Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Dogs at Work"

Dogs and humans share a special bond.

The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the enduring partnership between dogs and people with the Dogs at Work issuance. This set of four stamps depicts four hard-working canines: a guide dog assisting a woman who is blind, a tracking dog on the trail of a scent, a therapy dog visiting an elderly woman in her home, and a search and rescue dog standing in a field, ready to tackle the next assignment.

Artist John M. Thompson created original paintings for the stamps, which were designed by art director Howard E. Paine.

Dogs today excel at a variety of jobs. Currently, some 10,000 guide dogs in the U.S. and Canada serve as an extra set of eyes for people who are blind. Therapy dogs, chosen for their friendly dispositions, bring comfort and joy to the elderly and the ill. Dogs that work with police and military personnel are trained to detect drugs, guns, and explosives. Search and rescue dogs speed up search efforts, increasing the odds of survival for disaster victims.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Latest Pet Food Recall

There is a new pet food recall that affect humans in 9 states. Diamond Pet Foods is pulling nine brands and WellPet LLC is recalling one as a precaution.

At least fourteen infected people had contact with dogs or dog food a week prior to them contracting an illness identified as Salmonella. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, cramping and fever. To date – no deaths have been reported.

Cases so far have been in Virginia, Ohio, Connecticut, Michigan, Alabama, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

These products were sold to 16 states in the US East coast and Canada.

Check pet food recalls for 2012

Please forward this to any family and friends. Let's help prevent any problems before they occur.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dog Park in YOUR City

Bark for Your Park 2012 launches!

Has your town gone to the dogs yet?

Give your furry friends a pet-friendly place they can call their own – a new dog park! You and your community are to participate in Bark for Your Park.

How to win this year’s grand prize of $100,000.

1. Visit www.petsafe.net to nominate your community.

2. Complete your city’s profile page by finding available land and civic leader support by June 13th.

3. Start voting each day on both www.petsafe.net and the official contest tab on PetSafe’s Facebook at www.facebook.com/PetSafeBrand

4. Once your city has been nominated, PetSafe will confirm the availability of land and civic leaders’ support. You will also be able vote every day to help your city move forward in the contest. For the best chance to become a finalist, make sure your city's page is complete and be sure you are voting each day on both www.petsafe.net and www.facebook.com/petsafebrand. This gives your city twice as many daily votes!

Vote For Your City!

May 1 at 8am EDT - June 13 at 5pm EDT

Encourage friends, family members, civic leaders, and community members to vote to bring a dog park to your community. Remember to vote daily!

Finalists Announced

June 15 ... and voting continues until 11:59:59pm EDT on July 31 PetSafe will select 15 finalists to continue barking for their park by producing a video and continuing to vote each day. Winners Revealed

August 3
The finalist city with the most votes will receive $100,000 to build a PetSafe dog park. The runner-up and the city with the highest percentage of votes to its population will each receive $25,000.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Natural Remedies For Fleas

Do not feel like using chemicals on your dog to treat fleas?

Here are some natural remedies for fleas.

Repellent sprays - According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, based in New York, a safer alternative for flea management can be made with essential oils of cedarwood, lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, and thyme. They emphasize avoiding pennyroyal oil which can cause seizures and death in animals. Also be wary of products containing oils of citrus, d-limonene, tea tree, lavender, geranium, linalool, bay, eucalyptus, and rue; they have been associated with allergic reactions in people and severe reactions in dogs.

Diatomaceous earth - Can effectively kill fleas by penetrating the waxy coating on their exoskeletons and causing them to dehydrate. It can be found at herb outlets and garden shops. Sprinkle it on clean pet bedding and on carpets and floors.

A lemon rinse after shampooing - can repel fleas. Make the rinse by soaking a sliced lemon in a pint of hot water, letting it steep overnight. Remove the lemon and any stray pulp, and sponge the lemon water onto your dog's skin. Let it air dry. Repeat daily if necessary.

Keeping grass and shrubbery short - in areas where your dog spends time helps reduce a flea problem, the Natural Resources Defense Council states. Evict fleas from your home by vacuuming frequently and throwing out the vacuum cleaner bags immediately, and by washing pet bedding in hot water weekly.

Be sure to check with your veterinarian before beginning any flea-control program.

For a rundown on the ingredients in flea products,
visit the NRDC's Green Paws directory.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Shedding Light

Why do dogs shed?

Let's shed some light on the subject (pun, ha ha!).

Shedding is a continuous process. No matter what breed of dog you have, or how well you take care of them, shedding is a normal event in the life of a dog. You can never totally eliminate it, and it is largely influenced by daylight.

Let's shed more light on the subject (could not resist!).

The shedding process is triggered by the number of hours that a dog is exposed to sunlight each day. This number is called a photoperiod.

Thus, outdoor dogs shed quite a bit more than indoor dogs, and your dog sheds more in the summer vs. the winter. This is related to the photoperiod. Indoor dogs tend to shed more consistently but in lesser amounts because of the artificial light inside the house. Dogs also tend to have heavier coats in the winter months than they do in the summer.

Photoperiod is not the only thing that influences shedding, though. Stress and illness can cause excessive shedding. Loss of hair, frequently confused with shedding, is a symptom of many illnesses and a side effect of some medical treatments. A chronically ill dog that is shedding may also suffer skin lesions as well as scaling and thin or abnormally wrinkled skin.

What can you do about shedding?

First be sure that you are dealing with shedding and not a more serious problem.

Tips to help decrease normal shedding in dogs:

1. The first thing you can do to reduce the amount of hair in your home is to brush or comb your dog on a daily basis. This will help more than anything to reduce the amount of hair that you find on your clothing, furniture, and floors.

2. Feed your dog a good quality food. Do not skimp by feeding your dog the cheapest food you can find. A good-quality food will not only keep their fur healthy and soft and reduce shedding, but they will need to eat less to get the proper nutrition.

3. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. Healthy bodies promote a healthy coat.

4. Don't let your dog get fat. Chubby dogs might seem cute, but obese dogs have difficult grooming themselves. Keep your dog at a healthy weight for many reasons, not least of all to reduce shedding.

Dogs shed - it is a fact of life. Nothing will change that. But with these tips you can help reduce the amount of shedding and its impact on your home. Regular grooming will make the biggest difference by far.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pillow Talk

Most homeless dogs in shelters sleep on a hard concrete floor with only a towel to soften the surface.

But, not in New York's three municipal shelters in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Staten Island!

New Yorker Susan Brandt launched the Mother's Comfort Project to give some of the animals a little comfort while they are housed at Animal Care and Control of New York City.

That comfort comes in the form of beds stitched together and delivered to the shelters. Volunteers put each bed into the dog's or cat's cage and quickly show their gratitude.

The project was conceived by Rational Animal, a New York City-based nonprofit Brandt founded in 2002 to foster public awareness of the need to aid animals. The Mother's Comfort volunteers gather at a rented sewing studio in Brooklyn to construct the beds. While sewers stitch the bed components together, non-sewers cut fabric or padded batting, or deliver fabric to the studio or the beds to the shelters. Brandt estimates that the project has made and delivered about 4,000 beds.