Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Shame Game: Why It Doesn’t Work In Dogs

It’s a statement I’ve heard to many times before. An owner will come home to find a chewed up shoe or a big puddle on the floor and utter something similar to this: “Then I took him right over to the puddle and said ‘bad dog, what did you do’. He knew he did wrong because he looked so guilty.”

And here is the honest, scientific truth: He or she has absolutely no idea what he/she did was wrong. The poor pup is just reacting to the owner’s tone and possibly anger. It is a faulty way of disciplining because the dog is not learning a thing.

An Associated Press article explains:

Behaviorists insist dogs lack shame. The guilty look — head cowered, ears back, eyes droopy — is a reaction to the tantrum you are throwing not over the damage they did hours earlier.
Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a professor at Texas A&M University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and executive director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, had this straightforward advice: “Just get over it and remind yourself not to put temptation in the way next time.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Human Medications Top the List of ASPCA Animal Poison Concerns

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center releases new app providing pet owners with quick info on 275+ potential toxins

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and its Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) today revealed that human medications again top of the list of toxins most commonly ingested by pets, according to cases handled by the APCC. The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, headquartered in Urbana, Ill., handled more than 167,000 cases in 2014 involving pets exposed to possibly poisonous substances. Nearly 16 percent of those calls (26,407 cases) were from owners whose pets got into medicines intended for human use, putting this category at the top of the toxin list for the seventh straight year. 

“Just like children, our pets explore the world with their mouths. Unfortunately, our pets are much stronger and agile, with the ability to chew right through pill containers or jump to typically out-of-reach hiding places,” said Dr. Tina Wismer, medical director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. “It is so important to keep all potential toxins completely out of reach, and to take your pills behind a closed door away from your pets,” Dr. Wismer advises. “If you drop your medication, your dog can scoop it up quicker than you can say ‘poison’.” 

According to the ASPCA, the top ten calls into the APCC in 2014 involved the following toxins, ranked in order of call volume:

Monday, April 13, 2015

Human of the Week! Greg Mahle: Dog Rescuer

Animal people are good people, there's no doubt about that. Sometimes, there is a person that stands out because they give so freely to help improve the lives of animals. 

Greg Mahle is one such person.

There is an abundance of shelter dogs in the deep south, which is why Mahle founded a transport service, Rescue Road Trips, to relieve these unwanted dogs from their death sentence and ship them north to the arms of loving and eager canine owners. 

The trip starts on Tuesdays in Ohio, goes south of the Mason Dixon Line to retrieve the dogs and then circles back up north for joyful reunions on Saturdays.

It's not a very profitable business and some days "ends don't meet", but Mahle loves what he does.

Friday, April 10, 2015

10 Simple Ways To Protect Your Dog Against The Canine Flu Epidemic

By Averi Clements
A recent outbreak of canine influenza has Chicago dog owners terrified. The disease is highly contagious and spreads when dogs touch noses or come in contact with each other’s saliva. While the flu usually isn’t deadly, it comes with plenty of symptoms, such as dehydration, appetite loss, fever, and moderate to severe coughing.
Unlike the bird flu — which created a global scare due to its rapid infection rate in Asia  — the dog flu doesn’t affect humans. But since people can still carry the flu on their clothes for up to twenty-four hours, it’s important to stay away from dogs you suspect might be affected with the illness. But be careful: while many diseases have clear symptoms, such as head-pressing, carriers of canine influenza might not display any symptoms at all.

There have now been over 1,000 reported cases of canine influenza, with five dogs tragically succumbing to the illness. Luckily, there are ways to prevent your pup from being affected by the outbreak. Even if you don’t think your dog is at risk, please take these precautions until the outbreak of canine influenza comes to an end. You’ll be protecting not only your dog, but also many others.
1. Keep Your Dog Away From Other Dogs

1. Keep them away from other dogsThinkStock

Since dogs are the only animals that carry canine influenza, the most effective measure you can take against the illness is by keeping them away from other pups. The disease can be transmitted just by sniffing noses, so complete isolation from other dogs is the safest option during the outbreak.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

8 Things to Consider Before Leaving Your Dog at a Kennel

There will come a point where you’ll most probably have to leave your dog behind, for the sake of traveling. Although it won’t be easy to leave your pet behind, you can ensure a safe and comfortable place for your pup to stay while you are away.

The most obvious and simple option is to consider a kennel or boarding house for your pet, but before deciding on one, ask your friends and vet for their recommendation. Then call them based on your research. Naturally, you will have a number of questions to ask but might not be sure where to start. Here are some helpful tips: