anger if our exact expectations are not met. Next time you set a goal, be open to other possibilities and enjoy every moment of excitement, creativity, fun and lessons in the journey.

8. Drink lots of water.
Dogs instinctively know when their bodies need water. They usually stop eating when they’re full, and won’t eat anything that seems poisonous to them, except of course, for one of my huskies who once ate an entire platter of chocolate rum balls. Anyway… back to water. It’s a good reminder for us to stay hydrated and drink when we’re thirsty. In fact, drinking water when you feel hungry is good for weight management because often you just need some water. Another good practice is to drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning.

9. Be loyal and dependable.
Dogs are pack animals. They stick with their pack. They play with their pack. They defend their pack. This is a great reminder for all of us to be conscientious members of our human pack. The Golden Rule of treating others how you would like to be treated applies here. Being a loyal and dependable friend, lover, sibling, partner or parent will enrich your life in many ways.

10. Love unconditionally.
No matter what, dogs love you unconditionally. They wag their tails when they see you, no matter what mood you’re in. They still want to give you big wet kisses, even if you’ve just yelled at them. And they instantly forgive you no matter how you behave. Loving others unconditionally is a difficult task, but it’s the one that would surely make the world a better place if we all just tried.

So, we can learn a lot from our dogs. Their companionship, loyalty and unconditional love is unmatched by any human standards.  Debbie Gisonni, Contributor, Huff Post

Cat Goes To The Beach For The First Time And Can’t Stop Smiling About It

 a cat sitting on top of a beach

a cat lying on top of a sandy beacha cat sitting on a chair

 

Some people were hanging out on the beach when they suddenly noticed a cat, relaxing in the sand with her owner. As they approached the cat, they couldn’t help but notice how happy the kitty was — and were delighted when they learned why. Whether she was lounging in her beach chair  a cat lying on top of a chairor digging her feet into the sand, the sweet cat just couldn’t contain her joy, and her cute little smile and big eyes said it all. a cat sitting on top of a sandy beach© Facebook/Travel Secrets club

“Cat owner says it’s her first time going to the beach,” Semsema Mahmoud wrote in a post on Facebook.

When you see just how happy this cat is to be at the beach, you can’t help but smile, and she’s definitely the kind of joy we need in the world right now! 

… and she was so happy about it, she literally couldn’t stop smiling.  © Facebook/Travel Secrets club

What a Happy Happy story!

Nellie the Kitty!

Ever since Nellie’s parents adopted her, they’ve noticed that she really, really likes food. She’s always struck them as being way more dog-like than cat-like because of how food-motivated she is, and they’ve even been able to use her love of treats to teach her a few tricks.

a cat sitting on a table

a cat lying on top of a remote control“She lives to eat instead of eating to live,” Allison Riebel, Nellie’s mom, told The Dodo. “She loves her cat food and she loves her cat treats. We use her love of snacks to practice learning tricks.

She’s become good at sit, high five and loves to play fetch.” On her quest for snacks, Nellie often gets herself stuck or into places she’s not supposed to be — and even when her parents think that something is safe from her antics, Nellie is always quick to prove them wrong.

On her quest for snacks, Nellie often gets herself stuck or into places she’s not supposed to be — and even when her parents think that something is safe from her antics, Nellie is always quick to prove them wrong.

Riebel is a veterinary student, and recently she decided to bake some cookies for her fellow volunteers at the Wildlife Medical Clinic through the University of Illinois. She put some of the cookies in a sealed Tupperware container, figuring they’d be safe in there — but unfortunately, they weren’t safe at all.

“Nellie somehow opened the container and took all the cookies out and onto the floor,” Riebel said. “The funny thing is I know she took them all out separately because if she had just knocked them out of the container, the cookies would have broken. But they were spread out across our dining room floor with little bites out of each. So she took them all out separately and chopped them all separately and did it quietly enough to not get noticed.” a cat sitting on a table

Nellie knocked something over, so Riebel took a break from studying and came downstairs to see what was going on — and found her cookies on the floor, with a bite taken out of every single one. Nellie didn’t even try to pretend it wasn’t her, and instead seemed pretty pleased with herself that she had managed to find such yummy snacks.

“She did not seem guilty,” Riebel said. “She plays it off very well. It’s both infuriating and hilarious. She’s very proud of herself.”

courtesy and credit:  Allison Riebel

Cherry Eye

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Close-up of a cherry eye

Cherry eye is a disorder of the nictitating membrane (NM), also called the third eyelid, present in the eyes of dogs and cats.[1] Cherry eye is most often seen in young dogs under the age of two.[2] Common misnomers include adenitis, hyperplasia, adenoma of the gland of the third eyelid; however, cherry eye is not caused by hyperplasia, neoplasia, or primary inflammation.[3] In many species, the third eyelid plays an essential role in vision by supplying oxygen and nutrients to the eye via tear production.[4] Normally, the gland can turn inside-out without detachment.[3] Cherry eye results from a defect in the retinaculum which is responsible for anchoring the gland to the periorbita. This defect causes the gland to prolapse and protrude from the eye as a red fleshy mass.[3] Problems arise as sensitive tissue dries out and is subjected to external trauma[3] Exposure of the tissue often results in secondary inflammation, swelling, or infection.[3] If left untreated, this condition can lead to dry eye syndrome and other complications.[4]

Description

Cherry eye is most common in young dogs, especially breeds such as Cavalier King Charles SpanielEnglish BulldogLhasa ApsoShih TzuWest Highland White TerrierPugBloodhoundAmerican Cocker Spaniel, and Boston Terrier.[1] Cherry eye is rare in felines, but can occur. This defect is most common in the Burmese breed of felines.[5] A similar condition exists in dwarf lop-eared rabbits, which occurs in the harderian gland. Similar surgical treatment is necessary.[3]

Cherry eye is not considered a genetic problem, as no proof of inheritance has been determined.[6] The NM contains many glands which merge and appear as a single gland.[7] Typically, glands secrete tears for lubrication of the cornea.[7] Lack of anchoring allows the gland to flip up, causing the gland to prolapse. Symptoms include a visible fleshy mass, abnormal tear production, and a discharge or drainage from the eye. Cherry eye is typically diagnosed by examination of the conjunctiva and nictitating membrane.[2] The most obvious symptom of cherry eye is a round fleshy mass in the medial canthus of the eye, similar in appearance to the fruit it is named for.[7] This mass may be unilateral or ‘’bilateral’’. Both eyes may develop cherry eye at different times in the animal’s life.[1] Other symptoms of cherry eye include drainage from the eye and abnormal tear production. Initially, cherry eye results in overproduction of tears, but eventually changes to unsubstantial tear production.[1]

Treatment[edit]

Non-surgical[edit]

Cherry eye, if caught early, can be resolved with a downward diagonal-toward-snout closed-eye massage of the affected eye or occasionally self-corrects alone or with antibiotics and steroids.[3] Sometimes the prolapse will correct itself with no interference, or with slight physical manual massage manipulation as often as necessary coupled with medication.[3]

Surgical[edit]

Surgery is the most common means of repairing a cherry eye. Surgery involves gland replacement, not excision, by anchoring the membrane to the orbital rim.[3] In severely infected cases, preoperative antibiotics may be necessary by means of antibiotic eye ointment.[3] Removal of the gland was once an acceptable treatment, and made the eye appear completely normal.[5] Despite cosmetic appeal, removal of the gland reduces tear production by 30 percent. Tear production is essential in maintaining and protecting the eye from the external environment.[5] Reduced tear production is especially problematic in breeds of animals predisposed to Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), also known as dry eye syndrome. With surgeries performed in this manner, KCS often results later in life.[3]

Close-up of prolapsed gland in small breed dog

KCS is not common in dogs, affecting one per cent of the dog population.[8] KCS is a chronic degenerative conjunctivitis that can lead to impaired vision and blindness.[2] KCS has a wide array of causes including drug toxicity, cherry eye, previous surgery, trauma, and irradiation.[2] KCS can be treated, but treatment often spans the entirety of the animal’s life.[2]

In contrast to this, several replacement surgical procedures exist to remedy cherry eye.[2] Replacement of the gland results in lower instances of dry eye later in life.[9] Surgery types are broken into two groups: anchoring procedures and pocket/envelope procedures.[1] At least 8 surgical techniques currently exist.[1] In anchoring procedures, the prolapsed gland must be sutured to the periorbital fascia, the sclera, or the base of the third eyelid.[5] In contrast, pocket procedures involve suturing healthy tissue around the prolapsed to enclose and secure it.[5] Each of these techniques may be performed with an anterior or superior approach, depending on which direction of suturing will cause the least complications to the eye.[5]

Anchoring method[edit]

Originally, the anchoring method involved suturing the gland to the globe. This method was superseded over time due to the risky and difficult nature of the surgery, along with a high rate of recurrence.[3] Anchoring approaches from posterior may disrupt normal fluid excretion.[9] Subsequently, an anterior approach was introduced.[9] Disadvantages of anchoring techniques include restricted mobility of third eyelid, which is essential in the functions of fluid distribution and self-cleaning.[9] New procedures are currently being explored to allow tacking of the NM without restricting movement of the third eyelid.[9] Few studies compare results of surgeries, therefore choosing a procedure is a matter of preference.[9]

Envelope/pocket method[edit]

The envelope method, often called the pocket technique, requires suturing of tissue around the prolapse, encasing it in a layer of conjunctiva.[5] Pocket techniques are easiest for doctors to learn.[1] Pocket methods also have anterior and posterior versions. Posterior suturing techniques are the most commonly used because they cause the least complications, with no alterations in tear production.[9] Surgery should only be attempted by experienced surgeons.[3] Inappropriate surgical techniques can result in many complications including cysts on the eye.[9]

Prognosis[edit]

Without treatment[edit]

Previously, treatment was thought optional until the role of NM was fully understood.[1] The NM gland is responsible for 40–50% of tear production.[10] If exposed for extended periods of time, the gland is at risk for trauma, secondary infection, and reduced tear production.[10] Many complications can arise if left untreated: early closed-eye massage manipulation is recommended to prevent inflammation .[3]

Post treatment[edit]

Postoperative treatment includes antibiotic eye ointment three times daily for two weeks.[5] With newer procedures, the rate of prolapse recurrence is minimal.[3] Most techniques have a reprolapse rate of approximately zero to four percent.[1] Occasionally, additional or duplicate surgery is required.[10] With treatment, it is possible for animals to live a normal life.

How Old Is Your Dog ?

A biological clock governs aging in dogs just as in humans.

CREDIT:  SERGEY RYUMIN/GETTY IMAGES

Here’s a better way to convert dog years to human years, scientists say

Our Scotch collie, Buckaroo, is just shy of 14 years old. Following the long-debunked but still popular idea that one dog year equals seven human years, he’s almost a centenarian. (This “formula” may be based on average life spans of 10 and 70 years for dogs and people, respectively.) Now, researchers say they have a new formula (see calculator below) to convert dog years to human years—one with some actual science behind it.

The work is based on a relatively new concept in aging research: that chemical modifications to a person’s DNA over a lifetime create what is known as an epigenetic clock. Scientists have built a case that one such modification, the addition of methyl groups to specific DNA sequences, tracks human biological age—that is, the toll that disease, poor lifestyle, and genetics take on our bodies. As a result, some groups have converted a person’s DNA methylation status to an age estimate—or even a prediction of life expectancy (worrying ethicists, who say the data could be misused by forensic investigators and insurance companies).

Other species also undergo DNA methylation as they age. Mice, chimpanzees, wolves, and dogs, for example, all seem to have epigenetic clocks. To find out how those clocks differ from the human version, geneticist Trey Ideker of the University of California, San Diego, and colleagues started with dogs. Even though man’s best friends diverged from humans early in mammalian evolution, they’re a good group for comparison because they live in the same environments and many receive similar healthcare and hospital treatments.

They scanned DNA methylation patterns in the genomes of 104 dogs, ranging from 4 weeks to 16 years of age. Their analysis revealed that dogs (at least Labrador retrievers) and humans do have similar age-related methylation of certain genomic regions with high mutation rates; those similarities were most apparent when the scientists looked at young dogs and young humans or old dogs and old humans. Most importantly, they found that certain groups of genes involved in development are similarly methylated during aging in both species. That suggests at least some aspects of aging are a continuation of development rather than a distinct process—and that at least some of these changes are evolutionarily conserved in mammals, Ideker and colleagues report in a preprint posted online at bioRxiv.

“We already knew that dogs get the same diseases and functional declines of aging that humans do, and this work provides evidence that similar molecular changes are also occurring during aging,” says Matt Kaeberlein, a biogerontologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, who was not involved with this research. “It’s a beautiful demonstration of the conserved features of the epigenetic age clocks shared by dogs and humans.”

The research team also used the rate of the methylation changes in dogs to match it to the human epigenetic clock, although the resulting dog age conversion is a bit more complex than “multiply by seven.” The new formula, which applies to dogs older than one, says that a canine’s human age roughly equals 16 ln(dog age) + 31. (That’s the natural logarithm of the dog’s real age, multiplied by 16, with 31 added to the total.)

Allergies!

Seasonal Allergies in Dogs and Cats

Some of the reasons we enjoy seasonal changes are also challenges for allergy sufferers. And just like us, dogs and cats can be allergic to substances, allergens, in the environment or airborne. When your dog or cat comes in contact with an allergen, the immune system releases histamine and the itching, swelling, and irritation begins. Dogs and cats usually come in contact with allergens by inhaling from the air or by direct contact with the skin. Reactions can be severe and occur immediately after exposure or be delayed. Allergies may come and go with the seasons, or persist throughout the year. Listed below are some of the common allergens and warning signs:

Common Allergens:

  • Fleas or flea bites
  • Pollens
  • Grasses, Weeds, Trees
  • Insect bites or stings
  • Molds
  • Mildew
  • Medications
  • Household Cleaners & Products

Here are some of the signs of allergies:

  • Scratching skin or ears
  • Licking & chewing of the paws
  • Rubbing the face & eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Shaking ears
  • Reoccurring ear infections
  • Red or inflamed skin
  • Coughing or wheezing

If the scratching becomes intense, your dog or cat may damage their skin while trying to relieve the sensation. As a result, this can leave the skin with open wounds, and vulnerable to infection and potential for hotspots. You may also notice hair loss, scabbing, and crusting due to excessive scratching, chewing, or rubbing. Because the symptoms of allergies are similar to other disorders, it’s important to speak with your veterinarian if you notice these behaviors. For example, persistent coughing and wheezing can be a warning sign of asthma in cats. In order to determine the source of the itching and, or rule out other skin problems, your veterinarian will need to examine your pet. This may also include allergy testing to determine the exact allergen your pet is sensitive to.

What Can I Do to Relieve My Pet’s Allergies?

Your veterinarian may prescribe an antihistamine or anti-inflammatory medication to help relieve your pet’s symptoms. They may also recommend bathing with a medicated shampoo to wash allergens away from the skin and reduce irritation.

Avoidance and prevention are key methods for controlling allergic reactions, but it may be difficult to completely avoid allergens, especially for pets adapted to the outdoor lifestyle. Making some changes to daily habits may also help managing exposure:

  • Provide a flea and tick preventative recommended by your veterinarian
  • Keep yards maintained and lawns trimmed to discourage insects and to manage pollen.
  • Change furnace filters and perform regular house cleaning to prevent the buildup of allergens in the home.
  • Consider an air purifier, which helps reduce airborne allergens including dust.
  • Regular bathing or spot cleaning helps remove allergens collected while outside. Once inside, wash or wipe down the paws and other skin areas that may be affected.

There are a variety of different treatments, medications, nutritional supplements and topical products designed to help control seasonal allergies. Talk with your veterinarian about the best product or solution that meets the needs of your dog or cat. VetRxDirect has a wide selection of allergy care products for both dogs and cats.

courtesy: VetRxDirect

The Look of Our Havanese

The Havanese breed is a deceptively light and frivolous looking dog that is assuredly sound of mind and agile in movement. Its long, fluffy coat gives no indication of the “trooper” in this tried and true companion. The breed is longer in leg than its cousin the Bichon and less dense in coat.

Their expression is soft and intelligent, mischievious rather than cute. The eyes are dark brown, large, almond-shaped and set rather widely apart. Ears are of medium length with long hair and hang down.

They have a long tail that is covered with long silky hair. The profuse coat varies from wavy to curly; it is double-coated with soft hair, both on outer and undercoat. Adult coat reaches 6 to 8 inches and has a pearly sheen.

More great info coming your way!

courtesy: Havanese Lovers Training Course

About Havanese

Remy & Louie send wags and kisses!

We have been asked to do a series on our beloved Havanese! Today, we’ll begin the series and give you just a very brief history. We’ll talk about the general appearance, i.e., coat, height, weight, temperament, lifestyle requirements, activity, exercise needs, getting along with children, grooming, genetics, and then we’ll move into some training.  Hope you enjoy the series and please send us an email with your very own story. Here’s to Happy Havanese!

The Havanese descends from the same ancestor as the entire Bichon family, the Tenerife. The dog’s journel to Cuba most like was aboard the trade ships sailing from the island of Tenerife in the early sixteenth century. Tenerife is the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, off West Africa. It’s dominated by Mt. Teide, a dormant volcano that is Spain’s tallest peak. Tenerife may be best known for its Carnaval de Santa Cruz, a huge pre-Lent festival with parades, music, dancing and colorful costumes. The island has many beaches (with sands from yellow to black) and resort areas, including Los Cristianos and Playa de las Américas.

Bichon Lapdogs were being brought to Cuba in the 17th century from Europe, where they adapted to the climate and the customs of Cuba. Eventually, these conditions gave birth to a different dog, smaller than its predecessors, with a completely white coat of a silkier texture. The Bichon Havanese originated in the 19th century (1800-1900). By the mid-1800s the Havanese was so popular that it was owned by such celebrities as Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens. It became known as the dog of the aristocratic class of sugar barons of Cuba.

The Havanese was continually bred in Cuba all through the 20th century (1900-2000) and was the preferred pet/dog of the Cuban families. With the advent of the Cuban revolution in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, the class of Cubans who owned Havanese was the first to leave. Breeding the Havanese in the USA started in the 1970s. Remarkably, through all their travels, Havanese type and purpose has remained virtually unchanged for the past hundred and fifty years.

The duties of the Havanese traditionally have been those of companion, watchdog, child’s playmate and herder of the family poultry flock.The breed known as Havanese is the National Dog of Cuba and the only native breed to that country.

### courtesy: Havanese Lovers’ Training Course. Visit them to find out more!

Can Dogs See Color?

 

a brown and white dog looking at the camera: A portrait of a young yellow Labrador retriever

Can dogs see color?

“Yes! Dogs can see color,” Dr. Zay Satchu, Chief Veterinary Officer of Bond Vet, told RD. “Both humans and animals have different types of cells in the back of our eyeballs—called rods and cones—that help us see. Rods detect motion and help with nighttime vision, and cones help with color and detail in what we see. Humans have three kinds of cones, meaning we see color and detail very well, while dogs have two kinds, meaning they can still pick up on colors, but probably can’t differentiate between forest and lime green as easily.”

So the idea that dogs are totally colorblind is one of the “facts” about animals that you actually have all wrong.

 

What colors do dogs see? While the nuances of some colors are lost on dogs, they still do have quite the color spectrum, including some colors that humans can’t see! “Most dogs can’t see much of red or green at all,” says Dr. Satchu. “The other ‘color’ that exists that humans can’t see but dogs can is ultraviolet, meaning ‘beyond violet.’ We’re still evaluating the true purpose of this vision, but we think it has to do with the ability to pick up on the kinds of substances that contain ultraviolet light, like urine and blood, that help with tracking out in the wild.” The best colors for your pup’s vision are likely in the blue and yellow tones.

 The AKC also points out how ironic it is that the most popular colors for dog toys made today are bright oranges and reds, colors your pup is only going to see in gray and brown tones. A better choice? That yellow tennis ball, or something bright blue, which will contrast well against the gray/brown tone that dogs see when they look at something green, like your grassy yard. The next time you’re wondering, “Can dogs see color?”, think about the specific color, but if you want an even better idea, download the Dog Vision app and take a look for yourself! Unfortunately, taking a look from their point of view won’t get you any closer to understanding the reasons behind the weirdest dog behaviors.
Courtesy:
Isabel Roy
Reader's Digest

© Diyana Georgieva/Shutterstock A portrait of a young yellow Labrador retriever

 

True Love

 

No one expects to fall in love with the boy next door, but when a shy golden retriever named Lola met her neighbor Loki, sparks immediately began to fly.

a brown and white dog looking at the camera

In March, Lola and her mom Amber Monte moved into their new home just outside of Surrey, England. Loki, a Staffordshire terrier, was one of the first to greet the new arrivals. His stretch of yard was separated from Monte’s property by a wooden fence, but despite the barrier, the two dogs got to know each other.

“We’ve never lived next to other dogs before, and Lola was so excited to see another dog so often!” Monte told The Dodo. “When Loki was in his garden he’d always jump up at the fence and look for Lola, as he knew she was usually there.”

Lola reciprocated Loki’s advances, but her parents didn’t think it was anything more than a budding friendship. “Lola would always jump up and give him a little hello with some licks,” Monte said. “We only just thought they were getting to know each other and that would be it, really.”

Monte never worried that Lola would form any real attachment to Loki. After all, he just didn’t seem like her normal type. “She’s usually quite shy and timid,” Monte said. “She gets quite scared around other large dogs when we are out on walks, which is why we found it so odd when she took so well to Loki.”

But about a month ago, Monte noticed a change in Lola’s behavior. The dog now preferred to spend her days by the back door whining to go outside, as if pining for Loki.

a dog sitting in front of a window

They are so excited to see each other when they play — there’s lots of jumping around, running, lots of kissing!” Monte said. “They are inseparable when they are together.”

If Loki and Lola prove anything, it’s that love cannot be fenced in.

 

“A few times the past month we’ve actually come out to see Loki in our garden and them both playing around together,” Monte said. “Now, usually in the mornings when we go to let Lola out, Loki is sat waiting in our garden for her!”The two dogs love nothing more than those precious moments they spend together. And, luckily, Lola’s parents are understanding about her boyfriend’s frequent visits.

To learn more about Loki and Lola’s relationship, you can follow Lola on Instagram.

 

 

Summer Flea & Tick Season is Upon Us!

How to protect your dog from flea & tick season, according to a veterinarian…a few things to consider…

courtesy of:
TKKTKT. (Photo: Getty Images)
If you have a furry friend, now’s the time to brush up on the best flea and tick treatments on the market. (Photo: Getty Images)

For pet owners, warm weather is synonymous with peak flea and tick season. Bites are notorious for causing everything from intense itching to more serious infections like Lyme disease, so keeping your pet protected is more important than ever this time of year.

When it comes to fleas, they don’t just affect your pet, says Wellness Natural Pet Food veterinarian, Dr. Danielle Bernal. “Once your dog has them, they can take over the entire home,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle, noting that furniture and floorboards are especially at risk for flea infestation. “About 70 percent of dogs that are itchy and scratching have fleas, so it’s really abundant—protection is key.”

Ticks can lead to anemia, paralysis and even Lyme disease — so picking the right preventative measure is extremely important. “Tick bites can lead to expensive vet bills and a situation where your pet is really unwell,” says Dr. Bernal.

So if you have a furry friend, now’s the time to brush up on the best flea and tick treatments on the market, below.

Spot treatments

Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Large Breed Dog Treatment, 45 - 88 lbs. (Photo: Chewy)
Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Large Breed Dog Treatment, 45 – 88 lbs. (Photo: Chewy)

“Spot treatments have been the most popular option for the last 10 years.
says Dr. Bernal. She adds that while there are many brands and formulas out there, the most important thing to look for is one that kills fleas and ticks but also prevents future infestations.

Shop it: Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Large Breed Dog Treatment (6 doses), 45 – 88 lbs., $67, chewy.com

Tablets

Bravecto Chews for Dogs, 44-88 lbs, One 3-month treatment. (Photo: Chewy)
Bravecto Chews for Dogs, 44-88 lbs, One 3-month treatment. (Photo: Chewy)

Dr. Bernal says tablets are the newest way to prevent fleas and ticks. The pill is available in 1 to 3 month-long preventative doses, which is great for busy (and sometimes forgetful) pet parents. “As pet parents, one of the challenges we have is remembering to do things, so I’ve seen a lot of success with the 3-month tablet,” she says. “If you stay active with the 3-month treatments, it’s just four times a year, and you get consistent protection so it’s my go-to.”

Not only are the tablets easy to use, but Dr. Bernal says they’re also one of the best preventatives for ticks. “Ticks are hard because many spot treatments only protect against ticks for about 2 weeks out of the 4 — but with the tablet, you’re covered for up to 3 months.”

​Shop it: Bravecto Chews for Dogs, 44-88 lbs, One 3-month treatment, $55, chewy.com

Collars

Seresto 8 Month Flea & Tick Prevention Collar for Large Dogs. (Photo: Chewy)
Seresto 8 Month Flea & Tick Prevention Collar for Large Dogs. (Photo: Chewy)

While most collars, like Seresto, protect against flea and ticks, she recommends collars for added tick protection if you’re using a spot treatment.

“Collars are really popular for tick prevention specifically,” says Dr. Bernal. “Ticks are everywhere—even the dog park—and what stimulates them is the carbon dioxide from your dog’s breath. So the collars work to neutralize that and repel ticks over a period of time.”

Shop it: Seresto 8 Month Flea & Tick Prevention Collar for Large Dogs, $58, chewy.com

The editors at Yahoo Lifestyle are committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. At times, we may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

Train Your Dog to Stay!

How to Train A Dog to Stay

Your dog will stay – happily and comfortably – if you teach him the valuable behavior with this dog-friendly technique.

Before I knew anything about dog training, I viewed the “stay” cue as the start of some sort of battle of the wills. I imagined a human would need to have incredible authority over a dog to convince him to stay put for any amount of time.

After I learned about positive reinforcement training, though, I came to understand that teaching a stay behavior doesn’t need to have anything to do with power and control, and instead is a matter of reinforcement and trust.

A really solid stay is a beautiful thing to observe. A dog is cued to stay, and despite distractions around him, he won’t move from his spot. I am especially impressed when I see a dog looking happy and relaxed while staying put, fully trusting that he’ll be released eventually.

The icing on the cake is that this behavior is actually pretty simple to teach, and as a bonus, it can be a really fun process for both the trainer and her dog.

Once your dog has learned to stay on cue, the behavior can come in handy. In the past week alone, I’ve asked my dog to stay a number of times: When I opened the door for a delivery, when we moved a heavy piece of furniture and didn’t want him underfoot, and when I needed to wipe very hot pasta sauce off the kitchen floor (don’t ask).

Your Dog Should Choose to Stay

When I’m teaching a dog what I want him to do when I ask him to “stay,” I aim to make sure he knows he has a choice in the matter. He can stay, or he can get up and walk away. Yes, that’s right – he can leave if he wants to, right in the middle of a training session. Does this surprise you? Let me explain.

I give my canine students full agency to end a training session whenever they want. They’re never obliged to participate. It’s my job to keep them engaged and interested in what I’m teaching them.

I also set up the environment to make it far more likely that the dog will offer me the behavior I’m looking for, and in turn this will provide me with the opportunity to reinforce that behavior. If I’ve done my job right, the dog I’m teaching won’t be interested in getting up to leave. He’s allowed to – and I won’t stop him if he does – but he won’t want to.

Coercion is completely unnecessary when teaching a stay. When we train using rewards to reinforce behaviors, we make it more likely that our dog will choose to do the behavior we reward. In other words, we greatly increase the odds that he’ll offer that behavior when given the opportunity.

That’s how you end up with a dog who looks relaxed in a stay position, rather than worried, vigilant, restless, or on the verge of standing up and leaving. When I see those worried dogs, I think to myself how simple it would be to turn that situation into one the dog trusts. “You want me to stay here? Sure thing, happy to! Take as long as you need!”

How to Prepare Your Dog to Learn to Stay

Before we get started, make sure you have the prerequisites in place:

A dog who’s had the opportunity to expend some energy. Don’t try to work on this behavior when your dog is bursting at the seams and hasn’t yet been for a walk or had some play time. On the other hand, avoid wearing him out completely before practicing. You want him to be a little spent, but still have enough energy to use his brain.

Food, and lots of it. Cut treats into a very small size, like the size of your pinky fingernail for a large dog, and half that size for a smaller dog. You’ll be using a lot of food and feeding repetitively. That means avoid working immediately after feeding your dog when his tummy’s full, and alternately, avoid working when your dog is really hungry. A hungry dog is far too interested in getting immediate access to the food, and he’ll struggle to relax into the exercise.

A mat, towel, or rug. In the early stages, you’ll be using this item as a target on the floor to help your dog identify where he’s supposed to be. Avoid using your dog’s bed for this exercise. Your dog’s bed should be as free as possible from any rules or requests for behavior, in my opinion.

That’s his sanctuary, his own free space. Grab something else instead.

How to Train Your Dog to Stay: the 3 D’s of Learning to Stay

We’ll split the training exercises into three categories:

Distance – how far you can move away from your dog.

Distraction – what kinds of movements you can make and other environmental distractions you can add to the equation.

Duration – how long your dog can stay put before you release him.

We’ll work each of these categories separately at first. Keeping them separate will make it easier for your dog to be successful. We’ll start with the easiest level in each category, and we’ll gradually make the exercises more difficult as your dog masters each level.

But every time we make things a little harder in one category, we’ll make sure to keep the other two categories at a level your dog already knows really well. For example, when we’re working on increasing the distance between you and your dog, we’ll make sure we keep the other two categories at an easy level. We’ll never increase the distance and the duration and the distraction levels simultaneously. That would just be unfair to your dog and would slow your progress.

Verbal Cues for Teaching Stay

You’ll want a verbal cue or a hand gesture, or maybe both. Personally, I use only a hand gesture with my own dog. It looks a little like a “Stop!” hand gesture: hand positioned vertically, palm facing my dog, and fingers together. It doesn’t matter what gesture you choose, as long as you and all family members are consistent. For example, if I keep my fingers together, but my husband opens his fingers (like he’s flashing the number five), that can be confusing to our dog during the training process.

It’s not necessary to place your hand close to your dog’s face. In fact, that can be intimidating and uncomfortable for him. I keep my elbow somewhat bent and my hand about 12 inches in front of my body.

The standard verbal cue is “Stay,” of course, but you’re welcome to use whatever other word you want. If you choose to teach both a verbal cue and a hand gesture, I suggest you begin teaching only the hand gesture at first. It’s easier for dogs to learn visual cues before verbal ones.

Once your dog understands the visual cue, you can then add your verbal cue to your training sessions by saying it just prior to showing your hand gesture. After many repetitions of saying “Stay” before showing him the hand gesture, he will have associated the two, and you should be able to drop the hand gesture.

Choose a Release Word

Before we get started on teaching your dog to stay on cue, you need to choose what word you’ll use to let him know he’s now free to move around. You can use whatever word you want! In fact, the more unconventional your release word, the less likely your dog will be accidentally released by someone else saying the word, or by you saying the word in regular conversation.

For example, I see lots of people use the word “Okay!” to release their dogs. I think it’s a perfectly fine word to use, except that it can sometimes cause some confusion for the dog when that same word is used in casual conversation while he’s been asked to stay.

Imagine asking your dog to stay, and shortly after, a family member tells you, “I’m just running to store, I’ll be right back.” What is your likely response to that? “Okay!” … and oopsie, you’ve just unintentionally released your dog from his stay.

To release my dog, I say his name followed by “Let’s go!” but that’s just a suggestion. I’ve had clients use funny words like “potato” and “shazam!”

Choose whatever release word you like, as long as it’s unlikely to slip out during a casual conversation. It’s also a great habit to say your dog’s name before giving him your release word. It lets him know that you’re addressing him, that the next thing that comes out of your mouth is something he should pay attention to, and helps eliminate confusion.

how to teach a dog to stay
The initial cue that Jessie has chosen for Nova’s stay is a closed hand held in front of her body.

Steps to Training Your Dog to Stay: Gaining Distance

The first exercise is incredibly easy:

1. Choose a quiet spot in your home that will allow you to walk a few steps away from your dog and where there are few to no distractions. Grab about 15 small treats.

2. Ask your dog to lie down on a mat, and stand facing him.

3. Show him your hand gesture for “stay” and immediately lean down and place a treat on the floor between your dog’s outstretched front legs, then stand straight again.

4. Repeat this until you’ve gone through all 15 treats.

That’s it. You’re done. It doesn’t seem like much, but you have already begun teaching your dog that lying on a mat and not moving is really kind of fun!

how to teach a dog to stay
Every time you deliver a treat to reward your dog, place it on the ground between her front legs, where she can eat it without having to shift her position. Delivering it on the ground also keeps her from stretching toward it and standing up.

Getting Your Dog to Stay at a DISTANCE

The next exercise is set up the same way, except now you’ll start moving away from your dog, one step at a time. The lesson you’re teaching your dog is “even though I’m moving, the best thing for you to do now is to stay where you are.”

Once you have your treats in hand, and your dog is lying on his mat, facing you, you will:

1. Show your dog the stay cue and then take a single step backward.

2. Return to your dog, lean down, and place a treat on the floor between your dog’s outstretched front legs. Why on the floor? Because if you deliver the treat to his mouth, you’ll soon notice he will start to stretch his neck and body upward and toward your hand to get the treat. Soon, he’ll be standing!

3. Repeat this single-step exercise five times. You will have gone through five treats.

4. Now show him the hand gesture and then take two steps back.

5. Return to your dog. Lean down and deliver the treat.

6. Repeat this two-step exercise five times. You will have gone through five more treats.

7. Now take three steps backward, return to your dog, and deliver the treat. When you’ve done this five times, you should be out of treats.

how to teach a dog to stay
Work on increasing the distance between you and your dog during the stay at first. Once your dog’s stay is solid with a bit of distance, reduce the distance and begin to practice stays of greater duration.

Releasing the Stay

It’s time to release your dog from his stay.

1. Stand still and resist the urge to make a gesture with your hands or body. We want the release word to become significant and to not be overshadowed by any movement you might make.

2. Say your dog’s name, followed by a brief pause (so he doesn’t learn to start to rise when he hears his name), then say your release word. For example, “Fido (brief pause), let’s go!”

3. Then, after you’ve finished saying your release word, you can invite your dog to move off of his mat by clapping your hands and moving backward quickly, or clapping your thighs and using a high-pitched playful voice (for example).

4. Praise your dog and play with him for a moment away from his mat. He’s done really well!

5. Soon after your short break, grab some more treats, invite your dog back on the mat, and begin again.This time, try to make it to four steps backward for a few repetitions. If your dog finds this harder and stands up, refer to the trouble-shooting tips below and on the next two pages.

6. If he’s doing well with four steps, resist the urge to go to five steps just yet! Instead, start varying the number of steps you take, always returning to deliver a treat on the floor. Try taking three steps (return and treat), then one step (return and treat), then four steps (return and treat), then two steps (return and treat).

7. When you’re out of treats, stand still and say your release cue, then invite your dog to step off his mat and play with you.

That’s enough for now. Call it a day!

Distance Practice Tips

As you gradually increase the number of steps you take away from your dog, you can begin adding these new elements of difficulty.

Turn Your Back

So far, you’ve been taking steps while moving backward, always facing your dog. Later, when your dog is acing the easier exercises, try turning your back to walk away from your dog instead of stepping backward. Keep it easy at first! If you can take eight steps away from your dog while facing him, try showing him the hand gesture, turning your back, and taking only three steps away before turning back around and returning to him to deliver the treat.

Walk Around a Large Object

Once you’re able to move away from your dog with your back turned to him, try walking around an object that only partially obstructs his view of you before returning to deliver a treat to him. For example, walk around the dining room table (he can still see your legs), or around the island in the kitchen (he can still see the top half of your body).

Disappear from His View Entirely

This one can take some time to work up to. Don’t rush it! When your dog successfully stays on his mat while you walk around an object, try slipping out of his view for just a nano-second. Maybe you can walk away from him in a straight line down a hallway, and after a few steps, slip into a bedroom doorway or behind a corner, and then very quickly reappear. Return to him to deliver a treat between his paws.

Distance Trouble-Shooting Tips

  • When you’re stepping away from your dog, move quickly. If you move too slowly, your dog might get up and follow you. You want to move at a pace that will assure him that you’re returning immediately to deliver that treat.
  • Don’t pause between stepping back and returning to your dog. Stay in constant motion. Once you reach the maximum number of steps you want to take during a repetition, immediately return in one fluid motion. Your movement should look like that of a ball being tossed in the air; there is no hesitation before returning.
  • Be mindful you’re not tossing the treat or letting it drop on the floor from too high up. This might cause it to roll or bounce away from your dog, and he’ll stand to get it. If that does happen, though, let him have it, and invite him back into position on his mat before resuming the practice. It was your mistake, not his.
  • If your dog stands up when you bend down to deliver a treat, it’s possible that he’s not comfortable with having someone lean over him. Try bending your knees and squatting to avoid leaning over him, or stand a step farther away from him.
  • If your dog successfully stays on his mat while you take two steps backward, but he gets up and follows you when you try three steps, return to an easier level of the exercise and do a few more repetitions before trying three steps again.
  • If you have a dog who is used to always training with the use of a clicker and you feel he would do better if you used one for these exercises, you can click to mark the moment just before you begin returning to him. In other words, you would click at your farthest point. But in general, a marker is not necessary when training the stay behavior.
how to teach a dog to stay
At this point, start to mix it up. Walk around objects, keep your gaze on something other than your dog, turn your back to your dog, and/or briefly step out of his view altogether – so he doesn’t associate the stay cue with only you in front of him and making eye contact.

Steps to Training Your Dog to Stay D2: DURATION

To add duration to the stay behavior, you can begin to pause before returning to your dog to deliver the treat.

Start with a very short pause at first. Take an easy number of steps away from your dog, pause for two seconds, and return to your dog to deliver a treat. Gradually increase the number of seconds you pause. Don’t move ahead too quickly with this part! Resist jumping from a two-second pause to a 10-second pause, and just as you did with the number of steps in the earlier exercises, vary the length of your pauses.

For example, once you’re able to consistently pause for five seconds before returning to your dog, and your dog is looking nice and relaxed, try varying your next repetitions between five seconds, then three seconds, then one second, then increase to six seconds, then back to two seconds. Keep it variable as you slowly increase the number of seconds.

Don’t forget to practice your dog’s release cue every now and then! Once he’s off the mat, praise him playfully. Then invite him back to his mat for more training and treats.

You might notice that it takes a little more effort to convince him to get up when you release him. That’s great! It means he’s enjoying the stay exercise. It’s fine if he chooses to stay on the mat. A release cue simply means “You can move, now” – not “You have to move now!”

Duration Trouble-Shooting Tips

  • If your dog appears to become less tolerant of the longer pauses, he might be anticipating that the next pause will always be longer than the last one. That can become frustrating and demotivating. You don’t always need to keep making the exercise more difficult in a linear fashion. Once in a while, throw in an easy repetition or two to keep your dog interested in the game.
  • Avoid staring at your dog while you pause. He’ll think you’re expecting him to do something, and you might notice him start to offer you behaviors that he knows. Keep facing your dog, but “act casual.” I sometimes look around the room calmly, blinking softly. Or I’ll inspect my fingernails.
how to teach a dog to stay
Thanks to Jessie Bracey and Nova for demonstrating these exercises.

Steps to Training Your Dog to Stay D3: DISTRACTION

Distractions need to be introduced gradually into your training. So far, you’ve been working in a quiet environment and all of your movements have been pretty consistent. You have been moving away from your dog and returning to him to give him a treat.

Now you can start to change the game up a bit. Instead of moving in a straight line away from him, you can start moving in a circle around him. But wait! You’ll need to proceed with this exercise the same way you did with the distance exercises: One step at a time.

Once you have your treats in hand, and your dog is lying on his mat, facing you, you will:

1. Show him your hand gesture, and then take a single step a little to the right. Imagine you are beginning to walk a circle around your dog, counter-clockwise.

2. Return to face your dog after that one single step. Lean down and place a treat on the floor between his outstretched front legs.

3. Repeat this single-step-to-the-right exercise five times, showing your hand gesture before each repetition.

4. Now take two steps counter-clockwise.

5. Return to your dog. Lean down and deliver the treat.

6. Repeat this two-step exercise five times.

7. Now take three steps counter-clockwise, return to your dog, and deliver the treat.

8. Once you have successfully done a few repetitions at the halfway mark – i.e., you’ve reached your dog’s tail end – you can then try walking all the way around the dog.

When you’ve successfully done a handful of repetitions in one direction, it’s time to start doing the same exercise, but in the clockwise direction. Again, start with one step at a time. This might feel repetitive, but this type of gradual progress is the best way to get that nice, relaxed response from your dog when you ask him to stay.

Distraction Trouble-Shooting Tips

  • If your dog stands when you’re walking a full circle around him, step around him more quickly. He might turn and shift his weight to watch you walk. That’s okay. If you’re quick, he won’t have time to stand up. Once you’ve gone around a couple of times, he’ll understand what to expect and he’ll relax into the exercise.
  • Be mindful of his tail! Sometimes dogs will be quick to stand if we come too close to his tail. I can’t blame them! If you notice this, give his tail end a wider berth. That should help reassure him.
  • If your dog struggles to stay put, look around for things in the environment that might be making it hard for him. Are there distractions like food or toys on the floor, or another dog close by? Are you working next to a busy area of the house, or maybe next to a door? Is there an appliance nearby that keeps turning on and off noisily?

More Distraction Practice Exercises for Learning Stay

Add Silly Movements

So far, you’ve kept your body movements relatively quiet. Now, begin adding more movements that can serve as a distraction that your dog learns to ignore. For example, after walking a short distance away from your dog, briefly wave your arms around before returning to him immediately to reward him. Or perform a few dance steps, get silly with it! If your dog gets up, tone it down a bit until he understands that he’s still expected to hold the stay. Then you can turn up the silliness quotient again.

Add a Low-Value Toy

Grab a low-value toy or object and hold it behind your back, out of your dog’s view. Stand back a few steps from him, show him your stay gesture, then extend your other arm to the side to show him the object. Quickly hide it behind you again and then deliver a treat to him. Repeat this several times. When your dog does well, you can begin shaking the toy a bit, or even squeaking it just once or twice. Remember to reward your dog after every single successful repetition.

Add a High-Value Toy

Repeat the previous exercise, but with a toy you know your dog really wants.

In the end, teaching a stay behavior is all about rewarding your dog heavily for staying in one place. It’s also about releasing him often during practice so that he learns to trust that he’ll be allowed to move soon enough, which should help him to relax while he waits.

Nancy Tucker, CPDT-KA, is a full-time trainer, behavior consultant, and seminar presenter in Quebec, Canada.

3 Most Common and Preventable Canine Maladies

With simple observation and proactive management, you can prevent the three conditions that most frequently compromise dogs’ quality of life.

There are innumerable exotic diseases and bizarre injuries that can potentially afflict any individual dog, but, sadly, the vast majority of dogs in this country today will suffer from one of a few very prosaic disorders. And many dogs suffer from every single one of the maladies discussed below! Even sadder: All of these life-impairing conditions are 100 percent preventable – easily preventable!

1. Obesity

There are so many overweight pets in this country that there is at least one organization whose sole purpose is to quantify them and help their owners reduce the problem. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) estimates that more than 50 percent of the dogs in this country (and almost 60 percent of cats!) are overweight or obese.

Obese dogs are prone to a number of health problems that are directly related to their weight, including strongly increased incidence of osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory disease, cranial cruciate ligament injuries, kidney disease, many forms of cancer, and a decreased life expectancy. Though many people assume otherwise, there is actually no clear evidence that obesity causes diabetes in dogs. However, obesity can contribute to insulin resistance, making it more difficult to regulate overweight dogs with diabetes. Obesity is also a risk factor for pancreatitis, which can lead to diabetes.

Fat dogs get caught in the same vicious cycle that fat humans do: the extra weight they carry makes it harder for them to exercise by putting extra strain on their joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and discouraging them from exercising as much or as long. A fat dog has to work harder than his slim counterpart on the same hike, just as you would have to work harder if you were carrying a backpack with an extra 20 percent or more of your body weight in it. Given the extra workload, a fat dog may ache more than the slim dog the day after a long walk, and be less enthusiastic about going on the next walk. And the less exercise he gets, the fatter he may become.

The first step is recognizing the problem.

dog silhouette
Keeping your dog thin will do more than anything else you can do to support his vibrant good health over his lifetime – and may even extend his life!

There are many reasons that dogs get fat – and the first is owner non-recognition of their dogs’ obesity! I’ve hurt the feelings of several friends and family members when I’ve tried to educate them about their dogs’ condition. I try to be kind and tactful – and I suspect their veterinarians do, too, because almost invariably, people will tell me, “My vet has never said anything about it!”

It shouldn’t take a friend or a veterinarian to “diagnose” a fat dog. Your dog is likely overweight if, when viewed from above, she has no appreciable waist; or if you can’t very easily feel your dog’s ribs. Running your hand across her ribcage should feel rather like palpating the back of your hand, with bones covered with only a thin layer of skin and muscle. If it feels more like it does when you palpate the palm of your hand just below your fingers, she’s likely overweight; if it feels more like the meaty part of your palm at the base of your thumb, she’s probably obese!

But perhaps you know your dog is a little heavier than she ought to be – you just hate to take away anything that makes her happy. Please remember that she will decidedly not be happy when she’s suffering from osteoarthritis at age 5, or exercise-intolerant at age 7. Our dogs’ lives are short enough! Condemning them to even shorter lives, full of pain and (at the very least) discomfort for the latter half of their lives is not very kind at all.

Ideally, you help your dog stay fit and trim with an appropriate diet and the right amount of daily exercise. If your dog is already fat, make it a priority to help her lose weight and gain fitness. If you (slowly) increase the lengths of the walks you take her on, you just may find that you lose some weight as well! For most of us, that would be a very good thing, indeed!

For more on helping your dog lose weight, please see:

• “10 Weight Loss Tips for Senior Dogs,” 2/17

• “Exercise Your Senior Dog,” 12/16

• “Helping Your Dog Lose Weight,” 9/09

• “Healthy Low Fat Diets for Dogs with Special Dietary Needs,” 12/09

2. Dental Disease

I’m certain I’ve never met a single dog owner that liked maintaining her dog’s dental hygiene – unless her dog had perfectly clean teeth without any efforts from the owner whatsoever. Whether you brush your dog’s teeth and/or pay for your dog to have her teeth cleaned at the veterinarian’s office, it’s an unhappy chore.

dog with clean teeth

It’s worth the time, effort, and money needed to maintain the holy trinity of canine dental health: clean teeth; tight, pink gums; and breath that doesn’t knock you over!

Some dogs do go through life, from puppyhood to old age, without forming a bit of dental calculus (also known as tartar). But most dogs have significant dental issues by the time they are middle-aged; one study identified periodontitis (inflammation of the tissue around the teeth, often causing shrinkage of the gums and loosening of the teeth) in a whopping 82 percent of dogs aged 6 to 8 years!

What’s the problem with that? Periodontal disease can lead to histopathologic changes in the kidneys, liver, and myocardium, and has been linked to cardiac diseases in dogs.

Also, unless a dog is anesthetized fully for a dental cleaning, things like cracked or broken teeth may go undiagnosed for a long time, leaving your dog in daily pain, especially when eating or trying to play with toys. And a dog who is forced to endure chronic dental pain may be (understandably) cranky with his human and canine family members. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard about dogs who had developed aggressive behavior that went away almost immediately after a cracked tooth was finally detected and removed.)

It only makes sense to keep an eye on your dog’s teeth – including those hard-to-see molars in the back – and take appropriate action to keep them clean and healthy. When you schedule your dog’s annual wellness exam (you do take your dog in for an annual exam, don’t you?), make sure your veterinarian takes more than a one- or two-second peek at your dog’s teeth. (You can facilitate this by training your dog to allow you to lift his lips for increasingly longer moments, until his teeth can be visually inspected pretty thoroughly.) And plan on taking whatever steps are necessary to maintain his dental health, from daily brushing and the regular use of dental rinses or gels that help control dental tartar, to a professional dental cleaning under anesthesia at your veterinarian’s clinic.

For more on maintaining your dog’s teeth, please see:

• “How to Prevent Your Dog from Developing Periodontal Disease and Cracked Teeth,” 10/15

• “How and Why You Should Manage Your Dog’s Dental Hygiene,” 2/14

• “How to Properly Care For Your Dog’s Teeth,” 4/12

• “Clean Teeth, Healthy Dogs,” 10/02

3. Over-Long Nails

dog with trimmed nails

Nice nails! This dog’s nails are trimmed close to but not touching the “quick” – and the quick itself hasn’t had an opportunity to grow far from the toe.

This problem may not seem as dramatic as the first two, but while it’s true that long toenails only rarely cripple a dog and don’t cause systemic disease, they can significantly decrease a dog’s quality of life by making his every step uncomfortable. (Plus, this can contribute to or aggravate a weight problem, as a dog whose feet hurt more and more from over-long nails becomes reluctant to exercise.)

Super-long nails are usually easy to spot, but dogs who have long hair on their legs and feet may be hiding painfully long nails – and perhaps even lesions on their toes from where long, curving nails have created pressure sores on adjacent toes.

But if they are not yet at an obvious, curving, “Call the SPCA” length, how do you know if your dog’s nails are too long? The best test is to listen closely as he walks across a tile or hardwood floor: If you can hear his nails go “Tick, tick, tick, tick,” as he walks, they are too long! (I’m guessing 90 percent of you just went, “Ugh!”)

If your dog’s nails are thick and long, don’t despair – but don’t avoid this important, basic responsibility, either. If you are easily able to cut your dog’s nails, trim a tiny bit off each nail weekly. If it’s a struggle for you (for any reason, whether your dog’s behavior or your own squeamishness), look for a groomer who will help you schedule trimming visits frequently enough to restore your dog’s feet to health over the next few months.

For more on trimming your dog’s nails, please see:

• “The Importance of Clipping Dogs’ Nails,” 4/16

• “Keeping Your Dog’s Feet Healthy,” 3/14

• “Force-Free Nail Trimming Techniques for Your Dog,” 8/12

Nancy Kerns is the editor of WDJ.

Courtesy:  Whole Dog Journal

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HAPPY HUMP DAY!

Does Your Female Dog Hump?

Humping comes really naturally to even female dogs, but it is probably the most awkward behavior for people to witness – or be subjected to.

Usually humping is associated with male dogs, but humping is also very common amongst female dogs. Some girls will hump toys or other objects, some hump air, others hump other dogs or even people. To learn more about humping, why girls do it, and how to keep your female dog from humping, we talk with Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Chair of The Association of Professional Dog Trainers Nick Hof, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, KPA-CTP, CSAT, to answer some of your most commonly asked questions about female dogs and humping.

Why Do Female Dogs Hump?

Hof advised that dog guardians shouldn’t panic.  “Although it may be a bit embarrassing, humping is a normal dog behavior. You do not need to demonize it nor glorify it.” People get uncomfortable with dogs humping usually because they are under the impression that it is either a sexual behavior or connected to dominance. However, Hof explained that humping is usually a result of a heightened arousal state, but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily sexual. He explained that when female dogs hump it may also be a stress response.

Hof not only has professional experience with female dogs humping, but also personal experience at home: “I had two female dogs that would hump each other any time I had a guest over due to the heightened arousal level; a good outlet for them was humping one another.”

Does Spaying Stop Female Dog Mounting?

It is generally assumed that neutering a male dog will stop him from humping. That isn’t always the case – many male dogs will continue to hump post-neutering if that was a behavior they engaged in before the procedure.

When it comes to female dogs, spaying doesn’t generally have much impact on their humping behavior either. Girls who hump before spaying are likely to continue humping after spaying because it isn’t related to hormones.  “I often see female dog humping as more related to arousal state or environmental stressors, neither of which would be changed by a spaying,” explains Hof.

Hump Toys for Female Dogs

Object-mounting is a common behavior with female dogs. “When we are trying to determine if a behavior will be reinforced, we try to look at what is encouraging or maintaining that behavior. Often humping may begin based on environmental conditions or stimuli [such as guests in the house], but if that results in, for example, laughter at the dog humping, some dogs find that reinforcing and that may be encouraged.”

So, if your female dog is humping objects like pillows, toys or furniture, the more you direct attention toward her, the more she may continue the behavior. Pat Miller offers advice on how to train your dog away from mounting behavior in this Whole Dog Journalarticle.

If your dog’s humping doesn’t bother you, letting her use one (or any) of her dog toys as a personal mounting object is acceptable. Toys are a safe outlet for humping behavior, and if it does not offend any nearby witnesses, allowing your dog to do this without reinforcing her is unlikely to create additional behavioral problems.

What Should You Do to Stop Female Mounting Behavior?

Dog humping isn’t inherently concerning behavior. It is very natural for dogs. The only times humping is a problem are when it makes you uncomfortable and when it makes the object of the humping (a guest or another dog) uncomfortable. In those cases, Hof suggests that, “it would be best to try and redirect the dog’s attention. This could be done by just attempting to interrupt the behavior or trying to redirect the dog’s focus by asking for a sit or other behavior.”

Nick Hof also advises that if you know your dog is prone to humping in certain conditions like when guests come over, it’s best to take steps to prevent it by redirecting your dog before she starts the humping. It’s all about creating situations where your dog is going to be successful.

“A great option is always to focus on what you would like your dogs to do [instead of the unwanted behavior]. For example, they can’t hump while also practicing a down-stay on their bed. Help show your dog what you want from them as opposed to telling them to stop,” suggests Hof.

Isn’t It Best to Prevent Dogs from Humping Altogether?

Again, there isn’t anything wrong with humping unless it makes you or the object of affection uncomfortable. If you want your dog to stop humping, then Hof suggests the best thing to do is deny her the opportunity to start.

“It is always a good idea to, at a minimum, prevent and manage behavior you don’t want your dog to rehearse because otherwise they become more well-practiced.” Hof continues, “In my experience, since female dog humping tends to be more linked to arousal and stress, it is best to look at the context of the situations that the behavior presents itself in.” Knowing the situations where your dog is prone to humping means you can give her something else to do at the times when the behavior is usually triggered.

female dog humping leg

iStock / Getty Images Plus/ blamb

What if My Female Dog Humps Other Dogs?

Some female dogs hump other dogs, and this isn’t always bad. However, some dogs will react very negatively. Hof believes this comes down to a consent issue between the dogs: “If the dog or person your dog humps does not appear to be okay with the act, it’s a good idea to discourage and redirect your dog’s humping. If they don’t seem to care and neither do you, it comes down to personal preference.”

With that in mind, many dogs do really take offense to being humped, so if you take your dog to dog parks or other meetups with dogs, it’s a good idea to watch her and ensure she doesn’t start humping other dogs – which can lead to a fight.

How to Stop A Female Dog from Humping People

Hof advises that the best thing you can do is, “Management. Management. Management.” He suggests that if your dog likes to hump and you cannot allow it, it’s a great idea to keep your dog leashed at times she’s likely to engage in humping, even in the house. “If your dog is on-leash, you have much more control over their actions,” Hof reminds us. Focus your attention on teaching and encouraging your dog to do what you want her to do instead of having to redirect or correct the humping once it has started.

If you are struggling with your female dog’s humping behavior, schedule a consultation with a positive reinforcement-based dog trainer who can support you with gaining a greater understanding of what is triggering or reinforcing the humping behavior with your dog.

Courtesy:  Whole Dog Journal

Subscribe Now!  https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/

Do Dogs Understand Time?

Cute french bulldog sitting on sofa under clock

credit: LightFieldStudios/iStock/GettyImages

Dogs are not exactly known for their punctuality. In fact, I would bet good money that, if left to his own devices, your dog would be late for literally everything except dinner. And even then, he might not show up on time every single day, depending on the squirrel-and-other-dog situation happening where he was just before dinner time.

It’s okay. My dog is the same way. That’s just a dog thing. But do dogs understand time at all? That raises bigger questions, like do dogs understand how long they’ve been left home alone? Do they have any idea how long they’ve lived with us? Do they know how old they are?

Here’s everything we currently know about dogs and their understanding of the eternal march of time.

Do dogs understand time?

This is a really broad question, obviously, but it’s important to set a baseline. So, if you mean, “Can dogs read clocks and keep appointments and feel remorse when they are late for said appointments?” Then no, obviously dogs don’t understand time. But, if you mean, “Can dogs perceive a passage of time and react differently based on that perception?” Then the answer is, yes, it seems like it.

Adorable Collie border breed dog sleeping in bed
credit: alkir/iStock/GettyImages

Dogs clearly don’t have an intellectual understanding of time. They aren’t running around with pocket watches and time-based social anxieties. But there is a lot of evidence that dogs understand time on a more primal level—that they have a gut (and nose—more on that later) instinct that tells them what time of day it is and that they do know how long you’ve left them alone.

Can dogs actually distinguish between different times?

There’s a popular bit of unproven info that’s passed around about dogs, which suggests that they don’t have any concept of time whatsoever. To a dog, the tidbit says, time is meaningless. If you leave a dog alone for 20 seconds or 20 minutes or 20 days, it’s all the same to him. This is the kind of “fact” that can make you feel incredibly guilty for not being a conjoined twin with your dog, but it’s also not totally true.

A 2010 study published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science actually tested this theory by documenting the behavior of dogs whose owners left for different periods of time. The owners in the study left their dogs for either 30 minutes or two hours and the dogs reacted very differently depending on how long they were left. The dogs who were left for two hours greeted their humans more energetically and engaged in more “OMG YOU’RE HOME AND I MISSED YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH” behaviors (like tail-wagging, face-kissing, lip-licking, etc.) when they saw their human again than the dogs who had only been left for a relatively short 30-minute period.

Sad mongrel dog with cat in the background.
credit: kicia_papuga/iStock/GettyImages

Dogs also have memories, but they don’t function in the same way as humans’, which creates the appearance that dogs don’t comprehend time. Humans mainly use episodic memory—that is, we remember specific events and when they happened. This is one of the things that makes the human brain unique and that gives us the ability to think forward to an imagined future, in addition to thinking back on past events.

There’s a common believe that dog’s don’t understand time or have lasting memories, but anyone who’s trained a dog knows that they can definitely remember things. According to research conducted by Dr. Thomas Zentall of the University of Kentucky, dogs do have memories, but they can’t think back on when something happened specifically. Instead, they can only think in terms of how much time has passed since an event occurred—so thoughts like, “My food bowl has been empty for six hours,” as Animal Planet puts it, rather than, say, “I ate a fantastic treat yesterday morning,”

How do dogs keep track of time?

Okay, so dogs do understand time, at least in a way. So how do they keep track of it? Well, there are a few theories. Let’s go through them one-by-one:

Dogs might have the same “internal clock” that humans have:

You’ve probably heard the term “circadian rhythm” before. If you haven’t, here’s an official definition, courtesy of National Institute of Health:

“Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. They respond primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. Sleeping at night and being awake during the day is an example of a light-related circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythms are found in most living things, including animals, plants, and many tiny microbes. The study of circadian rhythms is called chronobiology.”

waiting room
credit: limpido /iStock/GettyImages

In more basic terms, circadian rhythms are our own internal clocks. They’re the reason that people who maintain a regular sleep schedule can wake up without an alarm clock and the reason you start to get sleepy when it’s close to bed time, even if you don’t know it’s close to bed time.

Humans aren’t the only beings with circadian rhythms. As the NIH definition points out, animals, plants, and even “tiny microbes” have them. Research has shown that dogs have circadian rhythms, too. Specifically, dogs have circadian oscillators (humans have these too), which are fluctuations in things like hormone levels, neural activity, and body temperature that occur throughout the day and tip dogs off about what time it is. So, when it’s time to eat, for example, your dog’s body just naturally releases the hormones associated with hunger. If you always feed your dog at the same time every day, then, effectively, your dog knows what time it is on some level.

Dog resting in bed
credit: InnerVisionPRO/iStock/GettyImages

Other cues play into circadian rhythms, like light and temperature. Your dog might not know what 9 p.m. is, but he definitely knows that when it’s a specific amount of dark and cold, you’re probably going to take him on his last walk of the night.

Dogs might use their sense of smell to tell time:

Another way dogs might be telling time in their own special way is with their noses. This isn’t really surprising for anyone who knows much about dog-related science because, well, dogs use their incredible sense of smell to do just about everything.

Playful dog face, black white and brown, with nose close to the camera lens, focus on face, closeup, with black and white tiled floor background
credit: brunorbs/iStock/GettyImages

So, how can dogs smell something like time, which doesn’t seem to have a scent? Alexandra Horowitz, author of [Inside of a Dog_](https://www.amazon.com/Inside-Dog-What-Dogs-Smell/dp/1416583432) and _Being a Dog, suggests that each time of day might have its own distinct scent profile, which dogs can detect, but we humans with our puny human noses can’t. In other words, if you come home at the same time every day, your dog might know when it’s almost time for you to come home based on the strength of your scent left in the house, because the you smell fades at roughly the same rate every day.

By Kayleigh Roberts

CUTENESS

First-Time Pet Owners! Great info here for you!

First-Time Pet Owners: How to Bond With Your Animal

Remy & Louie send wags and kisses!

Becoming a pet owner is a big responsibility, not just because your animal will look to you for all his needs, but because there are so many details to think about. Keeping him safe, making him feel loved, and making sure you can spend enough time with him are just a few things you’ll need to consider. There’s also preparing your home so he’ll be comfortable, getting your yard ready so he can get some exercise, and ensuring that you’re knowledgeable about his breed and needs.

Once you’ve chosen the right animal for you, you’ll want to help him get acclimated to your home. If he was a rescue, he may not feel comfortable for a while, and that’s okay. Allow him to feel his way through and give him time to make the transition. It’s important for animals, especially if they are rescues, to form a bond with their owners, and this will take a bit of time.

Keep reading for tips on how to make your new pet safe and comfy.

Choose the right animal

It’s imperative to do some research on breeds before you make any decisions. For instance, some pets get along with children better than others, and some long-haired breeds are harder on allergies than short-haired ones. Think about your home, your needs, and the needs of your family before choosing a pet.

Think about your schedule

If you are busy or work long hours, you might want to consider hiring a dog walker to come let your pet out so he’s not stuck inside all day. Think about your schedule and that of your family. Will you have time to spend with your new pet, or will it be difficult to show him attention? A dog walker can definitely help with loneliness as well as letting him out to go to the bathroom.

If you know you won’t be home much for the first few weeks, look for ways to bond with your new pet. Snuggle time, playtime, and exercising are all great ways to form trust and help him feel loved and safe, so do these as much as possible. Rover.com has some more tips on bonding with your new dog.

Prepare your home

Once you’ve chosen your pet, start getting your home ready for him. Gather supplies such as bedding, toys, food and water dishes, crate or cage, a leash and collar, and doggie bags. If he’s a rescue, he may feel more comfortable sleeping in a crate than other animals, so make sure he has a soft blanket to lay on, and let him enter on his own free will.

You’ll also want to make sure your home is pet-friendly by removing slippery throw rugs, exposed wires that might become chew hazards, and toxic houseplants. Check the backyard for holes and any dangerous objects and consider installing a fence if you don’t already have one.

Get active

Many pets, especially dogs, love to play and exercise, so make sure you’re able to carve some time out of your schedule to get active with him, especially during the first few weeks he’s at your home. Whether this means going for long walks after dinner or playing games in the backyard, your dog will appreciate the effort.

Find dog-friendly locales

These days, more businesses, such as bars and even restaurants, are allowing dogs, so check online to find dog-friendly places in your community where you can spend time with your pup. Just be sure to keep him on a leash and bring along a collapsible water dish to keep him hydrated, especially during warmer months.

Becoming a first-time pet owner is a big job, so talk to your loved ones before making any decisions and do as much research as possible beforehand. With a thought-out plan and lots of love and attention, you can make sure your pet is well-loved and adjusts to his new home beautifully.

Courtesy:  Jessica Brody…Dog Lover

Visit Jessica for more great information on healthy pets at:

Ourbestfriends.pet

jessica@ourbestfriends.pet

Does Your Dog Like Fruit…Only a few a good for them!

What Fruits Can Dogs Eat?

While fruit is a great and (relatively) healthy sweet snack for people, not all fruit is safe for dogs. To learn more about what kinds of fruit is okay to share with your dog and which fruits you should not allow your dog to eat, we connected with Dr. Tina Wismer, Medical Director of the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC).

What Fruits Are Good for Dogs?

Remy & Louie send wags and kisses!

 

The fruits safest to share with your dogs are: apples, blueberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, and bananas, as Dr. Wismer advises.

Dogs are individuals with different preferences when it comes to treats, so you might need to try a few of these fruits to find one that your dog is interested in eating. Dr. Wismer cautions, “Some dogs love all kinds of fruit; others are not impressed.”

 

Courtesy:  Whole Dog Journal

www.whole-dog-journal.com/

What Vegetables Can Dogs Eat?

Vegetables can be a great addition to your dog’s diet if you stick to those that are safe and hand out an appropriate amount.

As omnivores, dogs can digest plants as well as meat. Many nutritionists believe a mixture of both is important for a healthy dog.

My darling baby boy is a 12-year-old German Shorthair Pointer mix. When he was around 6 years old he started to put on some weight. Based on a suggestion from a friend I cut back on his food and added a handful of frozen green beans to his dinner. The vegetable slowed down the gobbling up of his food, added volume without many calories to help him feel full, and easily fit into my budget. The trick worked! My pup slimmed down.

Which Vegetables Are Good for Dogs, And Which Aren’t?

Leafy Greens

A good rule for finding leafy greens that your dog can eat is to stick to those that you would consume. Lettuce, spinach, chard, cabbage and kale are all okay for dogs. Besides being rich in vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, iron and potassium, leafy greens are also a good source of fiber. Much like humans, dogs get the most nutrients when the veggies are uncooked. Of course, if you want you can steam your dog’s vegetables for something a little different, or bake them for a crunchier treat. The high fiber in leafy greens can cause some dogs to have an upset stomach after initially added to their diet. Introduce any new food slowly to keep your dog’s tummy safe.

Root Vegetables

In general root vegetables like carrots, beets, sweet potatoes and parsnips are safe to feed your dog. These vegetables are starchy and high in sugar, which means you do want to limit the amount you give to your dog (especially if his commercial or raw diet already contains root vegetables – many do).

dog eating a carrot

Dreamstime

Stalks

This includes vegetables like celery and asparagus. It may be a little harder to get your dog to enjoy these types of vegetables, but they are safe for dogs to eat. Some don’t like the taste, and some find them hard to grind up in their teeth. To help, cut stalky vegetables into small pieces and/or steam them.

Squash

Squash of all varieties are safe for dogs to eat. Pumpkin and butternut squash can help dogs with bouts of diarrhea, and most dogs don’t mind the taste of squash. Use up all your excess summer squash from the garden by steaming it up for your dog, or cut up and bake this year’s jack-o-lantern after Halloween for your dog to eat. It’s best to limit your pup’s consumption to the meat of the squash, keeping the seeds and skin away.

Legumes

This vegetable group includes bean and alfalfa sprouts, mature beans such as kidney, pinto, and lentil, and peas. The topic of legumes in dog food has been in the news lately. The reason is due to a recent FDA update which states there are reports of canine dilated cardiopulmonary (DCM) in dogs eating pet foods containing legumes or potatoes high up on the ingredients list. If the protein of your dog’s diet relies heavily on legumes or potatoes, you should not only avoid giving more of this plant group to your dog, but also consider reducing the levels of legumes in his main dog food, i.e. changing dog foods.

A note on green beans: Green beans may be the most widely-fed vegetable to dogs because of their taste and easy digestion. Please be aware that, despite their name, green beans are not actually classified as beans, and therefore don’t warrant the limitations recommended for true legumes.

Alliums

Alliums are bulb vegetables like onions, garlic, leeks, chives, and shallots. Do not give your dog access to these plants, as they are toxic to dogs. Negative side effects of eating onions or garlic for dogs range from a stomach ache to developing anemia which, at it’s worse, can cause organs to shut down.

Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cauliflower, Corn and Cucumber

All of these veggies are safe for your dog to munch on but, like other vegetables, keep it to small quantities – especially if your dog isn’t used to eating these types of foods. Remember to take the corn off the cob before handing it over to your dog. Although the cob itself isn’t bad for a dog to consume, it is easy to swallow in chunks or whole, which can cause choking or intestinal obstruction.

Whenever changing your dog’s diet make sure to check with your vet, go slow, and pay attention to your dog. If you follow these guidelines, adding vegetables to your pup’s diet can help him receive a more varied, complete nutritional profile in his diet.

Tips for Feeding Your Dog Vegetables:

* Frozen bags of vegetables are often on sale. Stock up. Have a blend ready to grab in a Tupperware bowl in the freezer.

* If your pup is sensitive to the cold of a frozen vegetable put a small bowl in the refrigerator for easy treat access.

* For a summer treat add vegetables to a 1:1 mixture of chicken broth and water in an ice tray. Once frozen pop out one or true for a delicious hot day treat.

* When cooking set aside the unused vegetable trimmings that are safe for your dog to consume. A great no waste alternative to throwing it in the garbage.

* If your dog doesn’t want anything to do with vegetables and you want to supplement what he is getting in his regular diet you can chop fine or puree and mix into his meals. For treats adding some dog safe peanut butter can get your dog started. Eventually you should be able to back off on the addition and feed the vegetable plain.

* Vegetables are a great reward in treat puzzle games. As always make sure you watch your dog when those are in use and that all edible treats are cleaned from the puzzle before storing away.

 

Whole Dog Journal’s Blog August 2, 2018

Are grain-free dog foods good or bad for your dog?
By Nancy Kerns

I’ve been getting calls, emails, social media messages, and countless forwarded articles from other websites and publications – perhaps even from you! And the first thing I want to tell you is to take a breath!

The FDA recently issued a warning (linked here) that it is investigating a possible link between diet and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs.

The warning spread like wildfire through social media channels, but unfortunately, it also rapidly got dumbed down to a ridiculous level; it quickly evolved into something like “grain-free foods cause canine heart disease,” or worse yet, “boutique foods might kill your dog. The FDA characterizes the issue as a “potential association” between diets with very specific attributes (and certainly not ALL grain-free diets) and canine DCM – not a cause.

Remy & Louie send wags and kisses!

Please note that the FDA’s headline did not say anything about “grain-free diets” causing heart problems – though almost all the blog posts and articles in other publications have been saying exactly that. If you read the FDA’s statement, you will see that they said there may be a link between some grain-free diets and canine DCM, but there are also many other things going on that may be responsible for an observed rise in cases of canine DCM.

GRAIN FREE DOG FOOD CONCERNS
Linda Case, long-time animal nutrition expert and author of Dog Food Logic, has written an in-depth article for WDJ’s September issue that goes into lots of detail about what is known about the dietary causes of DCM, including several issues regarding taurine and the amino acids (cysteine and methionine) that dogs use to produce taurine. Please revisit wholedogjournal.com in a couple of weeks to see her article about the connections between diet and DCM in dogs. Hint: It’s not as simple as the possibility that the diets are lacking the amino acid precursors to taurine.

[Whole Dog Journal has covered taurine deficiency in the past, regarding vegetarian diets for dogs, low-fat dog foods, and canine congestive heart failure.]

But for now, hopefully to put your mind at ease, I’m going to briefly discuss some of the pertinent facts that make the story a little more complicated than the “grain-free diets cause heart disease” headlines.

What We Know About Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs
The FDA received a report from Cardiac Care for Pets, a practice that employs 19 veterinary cardiologists in Maryland, Kentucky, Virginia, and Texas, that they had seen a spike in canine DCM cases – and not just in the breeds that have a genetic predisposition to developing DCM, but also in breeds that are not known for an inherited propensity for the condition. Their report also included the fact that all of the cases had something in common: all the dogs had been eating diets heavy in peas, lentils, chickpeas, and potatoes.

Other veterinary cardiologists were noticing the same thing. The FDA received reports recently of about two dozen additional cases, including three dogs that died of the condition. After reviewing the medical records of these dogs, the FDA felt it was prudent to issue a measured warning, in part to alert dog owners and veterinarians to be aware of signs of the condition in potentially affected dogs (which, it is hoped, will elicit more data). Its warning, specifically, stated that vets and dog owners should be alert for signs of DCM in dogs eating foods “containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients.”

That’s our emphasis, but it is repeated in the FDA’s warning:

“Diets in cases reported to the FDA frequently list potatoes or multiple legumes [our emphasis again] such as peas, lentils, other ‘pulses’ (seeds of legumes), and their protein, starch, and fiber derivatives early in the ingredient list, indicating that they are main ingredients.” [Again, our emphasis.]

What is a “main ingredient”? There isn’t a legal definition, but in our book, it’s anything in about the first five ingredients on the list. As you probably know, food ingredients are listed on labels (by law) in order of their weight in the formula before the food is cooked. The first four to six ingredients generally represent the majority of what is in the food.

That said, the FDA’s warning also addressed “multiple legumes.” Our readers should be alert to the fact that food manufacturers sometimes list smaller amounts of several similar ingredients, or several constituent parts or “fractions” of the same ingredient. This not only visually minimizes the seeming presence of those ingredients in the food, but also makes the total of the ingredients ahead of these fractions seem to be present in more significant amounts than they actually are.

For example, it would appear that a food that lists its ingredients as “Chicken, peas, pea protein, pea fiber…” contains more chicken than any other single ingredient. But if you added up the total amount of pea-based ingredients, they would surely outweigh the chicken. This is what the FDA is getting to with its warning about “multiple legumes” – foods in which the legumes, taken together, might outweigh the animal protein sources.

If You Feel Your Dog’s Food is Connected to DCM:
Based on the FDA’s report, here are our first take-away points:

No matter what your dog eats, if she has any signs of DCM – including decreased energy, cough, difficulty breathing, and episodes of collapse – you should make an appointment to see your veterinarian ASAP, preferably one who can refer you to a veterinary cardiologist.
If you feed your dog a food that contains any potatoes, peas, lentils, or other seeds of legumes (such as chickpeas/garbanzo beans, soybeans, other types of beans, and alfalfa seeds), look at the ingredients list. If the food contains one or more of these ingredients high up on the ingredients list, has several of these ingredients, and/or is a limited-ingredient diet – typically, one containing only one animal protein source and one or two carbohydrate sources – the possibility is good that the food is one of the type that is being looked at as possibly causing a higher incidence of DCM.
In contrast, foods that are not limited-ingredient foods and contain just one of those ingredients, or that have one or two of these ingredients fairly low on the ingredients list (say, as the fifth or sixth or lower-level ingredient/s on the list), are not the kind of diet that has been connected with DCM.
If you feed your dog a diet that meets the description of the foods that have been described by the FDA as potentially problematic (foods that have potatoes, peas, lentils, or other seeds of legumes as main ingredients), consider these points:
grain free dog food concerns
“Now what should we buy?”

– Are you feeding your dog this food because it’s the only diet you have been able to find that does not trigger other health problems in that dog? If so, continue feeding the diet, but carefully monitor your dog for any hint of signs of DCM. Also, discuss possible alternative diets and/or a blood test for taurine levels, with your veterinarian.
– Are you feeding your dog this food because you like the company, or it was recommended to you, or for no particular reason? Then consider switching to a diet that either contains fewer or none of these ingredients, and read on for more recommendations.

Not All Grain-Free Foods Are Under Suspicion
Within a matter of days of the FDA’s press release, we watched in dismay as the issue was reduced to, in the majority of cases, “grain-free diets cause heart canine heart disease. ”

Please understand that there are grain-free diets that do not contain potatoes, peas, lentils, or other seeds of legumes as main ingredients. For example, there are many raw diets, fresh-cooked/frozen diets, canned diets, and even some dry/kibble diets that are grain-free that do not contain potatoes, peas, lentils or other seeds of legumes. Not all grain-free diets have been implicated as concerning as regards canine DCM.

But, as we have been saying for some time (most recently here), grain-free diets have gotten inordinately popular for no particular reason. Many dog owners buy these products because they have heard some vague argument that “grains are bad for dogs” – an ill-informed blanket generalization we have fought against for ages. There is no particular advantage – and actually, several disadvantages – to feeding a grain-free diet (of any kind) to a dog who doesn’t have any problems with eating and digesting grain.

Points to Consider About Grain-Free Dog Food
Grain-free diets are often far higher in fat and calories than many dogs require. In dogs who gain weight easily, there is a very real danger of having to reduce the amount of food that one feeds the dog so much (in order to keep him from gaining too much weight), that he is at risk to become malnourished. In other words, if you cut his portion of a super-high-calorie diet to a reasonable number of calories, he may not get enough of the vitamins and minerals he needs.
Commercial diets that contain grains have been around longer and have been more thoroughly tested (in clinical settings and through common use) for far longer than diets that use increasingly novel non-grain sources of carbohydrates.
As Linda Case explains further in her article in the September 2018 issue, certain types of diets (specifically, diets that contain lamb meal and rice diets, soybean-based diets, diets high in rice bran or beet pulp, and high-fiber diets heavy in soybeans), have been previously identified as possible dietary causes of low taurine levels in dogs – something that is known to contribute to the development of DCM.
Our advice has long been to feed a grain-free diet only to dogs who have a problem with digesting multiple grains. (And, if you know which grain is giving your dog problems, you could also find a food that contains different grains, instead.)

However, we would not want to be on the record as saying “all grain-free foods are bad.” That’s another ridiculous overstatement. There are some terrific grain-free foods on the market – and some dogs do far better on these products than any grain-containing foods they have been fed. Owners have to look for products that work well for their individual dogs – and be willing to change as their dogs’ needs change.

Overreaching by Those With an Axe to Grind
It was bad enough to see the FDA’s warning reduced by a combination of poor reporting, poor reader comprehension, and social media hysteria to “grain-free foods cause canine heart disease.” But some media outlets also included statements from an animal nutrition expert whose opinions on diets are consistent with those of the pet food industry corporate giants; she has repeatedly been quoted as implicating “boutique” pet foods in the current rash of reported cases of DCM. What’s a boutique food? She doesn’t define this, but we suspect it’s anything made by any company whose annual sales are less than umpteen million…

This same expert has also implicated foods that contain “exotic ingredients,” which she provided a partial list for in one article: “kangaroo, lentils, duck, pea, fava bean, buffalo, tapioca, salmon, lamb, barley, bison, venison, and chickpeas.” Hmm.

All in all, we have lost track of the number of times she has been quoted as saying that pet owners should avoid “boutique, grain-free, or exotic ingredient diets” – and, unfortunately, this over-broad and ill-defined description is finding its way into more and more discussions of this concerning issue.

We have one more bone to pick with this expert; one of her articles on this topic suggests that dog owners do themselves a favor and “stop reading the ingredient list!” This makes us absolutely see red, as it harkens back to the “bad old days” of pet food. Twenty years ago, the making of pet food was a black box. “You guys, we are the experts here, trust us!” was the message of Big Pet Food. Consumers could no more find out where a food was made or where its ingredients were sourced than find out where the company CEOs ate breakfast. A suggestion that consumers shouldn’t worry their pretty little heads about what is actually in the food they buy for their dogs, and which is listed on the label by law for the protection of consumers and their dogs, is downright insulting.

We’d like to suggest that concerned owners keep reading labels and educating themselves about canine nutrition, and, for now, limit themselves to the facts that are currently known by the FDA about this spate of canine DCM cases (here is that link again!). Also, Linda Case’s excellent article in the September issue of WDJ will also help shed much-needed light on this complex and concerning issue. Courtesy of Whole Dog Journal…
www.whole-dog-journal.com/blog

When Pigs Fly!

Excerpted from Jane Killion’s book When Pigs Fly! Training Success with Impossible Dogs       Courtesy:  Whole Dog Daily

Automatic attention is the mother of all behaviors and one of the first things you should teach your dog. There is no point in teaching your dog how to do things if he is going to ignore you when you ask him to do them. If your dog is off in a mentally distant land and you repeatedly call his name, you are just like static in the background to him. The only thing you will have accomplished is to devalue his name. Even if you got yourself one of the excellent dog training books out there and followed the instructions in it exactly, you would probably find that your Pigs Fly dog still doesn’t perform when you want him to. That is often because he is not paying attention to you. Teaching a dog a verbal cue to pay attention implies that it is OK for him not to pay attention unless she gets the verbal cue. Instead, if your dog is with you, he should be conditioned to watch you like a hawk all the time because he never knows when you might do something interesting or fun. If you call your dog to you, or take him out on a leash, you should become the center of his universe and his eyes should be pretty much glued to you whenever you are together. How will you get that attention? By free shaping it, of course. You have already laid the foundation for attention in your powering up the clicker exercise, now you just need to make sure you have that same attention everywhere you go, no matter what is going on.

For more advice on training impossible (and not-so-impossible) dogs,

check out Jane Killion’s When Pigs Fly! Training Success with Impossible Dogs.

click on the link!

Learn More

 

To Eat or Not to Eat…That is the Question… we have the answer!

Don’t feed your pups avocado, asparagus, cherries, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions of any kind, grapes, garlic.

Fruits & Vegetables Your Dog Can Eat

Fruits and Vegetables Your Dogs Can Eat!

Remy & Louie send wags and kisses!

– Oranges: Make sure to toss the fruit’s peel and seeds.
– Peaches: Small amounts of cut-up peaches are just perfect. Avoid canned peaches.
– Pears: Cut pears into little pieces and don’t forget to remove the pit and seeds.
– Peas: Avoid canned peas.
– Pineapple: A few chunks of pineapple are enough.
– Potatoes: A washed, peeled, boiled or baked potato is perfect.
– Raspberries: Give them to your dog in moderation.
– Strawberries: Make sure to give them in moderation.
– Spinach: It’s not one of the best veggies to share with your dog.
– Sweet potatoes: Only give your pup unseasoned cooked sweet potatoes that have cooled down.
– Green beans: As long as they are plain, all kinds of green beans are safe.
– Mango: Remove the hard pit first.
– Cranberries: Feed to your dog in small quantities.
– Cucumbers: They are particularly beneficial for overweight dogs.
– Bananas: Give them to your dog only as an occasional treat.
– Blueberries: They are a great alternative to store-bought treats.
– Broccoli: Feed in very small quantities, occasionally.
– Brussel Sprouts: Never overfeed them to your pup.
– Cantaloupe: Feed in moderation, particularly if your dog is overweight or have diabetes.
– Carrots: Crunching on this vegetable is great for your pup’s teeth.
– Celery: It’s a crunchy green snack that’s also known to improve doggy breath.
– Apples: This is the perfect snack for senior dogs. Remember to remove all the seeds and core first.

Does Your Pup Suffer from Separation Anxiety?

Step-by-Step Help for Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety can be an extremely challenging behavior issue for dogs and owners alike. This comprehensive guide includes all the information you need to help your dog, and to lower your own stress levels as well.

You’ll get plenty of tips, ideas, and step-by-step instructions; the interactive format will allow you to customize an effective rehabilitation plan for your individual dog.

Topics include the role of management, nutrition, and exercise, whether pharmacological intervention could help, how to build canine confidence, creative management solutions, step-by-step behavior modification protocols, alternative therapies that can be invaluable, and how to put it all together in a customized plan.

Also included are real-life stories from experts telling how they handled separation issues in their clients’ dogs and their own dogs. Written in a down-to-earth, straightforward, and often humorous manner, this book will enable you to successfully teach your dog to feel comfortable being left alone. courtesy: Whole Dog Journal

A Love Story with a Happy Ending!

IN THE WILD

Lion Was So Sick She Almost Died — But Then She Found Love

Behind every great lion is an even greater lioness – and such is the case for Kahn, a handsome male African lion with a distinctive mane and deep roar.

You CAN Read Your Dog’s Mind…

It’s all about listening with your eyes!

What if we told you your dog is constantly trying to speak with you? He is. And you’re probably misunderstanding him.

If we could understand this body language only a little better, we’d relieve our pups of common misbehaviors that are actually our fault.   We all long for a way to better “speak” with our beloved canine companions. And here it is…

The Dog-to-English Dictionary: Explaining Common Dog Behaviors and Expressions They Use to “Speak” With Us and Each Other is the ultimate “translation” guide for all loving pawrents.

This exclusive eBook from The Whole Dog Journal is available for immediate download. You’ll be able to know what’s on your dog’s mind. Thoughts like…

– “I’m really scared of all these new people. Are they a threat!?”

– “I need a break.”

– “Something’s not right!! Follow me!”

– “I have something biting my skin! I can’t get it off and I need help!”

The groundbreaking Dog-to-English Dictionary will show you how to use canine communication techniques to encourage “good” behaviors, such as not barking at the delivery man; and eliminate “bad” behaviors – like random aggression.

Give your dog the gift of conversations! He’s worked hard to understand how you communicate; isn’t it fair that you do the same for him? Order your copy of The Dog-to-English Dictionary today.

Order Now!  https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/ppv/default2.html?ET=wholedogjournal:p303834:2214855a:&st=pmail&s=p_DogtoEnglishDictionary052518&product_id=21555

DOG LESSONS FOR PEOPLE

Remy & Louie send wags and kisses!

Dog Lessons for People

Enjoy the simple pleasures of a walk.
Follow your instincts.
Never underestimate the value of a belly rub.
Be loyal and faithful.
Always drink plenty of water.
Sometimes it is best to just sit close and listen.
Be quick to forgive.
Avoid biting when a growl will do.
Keep digging until you find what you want.
Run and play daily.
Accept all of life’s treats with gratitude.
Life is short; eat often.
Always act like you have a purpose.
Appreciate a simple life.
Give more than you receive.
Be happy with what you have.

Be a best friend. Love unconditionally.

Until next time, Good day, and good dog!

5 Signs Of Dementia In Dogs & How You Can Help

DailyPost
courtesy of

You’ve heard that dementia can affect elderly people as they age, but you may not know that dogs can get it, too.

As with humans, the condition — which impairs memory, communication, focus, and more — can also develop in our canine companions as they get older.

The tricky thing is, the signs can be gradual and very subtle. With dogs, there’s the added challenge that they’re not able to tell us that something isn’t right.

The best thing for a pup parent to do, especially as their pooch enters their golden years, is to pay close attention. Never brush off a change in behavior, routine, physical appearance, or appetite, no matter how minor it seems. A call to the vet regarding your dog’s health is never a bad idea; at best they’ll say there’s nothing worry about, at worst, they’ll help you identify the problem and form a plan.

5 Subtle Signs of Dog Dementia

1. Disorientation

Disorientation is a common sign in human dementia patients, and PedMD explains that dogs experience this, too. If your pup can’t seem to “find” his way around the house or to the location of certain things — like his food bowls, which are always in the same spot — owners should definitely take notice. Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist, explains in the article:

“This often happens when the dog is out in the backyard and he goes to the wrong door or the wrong side of the door to get back in. The part of the brain that is involved with orientation has been affected.”

They may also start to lose their concept of spatial awareness, finding themselves “stuck” in a corner or behind a piece of furniture without knowing how to get back out. Sometimes, dogs with dementia will stare blankly at a wall or into thin air.

Pups can also get “disoriented” in their sense of time. PetMD uses the example of a dog no longer realizing that the darkened sky or your bedtime routine are cues that it’s time to sleep.

2. Changes in Sleep-Wake Cycle

Adding to the example above, the brain of a dog with dementia may mix up her sleep-wake cycles. This means that a pup who used to sleep peacefully through the night is suddenly antsy, active, and unsettled.

“Many dogs reverse their normal schedules, so their daytime activities become their nighttime activities,” PetMD says.

Dr. Beaver suggests using a night light or white light to fabricate daylight, your dog’s new cue for sleeping, so pet parents can get some rest. Vet-prescribed medications can also help your pooch calm down in the evening.

3. Interactions

If your dog’s interactions to people or reactions to certain things drastically change, you should definitely take notice. Oftentimes, pups seem to “forget” the relationships they once had with their favorite people, and pooches who once loved children, other dogs, or mingling with strangers are suddenly turn fearful, irritable, or even aggressive. They also may become disinterested in certain things that used to excite them, like the promise of a walk, the doorbell ringing, or your entrance through the door.

Obviously, a sudden change in demeanor can be dangerous if the dog becomes unpredictable. It’s also important to note that these behaviors can be caused by many other conditions besides dementia. Your dog could feel sick or be in pain for another reason, so it’s imperative to consult with your vet to pinpoint the exact cause.

In the article by PetMD, Dr. Denise Petryk, a former emergency room vet who now works with Trupanion pet insurance, uses this example:

“I’ve had patients whose dogs don’t recognize that their favorite cookies are treats for them. The owner’s first instinct is to buy other cookies. They don’t realize something else could be going on.”

4. Accidents in the House

This is another tricky symptom because it could be caused by a number of things, but when a house trained pet suddenly starts having accidents, it should always be checked out.

First off, never scold a trained pet who potties in the house, because there’s a good chance that something is wrong.

This could be a sign of dementia because pups whose cognition is affected may lose the ability to control their bodily functions. Or, they may no longer realize when to “tell” their humans when they need to “go.” Dr. Petryk says in the article,

“After we run tests and rule out a bladder infection, kidney problems, or diabetes, then there’s usually been a cognitive change. If your dog is staring out at the sliding glass door and then poops in the house anyway and it’s not because of bowel trouble, then he’s lost the understanding that he should poop outside.”

5. Lower Energy

This is yet another sign that can have multiple causes. It’s normal for a dog’s activity levels to decrease with age, but a lack of energy, especially accompanied by a lack of interest, could indicate cognitive issues.

Once-curious dogs may no longer care to sniff the grass outside, and they may prefer a nap over the play sessions that used to make their tails wag. Or, maybe they seem to completely lose focus or get disoriented, say, in the middle of a game of fetch.

“They may drop something when they’re eating and they can’t find it,” says Dr. Petryk. “If they don’t have sight or hearing issues, this can be a true indication that they are experiencing cognitive dysfunction.”

Again, some of these could be signs of arthritis, pain, or a number of other conditions, but no matter the cause, they should be evaluated by a vet.

In addition to a change in normal activity, a dog with dementia may engage in repetitive activities. Dr. Petryk explains:

“They may exhibit repetitive motion; things like head bobbing, leg shaking, or pacing in circles. This kind of action is more related to cognitive dysfunction or a degeneration of the brain. It’s less likely to be mistaken for anything else.”

Even repetitive barking, for seemingly no reason, could indicate cognitive disfunction.

How Can You Help a Dog with Dementia?

Unfortunately, dementia can’t be “cured,” but its effects can be slowed and its symptoms managed.

“You can’t stop the process but it’s possible to slow it down so they don’t go from one problem to three problems,” Dr. Beaver told PetMD.

Believe it or not, changes in diet can help support your dog’s cognitive function. Of course, dietary changes should be approved by your vet, but foods and supplements with omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can help keep cells healthy, according to PetMD.

Another thing that pet parents can do is introduce “brain games” for mental stimulation. Puzzle toys like the BrainBall are a great way to keep your dog’s mind active while rewarding him with treats. In fact, if he’s up any kind of activity, take some time to engage with him. If your pup is still interested in playing with friends, keep socializing him around friendly people and his canine buddies. Dr. Petryk suggests:

“If your dog doesn’t have physical restrictions, grab his leash and take him to the dog park where he can socialize with other dogs. It’s possible to slow deterioration by keeping him physically and mentally active, just like it is for us.”

If your dog is diagnosed with dementia, there are certain medications that your vet can prescribe. Of course, regular check-ups are imperative in keeping track of the progress of the condition. The more you know, the better you can help him.

When we bring a dog home, it’s a commitment for life. While it can be hard to watch our furry family members age and their health decline, loving pet parents will do anything to give them the best life possible, for as long as possible. After all, it’s the least we can do after all they’ve done for us! With a little symptom management and a lot of love, you can help a dog with dementia feel comfortable and happy.

Can’t talk about this enough! …take a look!

Dear Fellow Dog Lover — the dirty truth about how top-selling dog foods could actually be harming your dog’s health!

You want the best for your dog – especially when it comes to his food. You read labels and try to choose the brand and formula that will nourish your furry friend.

That’s why you’ll be as shocked as I was, to discover that dozens of today’s top-selling brands – names you thought you could trust, like Beneful, Pedigree, Purina and more – may not contain the wholesome, healthy ingredients you want for your dog.

Take Beneful. The package makes it look like manna from heaven with a healthy pup, fresh veggies, and what look like real chunks of meat. Unfortunately, the pictures make the food seem better than it is. The reality is this stuff is AWFUL for your dog. It’s full of sugar, artificial colors, and 3 unnamed animal sources. And very little vegetables.

Or look at Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Meals Grilled Chicken Flavor. If only it contained the grilled chicken they show on the bag instead of loads of low-quality ingredients and “animal digest” – the real source of the chicken flavor.

Another terrible food is Pedigree Complete Nutrition for Adult Dogs. Made with an inferior, cheap source of protein, it’s a wonder it could maintain any dog’s health – much less an adult dog’s!

And wet foods fare no better than dry…The label on Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy Homestyle with Beef makes it look like big pieces of beef covered in gravy. But if this is your dog’s dinner, she’s getting some of the lowest-quality sources of protein, held together by wheat gluten! Even Iams ProActive Health Chunks is full of by-products that are often linked to all sorts of health problems.

Is your dog’s food filled with used restaurant grease?  When you see “animal fat” on a label – you probably think chicken skins or beef trimmings. But, pet food regulations allow manufacturers to use all sorts of low-quality fats, even USED RESTAURANT GREASE, as generic fat sources. To make sure your dog gets healthier fats, look for labels that use a named species of animal as a source of fat, like chicken fat or duck fat.

What’s more, you could be paying for healthy ingredients that aren’t even in the bag. For example, because omega-3 fatty acids are so healthy, dog food manufacturers started adding DHA and EPA (highly beneficial fatty acid supplements) to many dry foods. However, they are notoriously fragile and short-lived. Plus, exposure to oxygen makes them turn rancid – and potentially dangerous – very quickly.
So, how do you know which foods can help boost your dog’s health and even add years to his life – and which ones you never want to put in his bowl?  When manufacturers add low-quality ingredients imported from places without adequate safety oversight, and low-cost ingredients that are often shipped and stored without refrigeration – it makes it easy for these ingredients to become rancid. Rancid fats destroy the nutritive value of the proteins and vitamins in food so much, your dog can suffer from deficiencies even though he is eating well. What’s worse, these rancid fats can cause diarrhea, liver problems, arthritis, heart problems and even cancer! Don’t risk your dog’s health…Subscribe to The Whole Dog Journal now…the monthly publication that’s dedicated to bringing you proven, natural solutions for keeping your dog healthy and happy for life! Filled with reviews of food, dry, wet and raw, The Whole Dog Journal is unlike any other publication.

Pukka’s Promise

“Packed with important, surprising information; with wisdom, compassion, and love.” —Dean Koontz
From the best-selling author who offers “the most utterly compelling translation of dog to human I have ever seen” (Jeffrey Masson), a joyful chronicle of a dog that is also a groundbreaking answer to the question: How can we give our dogs the happiest, healthiest lives?
When Ted Kerasote got his new dog Pukka, he found that dog culture had been transformed: dizzying choices of grain-free and raw food, conflicting arguments for and against vaccinations, and battles between positive and dominance trainers. Giving The Omnivore’s Dilemma a canine spin,

Kerasote questions the common wisdom to show us how our dogs can have the best and healthiest lives today, no matter where we live. He weaves fascinating science and groundbreaking insight from breeders, vets, and animal advocates into the story of raising Pukka in the Wyoming wilderness.
Fascinating and revelatory, Pukka’s Promise “might be the most important book about dogs written in a decade” (Patricia B. McConnell, author of The Other End of the Leash).

We Are What We Eat! Dogs too!

Dear Fellow Dog Lover,

You want the best for your dog – especially when it comes to his food. You read labels and try to choose the brand and formula that will nourish your furry friend.

That’s why you’ll be as shocked as I was, to discover that dozens of today’s top-selling brands – names you thought you could trust, like Beneful, Pedigree, Purina and more – may not contain the wholesome, healthy ingredients you want for your dog.

Take Beneful. The package makes it look like manna from heaven with a healthy pup, fresh veggies, and what look like real chunks of meat. Unfortunately, the pictures make the food seem better than it is. The reality is this stuff is AWFUL for your dog. It’s full of sugar, artificial colors, and 3 unnamed animal sources. And very little vegetables.

Or look at Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Meals Grilled Chicken Flavor. If only it contained the grilled chicken they show on the bag instead of loads of low-quality ingredients and “animal digest” – the real source of the chicken flavor.

Another terrible food is Pedigree Complete Nutrition for Adult Dogs. Made with an inferior, cheap source of protein, it’s a wonder it could maintain any dog’s health – much less an adult dog’s!

And wet foods fare no better than dry…
The label on Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy Homestyle with Beef makes it look like big pieces of beef covered in gravy. But if this is your dog’s dinner, she’s getting some of the lowest-quality sources of protein, held together by wheat gluten! Even Iams ProActive Health Chunks is full of by-products that are often linked to all sorts of health problems.
Is your dog’s food full of used restaurant grease?
When you see “animal fat” on a label – you probably think chicken skins or beef trimmings. But, pet food regulations allow manufacturers to use all sorts of low-quality fats, even USED RESTAURANT GREASE, as generic fat sources. To make sure your dog gets healthier fats, look for labels that use a named species of animal as a source of fat, like chicken fat or duck fat.
What’s more, you could be paying for healthy ingredients that aren’t even in the bag. For example, because omega-3 fatty acids are so healthy, dog food manufacturers started adding DHA and EPA (highly beneficial fatty acid supplements) to many dry foods. However, they are notoriously fragile and short-lived. Plus, exposure to oxygen makes them turn rancid – and potentially dangerous – very quickly.
Credit:  The Whole Dog Journal

Dog Breeds

AFFENPINSCHER

​The Affenpinscher’s apish look has been described many ways. They’ve been called “monkey dogs” and “ape terriers.” The French say “diablotin moustachu” (mustached little devil), and “Star Wars” fans argue whether they look more like Wookies or Ewoks. But Affens are more than just a pretty face. Though standing less than a foot tall, these sturdy terrier-like dogs approach life with great confidence. As with all great comedians, it’s their apparent seriousness of purpose that makes Affen antics all the more amusing.

Affenpinscher

COMPARE THIS BREED WITH ANY OTHER BREED/S OF YOUR CHOOSING
  • Personality: Loyal, curious, famously funny; fearless out of all proportion to their size
  • Energy Level: Somewhat Active; Brisk walks, making new friends, and plenty of play will satisfy exercise needs
  • Good with Children: Better with Supervision
  • Good with other Dogs: With Supervision
  • Shedding: Seasonal
  • Grooming: Weekly
  • Trainability: Eager To Please
  • Height: 9-11.5 inches
  • Weight: 7-10 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Barking Level: Barks When Necessary

courtesy American Kennel Club akc.org

Inside Animal Minds…What they think, feel and know…

Thanks to careful observations, clever experiments, and open-mindedness toward what they might find, scientists are learning new and extraordinary things about the minds of animals, from cats and dogs to wild animals like endangered Bengal tigers.  Our pets are everyday reminders of how thoughtful they can be. Our dogs’ intelligence isn’t just a function of breeding, a reflection of us; it’s who they are.  Pet Lovers will present this intriguing series courtesy of National Geographic.  This special edition is available at: shopng/specialeditions

 

The 19 best things we’ve ever bought our pets!

4Litter-Robot

Maybe it’s because we feed them and rub their bellies, or maybe it’s because they can’t understand exactly what we’re saying, but pets are among the very few things on earth that are almost guaranteed to love you if you love them. Sometimes they love you without checking to see if you’re on the same page first, too.

And to our immense credit as a species, we do a pretty good job of honoring that sort of uncomplicated goodness.

We buy them presents solely for them, like Kong balls and ultra-durable fluffy bunnies they can gnaw at to their heart’s content, and then we buy things that serve as a little present for us, too — like litters that clean themselves automatically and tiny rope toys that look like your dog is smoking a cigar. After all, we’re only human.

I grew up with five dogs, two cats, and a tiny snapping turtle that I got to keep for the week my mom didn’t know about it. I know it’s great to have pets, and I know from experience how invested I was in their happiness. And I figured: The more you care, the more detailed your research and trial approach, the better your recommendations. So I decided to ask my coworkers what were the best things they ever bought their furry friend, hoping for at least a few responses.

In the next hour, I had over 20 emails and more than a few with attachments of a coworker’s dog or cat rolling around and tearing into their newest toy. Even if you read through them all and don’t pick up anything for your own pet, it’s nice to see that kind of dedication and care for another little life. Plus, I think the original theory held true: People really care about their pets. Each recommendation has some personal significance and a happy accountability to our furry best friends attached.

Below you’ll find tried-and-true recommendations for some of the beings we love the most, plus exactly why we love them:

View As: One Page Slides

A tough dog rope for the most energetic (or determined) of dogs

A tough dog rope for the most energetic (or determined) of dogs

Pictured: a “Gronk” and a not “Gronk-proof” toySpencer Lambert

It may seem like a simple choice, but we delayed buying dog toys for a while and every stuffed animal in the house became fair game for “tug”. Pretty soon the house was becoming a graveyard of childhood memories and we were sick of vacuuming up fluffy insides.

We caved and bought a simple rope and though our Australian Shepherd has managed to get through one knot, it’s proved to be “Gronk-proof” (our dog’s name) after three weeks. — Spencer Lambert

Close but not quite a cigar

Close but not quite a cigar

Andrew Meola

A cigar toy. He chewed this thing for days and days. — Andrew Meola

A ‘thundershirt” for separation anxiety

A 'thundershirt" for separation anxiety

Amazon

I didn’t buy it for my pet, but a friend bought this and it worked wonders for his rescue that suffered from extreme separation anxiety! When my friend would leave his house, his dog would bark, run around and whine, but as soon as he put this “thundershirt” on, the dog would stand perfectly still! It’s insane. They also sell ones that say “security” on the back, I think, which is really cute! — Jennifer Martinez

ThunderShirt Classic Dog Anxiety Jacket, starting at $28.09

A laser pointer

A laser pointer

Flickr / @frankieleon

A laser pointer. Cats and dogs lose their freaking minds over lasers. They can’t get enough of them. I’ve never seen a toy that pets love to chase more, and it requires almost zero effort on your part.  — Rob Price

USB Charging LED Light Tool, $16.95

Only the most durable of toys

Only the most durable of toys

Amazon

My puppy Nubs loves two things: toys and destroying toys. Fluff and Tuff brand stuffed animals are indestructible. They last for months through the roughest and toughest play sessions. — Melia Robinson

A glowing safety leash

A glowing safety leash

Wilbur and his swagged-out leash.Julia Le

I got this leash for my English Bulldog. It has three different LED light settings.  I like to use it on the slow flash setting. It’s great for walking him at night, especially in the city when cars might not see him crossing the street.

People always stop and ask me where I got the leash too! — Julia Le

GoDoggie-GLOW Reflective LED Dog Safety Leash, 7 colors, $35.99

An automatic self-cleaning litter box: a gift for you both

An automatic self-cleaning litter box: a gift for you both

Litter-Robot

I’ve had this for about 5 years. — Brian Lee

Food that makes them feel healthy and strong

Food that makes them feel healthy and strong

Amazon

This is the best dog food I’ve ever bought. Expensive, but it’s turned my dog into a very healthy beast! And made by a small-batch operation in Wisconsin! — Matthew DeBord

A running water fall that will both dazzle and mesmerize

A running water fall that will both dazzle and mesmerize

PetSafe

My cat LOVES her water fountain. Cats prefer running water to still so she spends a lot of time sitting at it and drinking. She appears to get anxious when I unplug it. — Becky Peterson

PetSafe Drinkwell Platinum Pet Fountain, $44.95

A nearly indestructible toy that feels like it’s fighting back

A nearly indestructible toy that feels like it's fighting back

KONG

The Kong Wubba Classic doesn’t look like much but it has two crucial things going for it: It’s apparently indestructible, which dog owners know is a major and frequent flaw of other dog toys. And the legs flap around when the dog shakes it, hitting your dog in the face, and giving it the impression that the octopus is fighting back, which dogs love. — Jim Edwards

Pretty much anything from KONG

Pretty much anything from KONG

Amazon

The Kong Extreme toy is an incredibly durable rubber that my dog can’t tear up and swallow — and it was essential in crate-training her, as well as controlling her separation anxiety. Every day before I leave, I swab a little peanut butter in the top, drop a few treats in, and plug the top with a slice of carrot. (During the summer, I prep a few ahead of time and pop them in the freezer.) Then I give her the Kong — and instead of focusing on the fact that I’m not there, she goes to town on the Kong. My wife and I immediately saw a drop-off in anxiety-related behaviors, like getting into the trash or chewing on furniture. She hasn’t chewed on anything for years, in fact. — Dave Mosher

I’m also a fan of Kongs, they’re strong and you can put a treat inside and they’ll be busy for a little bit. — Barbara Corbellini Duarte

Everyone should have one of these for their dog, especially as a puppy, they’ll sit down and play with it for ages while you can get some peace and quiet for a bit! They come in different sizes as well but the bigger the kong the longer they’ll play. It makes for a great reward for crate-training too! — Madeleine Sheehan Perkins

A bike carrier so you can both enjoy the day outside

A bike carrier so you can both enjoy the day outside

Amazon

I call it the poochie wagon! Worth every penny. — Jessica Orwig

An automatic pet feeder that does portion-sizing

An automatic pet feeder that does portion-sizing

Amazon

My sister bought our cat, Elvis, an electric pet feeder. This was key because unlike other (read: normal) cats, Elvis can’t use a regular automatic feeder (that dispense enough cat food to keep the bowl full) since he’s an overeater. It also has timer settings so we were also able to regulate exact times that he gets fed and get him on a better routine. — Navah Maynard

PetSafe Automatic Pet Feeder, $34.99

Simple shelving so cats can stay active and happy

Simple shelving so cats can stay active and happy

Kim Renfro

I bought two wall shelves for my cats and positioned them in the corner of our bedroom up near the ceiling. Our cats can jump from our bed, to the dresser, and up to the shelves, and they LOVE it. It helps them stay active and also gives them a place to go and sit or sleep away from human hands if they want some “me time.” Best $40 spent on their well-being. — Kim Renfro

Similar pick: Ikea Wall Shelf Unit, $37.95

A tiny jersey of his or her (your) favorite team

A tiny jersey of his or her (your) favorite team

Amazon

A tiny New York Giants jersey. He’s a fan, he just doesn’t know it yet. — Andrew Meola

A toy that has all the pizzazz and energy that you might not always have

A toy that has all the pizzazz and energy that you might not always have

Walmart

When my cat was a kitten and had SO MUCH energy at night I would turn this on in another room so I could go to sleep or study. It spins but changes direction and moves unpredictably so he never gets bored and guaranteed he’ll play with it at least a half hour. — Emma Mayor

A tool to keep all that shedding from accumulating

A tool to keep all that shedding from accumulating

Amazon

The FURminator… most amazing product ever. — Beth Frutkin

A litter box that gives them their privacy, looks nice, and keeps cat litter in its place

A litter box that gives them their privacy, looks nice, and keeps cat litter in its place

Amazon

This thing is magic and it makes cats look like they’re pooping in the future. The liner is made of that Ikea bag plastic, so it won’t tear, and litter falls back into the box when cats jump out. — Rob Ludacer

Literally the BEST thing I have ever purchased for my cat. I guess this is really the best thing I’ve ever bought for myself, but there’s no litter on the floor, and they like it because it gives them privacy.

It’s kind of pricey, but I had a traditional litter box at first and there was always cat litter on the floor (gross), so I feel like it’s worth it! Also, it kinda looks like furniture. Kinda. — Amanda Henning

A gentle leader to teach them how to walk with you and not against you

A gentle leader to teach them how to walk with you and not against you

Amazon

The gentle leader helped me teach my dog to walk. It doesn’t hurt them, but if you use too much it will damage their fur in their snout. — Barbara Corbellini Duarte

PetSafe Gentle Leader Head Collar with Training DVD, $14.95

Read the original article on Insider Picks. Follow Insider Picks on Twitter.

Are You Inadvertently Poisoning Your Dog?

 

The headlines are scary – “more dog food recalls”. It makes you afraid to buy commercial dog food, and maybe you should be. After all, your dog is a member of the family, why should she eat food laden with unhealthy ingredients, or worse – potentially dangerous additives. There is a solution and you can learn about it in this one-of-a-kind 4-part series, brought to you from the editors of Whole Dog Journal.

In Part One – Introduction to Home-Prepared Diets – you’ll learn why and how Variety, Balance, and Calcium are the cornerstones to your dog’s good health, and some of the basics (and myths) of a home-prepared diet.

In Part Two – Raw Diets – you’ll discover the advantages of feeding your dog a raw diet much like her ancestors ate, and how raw bones (including chicken!) are vital to good nutrition.

In Part Three – Cooked Diets – you’ll find out how to cook wholesome meals for your dog, which ingredients are necessary (you’ll be surprised), and which supplements she’ll need to stay healthy.

And with Part Four – The Finer Points of a Home Prepared Diet – you’ll be able to put the finishing touches on balanced and nutritious meals that she’ll be begging for.

After reading these publications you’ll know how to prepare and feed your dog the foods she’ll love, with the nutrients and minerals she needs.

So what are you waiting for?  Order this landmark series today and get your dog on her way to a healthier and happier lifestyle. We guarantee that you’ll never look at commercial dog food the same way.

 

Order this important SERIES Now!

https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/db/mlm4.fwd.email.prompt?data=wholedogjournal/280813X

 

Three Conditions We Can Prevent and Manage!

The 3 Most Common and Preventable Canine Maladies

With simple observation and proactive management, you can prevent the three conditions that most frequently compromise dogs’ quality of life.

There are innumerable exotic diseases and bizarre injuries that can potentially afflict any individual dog, but, sadly, the vast majority of dogs in this country today will suffer from one of a few very prosaic disorders. And many dogs suffer from every single one of the maladies discussed below! Even sadder: All of these life-impairing conditions are 100 percent preventable – easily preventable

1. Obesity

There are so many overweight pets in this country that there is at least one organization whose sole purpose is to quantify them and help their owners reduce the problem. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) estimates that more than 50 percent of the dogs in this country (and almost 60 percent of cats!) are overweight or obese.

Obese dogs are prone to a number of health problems that are directly related to their weight, including strongly increased incidence of osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory disease, cranial cruciate ligament injuries, kidney disease, many forms of cancer, and a decreased life expectancy. Though many people assume otherwise, there is actually no clear evidence that obesity causes diabetes in dogs. However, obesity can contribute to insulin resistance, making it more difficult to regulate overweight dogs with diabetes. Obesity is also a risk factor for pancreatitis, which can lead to diabetes.

Fat dogs get caught in the same vicious cycle that fat humans do: the extra weight they carry makes it harder for them to exercise by putting extra strain on their joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments, and discouraging them from exercising as much or as long. A fat dog has to work harder than his slim counterpart on the same hike, just as you would have to work harder if you were carrying a backpack with an extra 20 percent or more of your body weight in it. Given the extra workload, a fat dog may ache more than the slim dog the day after a long walk, and be less enthusiastic about going on the next walk. And the less exercise he gets, the fatter he may become.

The first step is recognizing the problem. Keeping your dog thin will do more than anything else you can do to support his vibrant good health over his lifetime – and may even extend his life!

There are many reasons that dogs get fat – and the first is owner non-recognition of their dogs’ obesity! I’ve hurt the feelings of several friends and family members when I’ve tried to educate them about their dogs’ condition. I try to be kind and tactful – and I suspect their veterinarians do, too, because almost invariably, people will tell me, “My vet has never said anything about it!”

It shouldn’t take a friend or a veterinarian to “diagnose” a fat dog. Your dog is likely overweight if, when viewed from above, she has no appreciable waist; or if you can’t very easily feel your dog’s ribs. Running your hand across her ribcage should feel rather like palpating the back of your dog silhouettehand, with bones covered with only a thin layer of skin and muscle. If it feels more like it does when you palpate the palm of your hand just below your fingers, she’s likely overweight; if it feels more like the meaty part of your palm at the base of your thumb, she’s probably obese!

Keeping your dog thin will do more than anything else you can do to support his vibrant good health over his lifetime – and may even extend his life!

There are many reasons that dogs get fat – and the first is owner non-recognition of their dogs’ obesity! I’ve hurt the feelings of several friends and family members when I’ve tried to educate them about their dogs’ condition. I try to be kind and tactful – and I suspect their veterinarians do, too, because almost invariably, people will tell me, “My vet has never said anything about it!”

It shouldn’t take a friend or a veterinarian to “diagnose” a fat dog. Your dog is likely overweight if, when viewed from above, she has no appreciable waist; or if you can’t very easily feel your dog’s ribs. Running your hand across her ribcage should feel rather like palpating the back of your hand, with bones covered with only a thin layer of skin and muscle. If it feels more like it does when you palpate the palm of your hand just below your fingers, she’s likely overweight; if it feels more like the meaty part of your palm at the base of your thumb, she’s probably obese!

But perhaps you know your dog is a little heavier than she ought to be – you just hate to take away anything that makes her happy. Please remember that she will decidedly not be happy when she’s suffering from osteoarthritis at age 5, or exercise-intolerant at age 7. Our dogs’ lives are short enough! Condemning them to even shorter lives, full of pain and (at the very least) discomfort for the latter half of their lives is not very kind at all.

Ideally, you help your dog stay fit and trim with an appropriate diet and the right amount of daily exercise. If your dog is already fat, make it a priority to help her lose weight and gain fitness. If you (slowly) increase the lengths of the walks you take her on, you just may find that you lose some weight as well! For most of us, that would be a very good thing, indeed!

 

2. Dental Disease

I’m certain I’ve never met a single dog owner that liked maintaining her dog’s dental hygiene – unless her dog had perfectly clean teeth without any efforts from the owner whatsoever. Whether you brush your dog’s teeth and/or pay for your dog to have her teeth cleaned at the veterinarian’s office, it’s an unhappy chore.

dog with clean teeth

It’s worth the time, effort, and money needed to maintain the holy trinity of canine dental health: clean teeth; tight, pink gums; and breath that doesn’t knock you over!

Some dogs do go through life, from puppyhood to old age, without forming a bit of dental calculus (also known as tartar). But most dogs have significant dental issues by the time they are middle-aged; one study identified periodontitis (inflammation of the tissue around the teeth, often causing shrinkage of the gums and loosening of the teeth) in a whopping 82 percent of dogs aged 6 to 8 years!

What’s the problem with that? Periodontal disease can lead to histopathologic changes in the kidneys, liver, and myocardium, and has been linked to cardiac diseases in dogs.

Also, unless a dog is anesthetized fully for a dental cleaning, things like cracked or broken teeth may go undiagnosed for a long time, leaving your dog in daily pain, especially when eating or trying to play with toys. And a dog who is forced to endure chronic dental pain may be (understandably) cranky with his human and canine family members. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard about dogs who had developed aggressive behavior that went away almost immediately after a cracked tooth was finally detected and removed.)

It only makes sense to keep an eye on your dog’s teeth – including those hard-to-see molars in the back – and take appropriate action to keep them clean and healthy. When you schedule your dog’s annual wellness exam (you do take your dog in for an annual exam, don’t you?), make sure your veterinarian takes more than a one- or two-second peek at your dog’s teeth. (You can facilitate this by training your dog to allow you to lift his lips for increasingly longer moments, until his teeth can be visually inspected pretty thoroughly.) And plan on taking whatever steps are necessary to maintain his dental health, from daily brushing and the regular use of dental rinses or gels that help control dental tartar, to a professional dental cleaning under anesthesia at your veterinarian’s clinic.

 

3. Over-Long Nails

dog with trimmed nails

Nice nails! This dog’s nails are trimmed close to but not touching the “quick” – and the quick itself hasn’t had an opportunity to grow far from the toe.

This problem may not seem as dramatic as the first two, but while it’s true that long toenails only rarely cripple a dog and don’t cause systemic disease, they can significantly decrease a dog’s quality of life by making his every step uncomfortable. (Plus, this can contribute to or aggravate a weight problem, as a dog whose feet hurt more and more from over-long nails becomes reluctant to exercise.)

Super-long nails are usually easy to spot, but dogs who have long hair on their legs and feet may be hiding painfully long nails – and perhaps even lesions on their toes from where long, curving nails have created pressure sores on adjacent toes.

But if they are not yet at an obvious, curving, “Call the SPCA” length, how do you know if your dog’s nails are too long? The best test is to listen closely as he walks across a tile or hardwood floor: If you can hear his nails go “Tick, tick, tick, tick,” as he walks, they are too long! (I’m guessing 90 percent of you just went, “Ugh!”)

If your dog’s nails are thick and long, don’t despair – but don’t avoid this important, basic responsibility, either. If you are easily able to cut your dog’s nails, trim a tiny bit off each nail weekly. If it’s a struggle for you (for any reason, whether your dog’s behavior or your own squeamishness), look for a groomer who will help you schedule trimming visits frequently enough to restore your dog’s feet to health over the next few months.

 

Nancy Kerns is the editor of WDJ.  Subscribe to Whole Dog Journal!  https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/

Caution! Foods Your Dog Dies For

Subscribe

Is your dog’s food full of used restaurant grease?

When you see “animal fat” on a label – you probably think chicken skins or beef trimmings. But, pet food regulations allow manufacturers to use all sorts of low-quality fats, even USED RESTAURANT GREASE, as generic fat sources. To make sure your dog gets healthier fats, look for labels that use a named species of animal as a source of fat, like chicken fat or duck fat.

 
 

 

 
  Dear Fellow Dog Lover,

The dirty truth about how top-selling dog foods could actually be harming your dog’s health!
And other untold secrets you need to know…

 

You want the best for your dog – especially when it comes to his food. You read labels and try to choose the brand and formula that will nourish your furry friend.

That’s why you’ll be as shocked as I was, to discover that dozens of today’s top-selling brands – names you thought you could trust, like Beneful, Pedigree, Purina and more – may not contain the wholesome, healthy ingredients you want for your dog.

Take Beneful. The package makes it look like manna from heaven with a healthy pup, fresh veggies, and what look like real chunks of meat. Unfortunately, the pictures make the food seem better than it is. The reality is this stuff is AWFUL for your dog. It’s full of sugar, artificial colors, and 3 unnamed animal sources. And very little vegetables.

Or look at Kibbles ‘n Bits Bistro Meals Grilled Chicken Flavor. If only it contained the grilled chicken they show on the bag instead of loads of low-quality ingredients and “animal digest” – the real source of the chicken flavor.

Another terrible food is Pedigree Complete Nutrition for Adult Dogs. Made with an inferior, cheap source of protein, it’s a wonder it could maintain any dog’s health – much less an adult dog’s!

And wet foods fare no better than dry…

The label on Alpo Prime Cuts in Gravy Homestyle with Beef makes it look like big pieces of beef covered in gravy. But if this is your dog’s dinner, she’s getting some of the lowest-quality sources of protein, held together by wheat gluten! Even Iams ProActive Health Chunks is full of by-products that are often linked to all sorts of health problems.

 
 

 

Leash Aggression

“Leash Aggression” – Why otherwise friendly dogs may behave aggressively when on-leash

If you hang around with other dog owners, you’ve no doubt heard the same comment I have, over and over again: “My dog is fine with other dogs when he’s off-leash; he’s only dog-aggressive when his leash is on.” You may have even said it yourself.

The reason it’s an often-heard comment is that it’s a common behavior: A lot of dogs who are fine with other dogs when left to their own devices become aggressive if they are leashed when they meet other dogs.

We know that aggression is caused by stress. Clearly, there is something about being on a leash that a lot of dogs find stressful enough that it prompts aggressive behavior. There are several reasons for this. Let’s take a look at one of them.

Leash Interference with Normal Social Interaction

Picture in your mind two dogs meeting and greeting, off-leash. They engage in a social dance – advancing, retreating, moving around each other, sniffing various body parts, giving body language signals intended to keep the interaction civil. Sometimes the movements are slow; sometimes they are quick. If one dog is cautious or fearful of the other, he can retreat as he wishes, using social distance to keep himself safe.

Now picture those same two dogs meeting on-leash. The dance is stilted, inhibited by the restraint of the leash. One dog tries to circle the other, and the leash tangles around his legs. The cautious dog would like to retreat to safety, but knows the leash restricts his movement, and elects to act out his second option to increase distance – a growl and a snap to signal to the other dog to move away – who cannot, because he is leashed. The fight is on.

In the future, the cautious dog will offer a growl and snap before he’s close enough for the other dog to make contact. The best defense is a good offense.

Alarmed, owners move away from each other, and the fearful dog’s aggression is reinforced by the increased distance. Behaviors that are reinforced repeat and increase, and the cautious dog’s aggression escalates as he realizes that it’s a successful behavior strategy for him – it keeps other scary dogs away. You now have a leash-aggressive dog. Absent the leash, he still chooses to move away from the other dog – his first behavior choice.

To learn more about aggressive behavior and ways to modify it, purchase and download the ebook Understanding an Aggressive Dog from Whole Dog Journal.

http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/ppv/default2.html?ET=wholedogjournal:e261101:2214855a:&st=email&s=p_WeekendTip021117&product_id=21558

Let’s Go For a Walk!

We’ve all heard the saying, “a tired dog is a good dog,” but more isn’t always better when it comes to physical activity. If you’re trying to use exercise to help your dog relax the rest of the day, walking smarter, not farther, can help you meet your goal. It also creates wonderful opportunities for strengthening dog-owner relationships.

To read more…http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/

Dog Quotes

Funny Dog Signs with Dog Quotes: It really is the dog's home, we just pay the mortgageClick on any of the dog quotes below to view matching dog art.

Funny Dog Quotes & Dog Sayings

Collection of funny dog quotes and dog sayings…

“Acquiring a dog may be the only chance you get to pick a relative.” ~ Mordecai Wyatt Johnson

“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.” ~ Andy Rooney

“Beware of pit bulls, they will steal your heart.”

“Dogs laugh, but they laugh with their tails.” ~ Max Eastman

“I like big mutts and I cannot lie.”

“I’m so glad you’re home… somebody pooped in the hall.”

“In a dog’s life, some plaster would fall, some cushions would open, some rugs would shred. Like any relationship, this one had its costs.” ~ John Grogan, Marley and Me

It really is the dog’s home. We just pay the mortgage.”

“Rescues are my favorite breed.”

“Sometimes the prince has four legs.”

“Today I will try to be as great as my dog thinks I am.”

“Wag often, bark less.”

Dog Quotes & Dog Sayings – Inspirational

Collection of inspirational dog quotes and dog sayings…

“A dog is the only creature evolved enough to convey pure joy.”

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” ~ Josh Billings

“A dog wags its tail with its heart.” ~ Martin Buxbaum

“A person can learn a lot from a dog.” ~ John Grogan, Marley and Me

“All you need is love and a dog.”

“Dogs fill an empty space we didn’t know we had.” ~ Thom Jones

“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them.” ~ Thom Jones

“Dogs never lie about love.” ~ Jeffrey Moussaieff

“Give him your heart and he will give you his.” ~ John Grogan Marley and Me

“Home is where your dog is.”

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they go.” ~ Will Rogers

“In a perfect world every dog has a home.”

“It’s just the most amazing thing to love a dog, isn’t it?” ~ John Grogan, Marley and Me

“Only after you fall in love will I tell you I’m a pit bull.”

“The only thing a dog needs more than love is to give it.”

“Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

“People will know how large your soul is by how you treat a dog.”

“The road to my heart is paved with paws.”

“Sit. Stay. Smile.”

“To have a soul is to feel love, loyalty and gratitude.” (paraphrased from James Herriot)

We hope you’ve enjoy our collection of dog quotes and dog sayings!

Simple Skills for Successful Training

Dog training is not a mysterious skill known only to a few; most dog owners, with a little help, can become successful dog trainers. Here are some skills that will make your training easier:

* Know what you want your dog to do. Set both short-term and long-term goals.
* Find a technique that is comfortable for both you and your dog, and then stick with it. Don’t change techniques each time something doesn’t work; you and your dog will both be confused.
* Give a command only once. If you repeat the command over and over, which one should he listen to? The first or the sixth?

Dog-Training-Technique

* Show your dog exactly what you want him to do, help him do it, and reward him when he does it correctly.
* Timing is critical to success. Praise your dog as he does something right. If you use corrections, let him know as he makes a mistake.
* Remember that any behavior that is consistently rewarded will be repeated.
* Praise or corrections after the fact are not effective and can confuse your dog.
* Consistency is important – in your training and in enforcing the rules you have established.
* Always finish training sessions on a high note. Have the dog do something well and then reward him for it.

Training is a learning process for both you and your puppy. Don’t rush it; take your time and watch your dog. When he’s confused, worried, or fearful, take a break and think about what you’re doing. Why is your dog reacting the way he is? How can you communicate with him in a better way? When he does get it, don’t be stingy with the praise!

Courtesy “The Howell Book of Dogs; The Definitive Reference to 300 Breeds and Varieties”

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