Those who follow this site know I'm a huge "behavior" proponent, not just teaching basic puppy training skills but really understanding why dogs behave they way they do. Only by understanding canine behavior--the language, the social and emotional needs, and how dogs interact in their world--can we hope to provide the best homes for our beloved dogs.
Too often, a behavior "problem" actually is normal--or it gets out of hand because well meaning dog lovers react in a less than ideal way. Even puppy and adult dog health intertwines so much with behavior that the two can't be separated. Yet the understanding of dog behavior continues to evolve faster than a Border Collie herding sheep!
That's why I'm delighted to shine a spotlight on the Marcia Polimer Abrams Canine Behavior Studies Fund created by my colleague and dog behavior expert Darlene Arden in honor and memory of her mother, who adored dogs. It's administered through the AKC Canine Health Foundation but works on behalf of ALL DOGS of every breed--that's a tail-wagging benefit to your puppies, don't you think?
In these challenging economic times, many of us look for help funding regular vet care to keep our puppies well. It's a comfort to know that funds exist to not only help in times of trouble, but also to prevent problems by studying and better understanding pet challenges.
With Father's Day approaching, maybe your dad would welcome having a donation given in his honor, or in memory of the doggy friends he's loved over a lifetime of canine companionship. Or perhaps someone you know would benefit from a helping "paw." Check out this article that lists pet-centric foundations including the Marcia Polimer Abrams Canine Behavior Studies Fund, as well as ways to get help with vet bills.
Image © Darlene Arden
It's National Dog Bite Prevention Week--do you know how to protect yourself and your kids from bites? Most dog bites can be prevented simply by learning to understand doggy body language and recognizing types of aggression.
In fact, most cases of doggy aggression arise out of fear!
While you do your part to bring Puppy up right and prevent puppy biting, it's also important to teach your children how to stay safe around all dogs. It only takes one time for tragedy to happen. Learn how to prevent dog bites here.
Image © Getty Images
Here's my newest article with an overview of specialty veterinary care.
Image © ACVO
Last week over on Facebook I noticed a post about one of my friend's dogs meeting up with a certain black-and-white noxious visitor, and offered some advice about getting rid of the stink. Last summer, I wrote about my own Magical-Dawg getting too up-close-and-personal with Pepe LePew. You'd think he'd learn his lesson.
But no, not Magic. It wasn't more than a day or two later that my husband took the dog for an early morning ramble where they met up with Mr. Skunk. Being the cordial, friendly doggy he is, Magic followed the scurrying critter from the field into the scrubby trees, and then RACED out of the bushes to roll-roll-roll trying to rid himself of the smell.
So I quickly dialed up my article about removing skunk odor and went shopping for the DIY ingredients. Meanwhile my whole house began to stink, too. I'd confined Magic to the kitchen to keep him from rubbing skunk smell on the carpet or furniture, so the most intense smell was there. Lighted candles didn't touch the aroma. So I moved the CritterZone Air Purifier into the area, and took Magic outside for his bath.
I gotta say, the combination of the homemade bath coupled with the CritterZone got rid of the odor more quickly than I could imagine! Within an hour, my house was once again fresh. Now, if I can just keep Magic from trying to make friends with wildlife!
Image © Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Image © CritterZone
Great Life Performance Pet Products, which asserts on its website "No Recalls, Ever!" has posted this notice on its website and notified distributors of issues with some of its products:
"It has come to our attention that some of the Grain & Potato Free Buffalo products, are not lasting the full expiration date. As a precaution we are not selling any of the Grain & Potato Free Buffalo products, until we find out what has caused the problem. It has not impacted all bags, this is just a precautionary measure."
An unexplained odor from some of the bags indicates that certain products are not staying fresh through to their expiration date, although they assert that lab tests found Grain Free Buffalo products "free of Salmonella, E. coli, toxins, micro-toxins, etc." The affected dog food products include:
- Great Life Grain Free Buffalo
- Dr. E's Grain Free Buffalo
This is not a recall--they have not asked distributors or pet owners to cease selling or feeding the products. However, if you have one of these foods and detect an "off" odor, I would strongly urge you to stop feeding that particular bag and contact the company for further instructions.
We're living in "interesting times" and that's not necessarily a good thing when people can't pay for their own food and must rely on Food Stamps--and now Pet Food Stamps are also available to help out. That's important when keeping a special pet in the home may be the last (best?) reminder of better times for the family, and especially the children. How would YOU feel if you'd lost everything--and now must even give up your beloved pet?
Offering assistance to keep pets in homes also lessons the burden on tax payers who must support city shelters flooded with relinquished animals pet lovers can no longer afford to keep. People on Food Stamps or other assistance often must choose between feeding themselves and their children, paying the electric bill--or caring for the pet--and Food Stamps can't be used to buy pet care items.
To fill that gap, there are things those of us in a better position can do to help--creating innovative home grown pet food banks, for instance. But on the national level, now people who need help can apply for Pet Food Stamps--learn more in my latest article. You can offer donations to the program, too!
Image © Ciarin Griffin/Getty Images
Puppy strangles is a scary name for a serious condition that's painful but rarely dangerous for puppies. The more technical term is juvenile pyoderma or cellulitis, and baby dogs 12 weeks old and younger are most at risk. There also are certain breeds more commonly affected, including Golden Retrievers, Labs and others. The painful skin infection usually requires vet care but some home remedies can help your puppy feel better and heal more quickly. Learn more in this new article about puppy strangles.
I hope you'll never need this information. Porcupines are fascinating critters--and from a distance certainly are worth a look. The problem happens when your puppy gets too close for a sniff and ends up with a face full of quills.
Read this latest article about porcupines and puppies to learn what you can expect, and what to do if your puppy happens to get the "point" about these critters!
Image © Frederick Brown/Getty Images
It's that time of year--are your puppies protected against parasites and ticks? When we lived in Eastern Kentucky, more than once we had dogs come into our vet clinic suffering from tick paralysis. The pooch in most cases had a huge load of ticks that simply covered him from head to tail, and the toxin from the saliva caused paralysis.
But it only takes ONE tick to cause the same thing! Would you recognize the signs? If not treated in time, the affected pup could die--but the treatment is simple. Prevention is even better. Learn more about this scary disease in my latest article on tick paralysis.
Natura Pet Products has expanded its March 29, 2013 recall of dry pet foods due to to the possibility of salmonella contamination.
The recall now includes all dry pet food products and treats with expiration dates prior to and including March 24, 2014. The following brands are included in the recall:
- California Natural
Only the following cat treat products are included in this event:
- Innova Cat Treats
- Wild Cravings Turkey & Chicken Formula Cat Treats
- Wild Cravings Herring & Salmon Formula Cat Treats
- Wild Cravings Weight Management Cat Treats
If you've bought one of these foods, throw them out and DO NOT feed. For additional information, consumers may visit www.naturapet.com. For a product replacement or refund call Natura toll-free at 800-224-6123. (Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM CST).