Saturday, March 31, 2012

Five Star Pet Resort

Pamper your dog and head for the New Jersey Shore!

While you vacation, reserve a spot for your dog at the Morris Animal Inn in Morristown, New Jersey, for not only lodging, but also spa treatments, grooming, daycare, themed dog camps, or the weight-loss program.

A luxury resort for pets!

The Morris Animal Inn started as a grooming facility in 1960, run by Walter Morris Sr. As his customers began to ask for more services, the Inn grew. When the younger Morrises assumed the business, the trend continued.

The weight-loss camp, started in 2009, evolved in response to customer demand. In addition to the fitness regimen consisting of such activities as treadmills, aerobic swimming, nature hikes, yoga, and pilates, the Inn feeds them nutritious homemade treats and gives daily reports and fitness tips to their owners.

It's a dog's life!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Beyond Squeak

Dogs go crazy for toys that have noisemakers and the distinctive "squeak" that they provide. Eventually, even a favored squeaker can get boring after a while.

Providing your dog with a wide variety of toys is really important. Dogs rely on us for their entertainment and they cannot go buy new toys when they are bored with their old ones. Often you do not know that they are bored until they find a way to let you know...usually by channeling their energy in inappropriate ways like chewing or destroying household items.

Some creative soul came up with an alternative to the squeaky toy for dogs. Deedle Dudes are adorable toys that sing, babble, talk, and chirp their way into your dog's heart. The stuffed toy is made extra-soft for those dogs who love to snuggle. Inside each Deedle Dude is a novel noisemaker that will provide your dog with the mental stimulation necessary for good health.

Deedle Dudes Singing Monkey and Singing Shark have a lot of personality.

Beware, you might get their silly songs stuck in your head!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Even Dogs Can "Talk" Too Much

Just as we can form sentences and change the pitch of our voice to mean different things, a dog change its bark depending on what it is trying to tell you.

Bark #3; "Hello"

According to K9 Magazine, here are the Top 10 Barks and, briefly what they mean.

1. Continuous rapid barking at a mid-range pitch: “Call the pack! There is a potential problem! Someone is coming into our territory!”

2. Barking in rapid strings with a few pauses at a mid-range pitch: “I suspect that there may be a problem or an intruder near our territory. I think that the leader of the pack should look into it.”

3. Prolonged or incessant barking, with moderate to long intervals between each utterance: “Is there anybody there? I’m lonely and need companionship.”

4. One or two sharp short barks at a mid-range pitch: “Hello there!”

5. Single sharp short bark at a lower mid-range pitch: “Stop that!”

6. Single sharp short bark at a higher mid-range: “What’s this?” or “Huh?” This is a startled or surprised sound. If it is repeated two or three times its meaning changes to “Come look at this!” alerting the pack to a novel event.

7. Single yelp or very short high-pitched bark: “Ouch!” This is in response to a sudden, unexpected pain.

8. Series of yelps: “I’m hurting!” “I’m really scared” This is in response to severe fear and pain.

9. Stutter-bark at a mid-range pitch: If a dog’s bark were spelled “ruff,” the stutter-bark would be spelled “ar-ruff.” It means “Let’s play!” and is used to initiate playing behavior.

10. Rising bark – almost a yelp, though not quite that high: Used during a rough-and-tough tumble play time, it means “This is fun!”

For those of you who would like to train your dog not to bark.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Sparky!

March 18th was the 61st Birthday of Sparky the Fire Dog.

This little dog has saved thousands of lives over the years by serving as the spokesdog for fire safety and prevention.

Sparky was created in 1951 for an Advertising Council campaign. The campaign aimed to educate people about the danger of fires, especially children (who are frequently at high risk). Over 3,000 people die in house fires each year and thousands more are injured, but Sparky helped work to change that.

Speaking of fires, did you know that pets can cause fires?

The most common way a pet can cause a fire is by knocking over a candle.

But here is an unusual story:

My golden retriever started a fire in my home. She was alone on house duty, when she got bored and decided to chew on the large stick match box. Apparently she was able to rub them together to start a fire. It was a good thing my daughter came home earlier than I as there was a fire going in the middle of the living room and it was not in the wood stove. A wise teenager, she immediately got the kitchen fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

Do you have decals on each side of your home indicating to fire personnel that you have pets in your home? In case of an emergency, firefighters can locate and save your pets. You can buy these decals, which are quite inexpensive, or you can take just a few minutes and make your own. Here is a template; all you will need is a color printer.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Energetic Dogs

Energetic dogs are so much fun to watch.

You can tell they really enjoy life.

Living with one can be exhausting at times though. Trying to entertain a ball of energy 24 hours a day is a really big task.

I want to share some tips for those of you with "busy bee" dogs. Hopefully they can help you avoid some of the common pitfalls of this type of canine personality so you can focus on having fun with your dog.

Ideas for dealing with energetic dogs.

Training: A beginner's obedience class can teach both you and your dog good ways to focus all that energy. Very excitable dogs are more prone to inappropriate behaviors such as jumping or running into the street, both of which can be very dangerous. Many dogs with high energy levels love having a "job" to do.

Exercise: Dogs get anxious and uncomfortable when they cannot exercise enough and they will find new ways to use that energy. Give them ample opportunities to work their muscles and exercise. Simply tying their leash to a stake or dog run is not enough. Taking 20 minutes twice a day for a brisk walk around the block is a great way to encourage more activity in both of your lives.

Environment: Is your dog "energetic" or is he actually just anxious? Sometimes dogs will react nervously around areas which are very noisy, include unsettling sounds like sirens, or contain other animals. Simple separation anxiety can manifest in the kind of bouncing-off-the-walls behavior commonly dismissed as "energy." Consider whether your dog's environment could have something to do with their habits.

Age: If your dog is younger than 2, they might be the dog equivalent of a teenager and have extra energy to burn. Have patience with them; they are still growing up!

Boredom: Yes, dogs get bored too. When your dog simply will not leave you alone long enough to cook dinner or watch TV, try distracting them with a tough puzzle toy that has a secret compartment for treats or kibble.

There is nothing like the smile on a happy dog's face paired with a wagging tail. Happy, energetic dogs are fun and living with one can pose some unique challenges, but that is all part of the reason we love them.

I hope these tips were helpful.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Dog Barometer

Dogs seem to have a sixth sense when it comes to predicting storms.

Long before the skies darken and the rain falls, thunderstorm phobic dogs become agitated, fearful, and clingy. Before we know that a storm is on its way, our dogs may have felt it, heard it, or even smelled it.

How can they do this?

Why are they not doing the weather report on TV?

Canines are more sensitive to drops in barometric pressure than humans. Barometric pressure is the pressure of the atmosphere. A drop in pressure means that conditions may be ripe for a storm to develop. A dog may learn to associate this pressure drop with the arrival of a storm. Changes in the static electric field may trigger the same anticipation. Dogs may also pick up the subtle vibrations that precede a storm. A small rumble may be almost imperceptible to us, but not to a dog.

It is also possible for a dog to hear a storm. Dogs can hear at much higher and lower frequencies than we do. A dog can hear a low rumble that a person would miss. Another possibility is that dogs may smell storms coming. Dogs' noses are so sensitive that they can detect concentrations of chemicals in the low parts-per-million range. In fact, dogs' noses are said to be more sensitive than a mass spectrometer. Lightning ionizes air with the formation of ozone – which has a characteristic metallic smell. Perhaps dogs detect this odor, or some other odor associated with the storm.

Finally, a dog may learn to interpret darkened skies and cloud patterns with a storm. You may only learn of the storms imminent arrival through observation of your dog's behavior. For some dogs, thunderstorms are cataclysmic events. They are so frightened by the storm that they may bark, hide, urinate, or defecate, and some dogs become destructive, particularly when forced to endure a storm alone. Others may react to the sound, but may remain relatively calm. The more anxious the dog in thunderstorms, the more he may react before the storm actually arrives.

The moral to this story:

Watch you dog and not your TV for the latest weather.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Proper Protocol

You may be tempted to interact with a service dog, BUT before doing so be aware of the proper protocol.

Service dogs have years of training behind them and a serious job.

Proper Protocol Around Service Dogs:

1. Service dogs should not be touched without permission, or offered treats or food.

2. Do not whistle of make distracting sounds.

3. If you would like to speak, speak to the person and not the service dog.

4. When you are walking your dog and come across an assistance dog, remember that the assistance dog is not a pet dog ready to play and that your dog may be disruptive to the team.

5. If you are unsure whether your dog will remain under close control when passing a service dog, you may be wise to cross away from the service dog to limit distraction.

Stopping to say hello and letting your dog sniff or play with a service dog is NOT appropriate, unless the dog has been give a "Release" command.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dogs Get Car Sick Too!

Motion sickness effects dogs too and nothing is worse than seeing your pet turn green and start drooling and panting and.......

According to market research from Pfizer Inc., as many as one out of six dogs experience motion sickness. However, medications and natural remedies can help.

Natural remedies for motion sickness:

1. Keep a window partially open so that fresh air can relieve the symptoms.

2. Use flower essences which are calming

3. Sooth the stomach by feeding a little bit of ginger, peppermint, or chamomile.

4. Give your dog a soothing, whole-body massage before hoping into the car.

Nonprescription medications for dogs with motion sickness include Benadryl, Dramamine, and Bonine. All have sedative effects and should only give these medications with a veterinarian's recommendations and instructions.

Happy travels to you and your dog!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spin Trick

Are you the dog owner who likes to teach dog tricks?

Can your dog spin circles on command?

Both ways?

How to teach Spin/turn to your dog:

1. Show your dog a treat, then move it to the side and toward its hip. When you dog turns its head, even a little, to follow the treat, say "yes" and reward with the treat.

2. Lure your dog toward its hip with another treat, encouraging the dog to follow. Reward your dog when it follows the treat. Your hand movement, while luring with treats, will become a hand signal to turn that direction.

3. Repeat, encouraging your dog to turn a little farther each time, and reward your dog the farther it goes. When your dog turns in a full circle, reward with a jackpot of several treats.

4. Now begin the process again, teaching your dog to turn the other direction. Say the cue word, "Spin," as you lure the dog in one direction. Say, "Turn," when you lure in the other direction.

5. When your dog readily follows the treat, turning in either direction, phase out the lure by making the same hand motion - but without holding the treat. When your dog turns following your lure-less hand motion, reward!

Try this trick as a limbering exercise or just for fun. Maybe your dog can learn to wipe off its feet by spinning and turning on a doormat or towel? Have fun!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Tennis Ball Smile

I thought Brinkley, Jayme's golden retriever, was rather funny with her insistence of carrying two tennis balls on every walk.

But then I saw this short video of Zoe, a yellow lab, with her three ball smile.

Hilarious smile!

The world record for the most tennis balls held in the mouth by a dog at one time is five. Augie, a golden retriever owned by the Miller family in Dallas, Texas, USA, successfully gathered and held all five regulation-sized tennis balls on 6 July 2003.

Check out this face!

Of course a golden retriever :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Avalanche Dogs

Dogs are becoming more visible at ski areas these days. These dogs and their handlers work very hard on the mountain.

Crystal Mountain in Washington has one of the oldest avalanche dog programs. It has been in place for over 20 years.

Cirrus is a German Shepard and is on her seventh season at
Crystal Mountain. She belongs to Andrew Longstreth.

The main job of the avalanche dogs is to search for snow buried victims. If any avalanches occur that are not witnessed, the dogs are used to clear the area making sure no one was buried. Dogs are able to search these unstable areas safely in seconds where humans could take hours and risking more lives.

Dogs are used to augment the avalanche rescue plan because they are much faster than humans. The dogs are very important especially if the victim is not using an avalanche rescue beacon.

Training the dogs to search is not done with treat rewards. For these dogs, the search is a game, and the dogs work because they love it. Once the dogs have been trained to search, practice is crucial to hone their skills.

Visit the Crystal Mountain's Avalanche Dogs Facebook page to learn more and see breathtaking photos.