Monday, April 30, 2012

Dog Tails or Tales?

Myth or not?

Are dog tails more sensitive than the rest of their bodies?

But evolutionary reasons may be hard-wired into animals, making them uncomfortable having vulnerable body parts handled. Some dogs do not like having their feet touched. It might be that dogs may feel threatened by having their tail touched.

If you handle your dog's tail while petting her, you can increase her comfort level. When grooming the tail, carefully comb knots to minimize any pulling on the dog's skin. Patience and gentleness is advised when brushing your dog's sensitive areas. After all, we ask our dogs to put themselves in vulnerable positions when we groom them.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pet First Aid

April is National Pet First Aid Month.

Emergencies can occur anytime and the best thing to do is be prepared. Having a first-aid kit ready will help to reduce anxiety if an emergency does happen. Keep the kit readily available and periodically check to make sure all the items are up to date and present.

Veterinarian recommended first aid kit for dogs includes:

Roll cotton
Some cotton balls
Gauze pads
Gauze tape
Hydrogen peroxide (check the expiration date)
Hydrocortisone ointment
Silver nitrate
Oral syringes
Pediolyte® or other balanced electrolyte fluid
Baby food – meat flavors work best
Large towel
Exam gloves
1 inch white tape (in addition to gauze tape)
Rolls of elastic wrap
Emergency ice pack
Thermometer (both oral and rectal thermometers can be used rectally)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring on the Trail

The Chehalis Western Trail in Olympia is a favorite place to be on the occasional sunny day in Washington.

Ebony and I were caught on camera enjoying the day by Ed Anderson.

He likes to photography the dogs he encounters on the trail.

You can see more photos of his dog friends.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Do Dogs Watch TV?

The average American watches about 4 hours of TV a day.

But what about dogs?

Do dogs enjoy television, too?

Dr. Nicholas Dodman is a very talented animal behaviorist who has written many wonderful articles about dogs. He has used his years of training to develop a television channel just for dogs.

Check out this video where Dr. Dodman explains more about how DogTV.

What do you think about dogs watching TV? Do you think they can appreciate it and be entertained by it, or are we trying to project our human traits on dogs?

Sunday, April 15, 2012


April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month.

Each year, the ASPCA urges supporters across the country to “Go Orange for Animals” throughout the month of April—when the ASPCA’s charter was signed in 1866—to raise awareness for this cause.

So How Do You “Go Orange” for Animals?

Make it fun to go orange - get creative!

Orange is a vibrant, energetic color that most people find inspiring. So use it joyfully to show the world you care about animals during the month of April.

At the ASPCA website are ideas and suggestions on how you can go orange in your community, classroom, business, library, website, etc.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Dog Photography At Its Best

A photo of your dog is a prized possession, right?

Getting the right pose can a times be frustrating. Why not try some natural photos instead.

Here are some ideas:

Sweet Dreams: A dog lost in the world of dreams makes for an innocent and peaceful photo. Try a close up where her face fill the frame.

What's That?: Most dogs tip their heads to the side when they hear an unusual sound or when their masters ask questions in an exaggerated way. Find out what triggers your dog's head cock and then use it in a cute head shot.

Snack Time: Give a favorite, long-lasting chew to your dog. Once your dog is happily working on it, ease yourself down to dog level and capture the happiness.

Perfect Day: Next time your dog lounges outdoors and a perfect afternoon, gram your camera. Snap her as she snoozes in the sun, raises her nose to a scent, or rolls happily in the grass.

Once you get used to photographing your dog acting naturally, more ideas will come to you. With today's digital cameras, you can keep snapping photos until you get the one you like best. And if not, try again another day!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Name Game

What name will you call dog?

This is a big decision. There are many sources with lists to assist you. But how do YOU choose the right name?

My grown kids make up names for their children......even coming up with creative ways to spell them.

I think most people run through lists of names and decide.

According to the nation's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, Veterinary Pet Insurance Company of Brea, California, sorted its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine last year's most popular dog names.

The most popular name for a dog in 2011 was "Bella".

Here is the top ten names for dogs:

1. Bella

2. Bailey

3. Max

4. Lucy

5. Molly

6. Buddy

7. Daisy

8. Maggie

9. Charlie

10. Sophie

It appears that the tendency toward selecting human names for dogs continues. Interesting to note that of the nearly half a million pets insured by VPI, only 13 were named "Fido," and just 17 chose the name "Spot," which indicates a decrease in the popularity of traditional dog names.

Monday, April 9, 2012


Flyball is the sport of running, jumping, and catching a ball.

Dog fun at its best!

Flyball consists of two four-dog teams that race along two 51-foot lanes. The first dog from each team runs down the lane, clearing four jumps along the way, then pounces on an angled wooden box to release a ball. The dog catches the ball and runs back over the jumps with it. The dog's teammate takes off, repeating the a relay race.....until all four dogs have gone. The team finishing first wins the heat, and several heats make up one race.

If you think agility is too complicated or requires too much running on your part, flyball may be the perfect sport for you and your dog. The Canine team members' handlers stand at one end of the course; they do not make the run from the starting line to the box that releases the tennis ball.

Your dog does not need to be an athlete to participate. The North American Flyball Association maintains a team locator that can connect you with any of its 375 registered clubs. At the website, click on the left column, "Find a team in my area," then click on "Flyball Locator".

Most teams let anybody join if they want to, but there are some extremely competitive teams that do not accept new members.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Stress in Dogs?

April is National Stress Awareness Month.

Do you have stress in your life?

Do dogs get stressed out, too?

YES! Stress affects pets just as it affects humans, although they do not always show it in the same ways.

For example, some pets are just naturally more stressed out than others - their lives are faster-paced or filled with more stressful things. Different pets have different stress levels and, like us, they all handle stress in different ways.

Dogs are like that, too.

Some dogs are just innately "wound up" and very vulnerable to stress. Others are hard to rattle and remain calm and collected throughout almost anything.

One thing to note is that some dogs are very in tune with their people. These dogs pick up on the stress levels of the humans around them and in turn feel that stress. So if you have one of these kinds of dogs, your stress from a bad day might affect your dog as well.

How can we help our pets "de-stress"?

Some pet owners feel guilty about leaving their dog home alone, so they leave the TV or radio on to reduce stress and keep the dog company. For a long time it was thought that this would help keep the animals from getting stressed out. But studies show that this actually does more harm than good! Leaving the TV or radio on will certainly create "noise," but it will not necessarily create a relaxed environment for your dog. In fact, TV and radio can actually CREATE stress for our pets due to the drastic changes in programming content, volume level and the random mix of musical styles.

Interestingly, research shows that some music can actually soothe pets (similar to music soothes people). Studies prove that music helps relax our pets and researchers have even pinpointed some very specific characteristics in the music that work best.

Dogs seem to react best to classical music. Dogs will actually bark less - especially when they listen to the music of Bach. Classical harp music has been shown to help alleviate stress in cats, dogs, chimpanzees and other animals.

In recent pet anxiety studies, house pets responded favorably to classical music under stress-inducing situations, often slipping into a very serene and peaceful state of mind after only a few minutes of listening. Certain instruments and sounds were more effective than others. But for the music to actually calm our pets, it must create a consistently smooth, soothing dynamic from start to finish. That means there should be no abrupt changes in tempo, volume or rhythm.

A few years back I blogged about a music CD especially for dogs. Learn more........

Friday, April 6, 2012

Dog Truckin'

Since 2005, our nation's truck drivers have transported more than 600 homeward-bound pets in the cabs of their trucks according to Operation Roger.

Operation Roger of Joshua, Texas has coordinated the transportation of rescue dogs with the regional and long-haul truck drivers. The truckers provide a much needed ride and the dogs offer companionship and sometimes protection.

The nonprofit group got its start in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when its founder, then truck driver Sue Wiese, scanned the radio listening for reports on the pets left behind in the rising flood waters.

Some of the truckers grow attached to their passengers by the time they reach their destination and end up adopting the dog.

In Southern California, Musical Truckin' Dogs Adoption Program was started by country singer Susanne Spirit. She matches up rescues and road warriors. The group even supplies the rig-driving adopters with donated care packages which contain everything they need for a week-plus road trip.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Screen Your Dog In

I enjoy when creative people develop their ideas and bring them to the world.

Even thought my Golden Retriever loved to feel the wind in her face from the car window, I was well aware of the dangers, not to mention being disgusted by the drool along the windows that I had to clean up.

Sue Stipanovich figured out how to create a screen for car windows, BreezeGuard. It is a powder-coated steel screen with half-inch openings that keeps pets safely inside the car while allowing for a cool breezes on warm days.

Sue made one for her own car, but interest from others prompted her to make them for sale. She and her husband, Tony, hand make each one specifically to fit the model of your car. They install from the inside to allow for free movement of the window glass.

How ingenious!!!

Remember, if it is too hot outside for you, it is too hot for your pet in the car regardless of having a screen.