Top Tips to Help Your Pet In An Emergency (from the AVMA)

Chihuahua standing in a bowl barking at phone
I fallen into my bowl and it’s empty!

Accidents happen – sometimes pets get injured, eat the wrong foods, get bitten, cut, or even have seizures.  But, there are ways you can help on the way to the vet. As Dr. Doug Aspros, Former President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) says, “You can’t be over-prepared. Do your thinking and planning when you’re calm – you’ll make better decisions when the emergency happens.”

So here are a few life-saving tips from the AVMA to help stabilize your pet:

  • If you think your pet has a broken bone, gently lay him or her on a flat surface, or use a blanket as a sling to gently transport your pet on the way to the veterinarian.
  • With cuts, press a clean, thick gauze pad over the wound and press on it until the bleeding stops. If bleeding is severe and on the legs, apply a tourniquet (using a rubber band and gauze) between the wound and the body to slow down the blood flow and get your animal to the vet ASAP.
  • For burns, flush immediately with lots of water. If the burn is more severe quickly apply an ice compress.
  • If your pet has been exposed to a toxin, check the label for immediate instructions such as washing its skin with soap and water, or flushing eyes with water.
  • If your pet is having seizures, keep them away from any objects, blanket your pet to keep them warm and call your vet or an emergency vet clinic.
  • For choking, if your pet can still breathe, get them to the vet immediately. Look in their mouth with a flashlight and quickly try to get the object out with a tweezer. If that doesn’t work, place both hands on the side of his or her ribcage and strike the rib cage firmly with the palm of your hand 3 to 4 times while getting to the vet.

What your Pet First Aid Kit should include for home or travel:

  • VetWrap (or a similar bandaging product that clings to itself and molds nicely)
  • A nylon leash, muzzle, pet carrier (depending on animal size) and a pillow case for a cat that might need to be restrained; a small flashlight can also be quite useful

For more life-saving tips from the American Veterinarian Medical Association, log onto www.avma.org/

Is My Pet Dog or Cat at Risk for Catching or Transmitting Ebola?

Dog-on-Exam-TableWith all the hyperbole about Ebola in the news, the question about whether this disease is transmissible to and from our pets is still an open one with no definite answers. But according to the CDC’s “Questions and Answers about Ebola and Pets”, the probability seems low, as reflected in the following statements:

The ongoing epidemic of Ebola in West Africa has raised several questions about how the disease affects the animal population, and in particular, the risk to household pets. While the information available suggests that the virus may be found in several kinds of animals, CDC, the US Department of Agriculture, and the American Veterinary Medical Association do not believe that pets are at significant risk for Ebola in the United States.

At this time, there have been no reports of dogs or cats becoming sick with Ebola or of being able to spread Ebola to people or other animals. Even in areas in Africa where Ebola is present, there have been no reports of dogs and cats becoming sick with Ebola. There is limited evidence that dogs become infected with Ebola virus, but there is no evidence that they develop disease.

Some information in this article was taken from Questions and Answers about Ebola and Pets published on the CDC website. You can read the entire CDC article at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/transmission/qas-pets.html.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Sophia Yin

Black_ribbonIt is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden death of Dr. Sophia Yin on Monday, September 29th. She was an extraordinary human being whose knowledge and passion for the care, handling, and training of dogs in a non-stressful manner was infectious. Although her loss is immeasurable,  the legacy and knowledge she left behind is not. This world is a better place for her travels through it and the understanding she left in her wake.

Thank you, Sophia. We will keep your lessons in our minds and your spirit in our hearts.

 

Fall Activities for your Dog

Yorkie puppy carrying a leafWith fall approaching, our dogs check the weather blogs daily in anticipation of their favorite season. Fall is a cornucopia of activities our K9 companions live for. The following, incomplete list of activities are on many a dog’s fall itinerary.

 

  • Cool weather changes an older dog’s brain to the point where they figure a bout of the zoomies is a good idea. Father Time be damned.
  • With the grass dying in cooler weather, it makes it easier to spot the epicenter of the rabbit pellets for a proper roll.
  • Wetter weather means that they can take a nice mud bath right after the rabbit roll.
  • Leaf piles offer opportunities to demonstrate chaos theory and canine OCD.
  • Barking at trick or treaters.
  • Assuring Thanksgiving guests that they too, are allowed to share their turkey.
  • Observe the hypocrisy of humans’ insistence that dogs learn self-control while humans can’t make it through a football game (or match, depending on your version of football) without losing their bloody minds.
  • Abstract art via mud and linoleum media.
  • Playing pigs in a blanket with their favorite human.
  • Cocklebur collecting.

Whatever your dog’s favorite activity in the cooler weather, put the coffee in the pot or the kettle on the boil and go outside and enjoy your dog.

Cheers

Kevin

Why Being Angry at your Older Dog is Normal

Jealousy brought about by Father Time can cause us to be angry at our older dogs.

When squared upon, the Hannya mask is an angry and imposing visage. Yet, a slight tilt of its head can bring sorrow and pain into view.

As our dogs become older, behaviors that once elicited joy, laughter, and even a bit of egging on become moments of anger. Laughter is replaced by an angry voice telling our dogs to calm down when they are jumping around or getting off the bed by themselves. Our body language has changed from the relaxed joy these behaviors once elicited to a nervous, tense, and yes, even angry posture.  Our dogs must wonder what has caused us to don the Hannya mask.

In the most general of terms the Hannya mask is used in certain Noh (Japanese Dance Theatre) plays to depict a woman that has been turned into a demon because of jealousy. The jealousy in this case, triggered by the signs that Father Time is going to take the all too short life of our beloved companions.

Gender assignment of the Hannya mask and Father Time aside, I believe this is something that we all are subject to. Guilt, fear, jealousy, and anger are all intertwined lovers that are nonetheless part of the human condition. Some days we are better about controlling them than others. We all want our dogs to live as long as they possibly can, and so, we become behavior hawks. Frustratingly discouraging those things we believe are detrimental to our dog’s longevity no matter how inane they may seem.

And as guilt turns to anger and ager turns to guilt we sometimes forget to forgive our dogs for just being dogs, and ourselves for just being human.

Remember that even though we sometimes unconsciously wear the Hannya mask, we can forgive ourselves and take it off; enjoying our dogs for what they are in the here and now and allowing them to slip back to puppyhood, even if only for a little while.

Cheers,

Kevin

 

 

11 Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe During the Dog Days of Summer

With the unofficial start of summer here, and what is predicted to be one of the hottest, wettest and most humid seasons in New York City ahead, you’re not the only one who will be seeking relief from the heat. This time of year can be especially brutal for dogs. John Ziegler, dog well-being expert and founder of Biscuits & Bath, New York City’s total wellness destination for dogs, offers the following 11 tips for helping your furry friends stay healthy, safe and comfortable this summer:

  • Before heading to the park, if your dog has never been around other dogs before, introduce him/her to social settings in a controlled environment first. A quality day care facility that offers on-site trainers or behavior counselors can provide the most pleasant and stress-free integration into a pack environment.
  • Have realistic expectations. If your dog isn’t polite or friendly with others, get help from a Certified Professional Trainer to change his/her behavior before going to a dog park. Parks are not a place to rehabilitate fearful or aggressive dogs, or those that just don’t know how to play well with others. Before entering the park, spend a few minutes watching the other dogs play and interact. If it appears too rough or intimidating, come back some other time.
  • Not all dogs like the water, and not all dogs are natural swimmers. If you take your pup to the beach or out on a boat, spend time training him/her to swim and enjoy the water ahead of time. Also, if your dog is not a natural swimmer, make sure you get a proper life jacket for him/her to wear.
  • Since your windows will be open more often in the months ahead, check to make sure all screens are secure to prevent pets from falling through them.
  • As heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes, make sure your dog has a yearly heartworm screening and is on monthly heartworm protection.
  • Keep walks to a minimum when it’s very hot outside. Asphalt can cause paw burns and dogs can overheat being closer to the hot ground. Also, sand can get extremely hot and some dogs’ paws are more sensitive than others, so check your pup’s pads frequently when playing on the beach. If your dog overheats, apply rubbing alcohol on his/her paw pads to immediately reduce body temperature.
  • Make sure your dog has access to shade and plenty of water when outside, and at a barbecue.
  • Never leave your dog in a parked car because temperatures can rise to deadly levels in as little as two minutes.
  • Carry water and a collapsible bowl with you. Better yet, teach your dog to wear a pack and carry his/her own water.
  • Put a colorful bandana on your pup. This is a fun way to identify your dog, and it can be soaked in water for some extra cooling down.
  • Ensure the under (winter) coat has been thoroughly brushed-out. Most dog coats act as insulation, so excess fur must be removed when the season changes and it is warmer out.


Symptoms of overheating in dogs can include:

  • Excessive panting or difficulty breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Drooling and mild weakness

Severe symptoms of overheating include:

  • Stupor
  • Incoherence
  • Collapsing
  • Seizures
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Animals with flat faces, like pugs and bulldogs, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

*This article provided by material from Biscuits & Bath

Five Tips to Finding Great Dog-Friendly Rentals

Man and dog walking in the parkOne of the biggest causes of pet abandonment is due to relocation and not being able to find pet-friendly housing.  It’s a stressful time for pet owners and they are sometimes put in that tough position of having to get rid of a pet.

However, with enough planning, people can find not only dog-friendly housing, but excellent dog-friendly housing.

Here are five tips for finding an apartment that will make a great new home for you and your dog because the only criteria for choosing a home should not just be whether or not you dog will be accepted.

5.  Doggy bags. Yes, doggy bags.

Those bags that apartments leave for residents to clean up after their pets aren’t found everywhere.

Apartment complexes that provide doggy bags for cleaning up after pets is a good sign of a responsible management team.  This may not seem like a big deal, but it shows that the management is taking that small, but extra, step to make caring for your dog easier.

4. Natural Lighting

It may seem simple, but good natural lighting is important for an animal when they are routinely home for many hours a day. The lack of sunlight can even lead to depression.

Consider how many windows will have a direct view of the sun. Corner units tend to have much better lighting. If you have the option to take a ground-level room whose patio is covered and shaded all day long or a second story apartment with an open balcony that is perfect for sunbathing, take the latter.

3. Search

With more apartments to choose from, the better the quality will be of the place you end up with.

There are several good apartment searching websites that will show you which ones are pet-friendly or not such as RentLingo.com and PadMapper.com. They aggregate listings from other sites and have options so that you can narrow down which sites are pet-friendly and which are not. Also, if you aren’t able to check out the neighborhoods, they feature maps so you can see how close an apartment is to the nearest park.

Also, apartments often limit the number of animals accepted and their total weight combined, so pet owners are often put into a tough spot of having to hide an animal. This tends to be a bad idea and can lead to extra fees and eviction. Hopefully, with enough options you can find a place that will fit you and your family.

2. Location

How close is the nearest dogpark, park, or trail? Are the surrounding streets suitable for walking your dog?  Are they enjoyable for you?

Keep questions like these in mind.  No one wants their go-to walking route to weave between traffic-jammed intersections, grimy neighborhoods with the only available grassy areas being neighborhood lawns.

1.  The Grounds

It’s two in the morning and your Aussie suddenly needs to pee.  So, you take her down the concrete hallway, down the three flights of stairs and to the bushes that are outside your apartment, except she can’t find the “right spot” because there’s nowhere to stand besides cement.

 You are going to want to choose an apartment property that properly fits your dog’s needs. Keep an eye out for apartments that have courtyards, their own dog parks, and are spacious in size. Also, try to get an apartment as close as possible to these places. You’ll be thankful later.

Good luck relocating!

Written by Adam Busch

The Best Treat Pouch in the World

treatpouchTreat pouches are not ancillary, they are a necessity when training your dog. However, finding one that is up to snuff has always been a bit bothersome for me. I like the clip-on kind with an easily washable pocket, yet finding one that is well made, well designed, and worth the money has not been easy.

Most of the ones I’ve seen in stores or online advertised for the purposes of treat dispensing, even the expensive ones, come with plastic clips that will eventually break and stitching that looks like one of my attempts at darning socks. Which, by the way, damns the socks so I don’t know why they call it darning.

After a recent trip to a local pet store I found only one brand of treat pouch and it was so cheaply made and overpriced, I decided to forgo the rest of my purchases. Driving home, I passed a Lowes and remembering that I needed some roofing nails, stopped inside. As I made my way towards the nail isle, I passed an end cap where sat the answer to my prayers… a magnetic nail pouch.

Sturdily made (hey it’s made for nails) it has a metal clip that is larger than most treat pouches and won’t break after a few sessions. It holds more than enough treats for a session with all four of my dogs at the same time and it has a large magnet on the front that allows me to toss it at the side of the fridge when I’m done where it sticks solid. And best of all it cost less than most of the cheaply made pieces of crap I’ve seen and purchased over the years.

So, if you like a good treat pouch for very little money that is functional and will last, stop at Lowes and pick one of these up. If you would like to order online you can find it by clicking on the image or by clicking here.

Happy treating and training,

Kevin

Brachycephalic Dogs – Popular Breeds – Nutrition – Health Problems

Brachycephalic Dogs - Popular Breeds, Nutrition, Health ProblemsTo someone who does not know much about dogs and different types of dogs, the term brachycephalic probably sounds scary or daunting, like the name of some disease or something. And you might think that the term brachycephalic dogs means that there is something wrong with these particular breeds. However, this is not the case. The term brachycephalic simply denotes that the particular breed of dog (or cat, for that matter) has a short snout, which comes from Latin where the term brachycephalic actually means shortened head.

Some of the most popular breeds of dogs these days fall into this category. For instance, boxers which have always been some of the most popular breeds fall into this type of dogs. The same is true for bulldogs and Boston terriers. Pugs, as well as chow chows, Shin Tzus and Pekingese are all brachycephalic dogs and they all share the same “flattened” look to their faces that their owners love so much.

However, it is very important to understand that just because these dogs share this one characteristic, this does not mean that they will share their personality, their instincts or even their heritage. These are all very different breeds, from boxers which have historically been used as watchdogs and guard dogs to pugs which are your prototype people dogs. There are some characteristics that they do share due to their skull shape, however, and we have to say that these are not the most positive of characteristics. Namely, they fall into the category of health issues which most, if not all, brachycephalic dogs share.

Brachycephalic Dogs - Popular Breeds, Nutrition, Health ProblemsFor one, most brachycephalic dogs have troubles coping in extreme temperatures. In hot weather, their characteristic “lack” of a snout, prevents sufficient panting and this can cause overheating, coma and even death. It is absolutely essential to take care of your brachycephalic dog in hot weather and give them a chance to rehydrate, cool off and get rest when exercising and playing. During cold months, their respiratory issues create different problems altogether.

The eyes are also a problem for brachycephalic dogs as they are not set inside the skull to the full extent and they bulge somewhat. This may cause injuries to the parts of the eye, especially since their snout does not provide as much protection from physical harm as other breeds snouts do. If you should notice any problems with your brachycephalic dog’s eyes, you need to contact your vet at once.

The most famous problem that these dogs share is the brachycephalic syndrome which entails small nostrils and an elongated soft palate, which together can cause the obstruction of the airways in a dog. If this should happen, surgery may be necessary. Luckily, the prognosis is positive for such cases.

When it comes to nutrition, you will be glad to hear that brachycephalic dogs have no specific nutritive demands or prohibitions, just feed them quality food and that is it .

After reading this article, you may think that brachycephalic dogs are too much bother, but as any owner of such dogs will tell you, it is more than worth it. These breeds are usually extremely loyal, great company and loving pets that you will spend memorable moments from the beginning to the end of your relationship.

About the Author – Catherine Daniels, huge animal lover, loves writing about them in spare time, enjoys hiking with her dogs Cookie and Edgar and cuddling with her cat Zoe

Shedding Myths and Sharing Stories About Dogs