Proud Dog Dad Gives Special Needs Boxer His Own Tropical Paradise

Most proud dog parents would do anything to keep their furry friends happy and safe. But some definitely go above and beyond in terms of creativity. Dog dad Chris Lodge might look tough, but he has a soft spot for his beloved Boxer named Dice. The 10-year-old pup was recently diagnosed with heart murmurs, which can cause seizures if he gets too excited. This prevents Dice and his family from traveling, which isn’t fair for any of them. So, Lodge … Read more
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Jealous Chihuahua Steals Her Human Dad From His Wife

Nathan and Alicia McNeese have a perfect, loving marriage. Yet, there’s one thing that often comes between them: their cuddly Chihuahua named Bristol. Nathan is Bristol’s favorite human, and she’s not afraid to show it. Bristol often snuggles up to her human dad to show off their close bond. It’s almost as if she wants to make her mom jealous. But luckily, Alicia gets just as much of a kick out of it as everyone else. After all, Bristol is … Read more
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Doberman Pinscher Tackles Armed Robber To Save Her Dad’s Life

Oftentimes, dogs can sense when we’re in danger. They’d do anything to keep us safe and stay by our side. So, just when Lood De Jager thought armed robbers were about to take his life, his dogs jumped into action. Niki, the older of his two Dobermans, ran toward the thief, whose gun was pointed at De Jager. The dog couldn’t bear the thought of losing her loving dad, so she made sure the gun was pointed away from him. … Read more
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What I’m Reading Now: The Mosquito

The mosquito is the animal most lethal to humans. No other animal is even close. Some 130 TRILLION mosquitos carrying at least 15 lethal diseases killed 830,000 people last year — more than all wars and all murders combined. For the record, this a huge *decline* in mosquito-borne deaths. Since […]

The Healthy Hound Newsletter #3

In This Issue
● Recent Recalls
● K9 Blood Donors
● Paralyzed Dog Recovers
● Treating Joint Pain Naturally
● Performing A K9 Cancer Check
● Vet Corner: Dangerous Dog Chews
● Reader Q: Why Is My Dog Afraid Of People?
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Sheepdog Trials Explained, and Unabashed Gushing Over Maggie

We’re just back from the Nippersink Sink or Swim Sheepdog Trial, and I’m still glowing over Maggie’s work. Don’t get me wrong here–we neither won nor came close to it, but my goal has been to progress in the Open class such that I felt we belonged there, and it is starting to feel like […]
The post Sheepdog Trials Explained, and Unabashed Gushing Over Maggie appeared first on The Other End of the Leash.

Toddler Adopts Rescue Puppy With Similar Birth Defect

2-year-old Bentley Boyers was born with a cleft lip. As a newborn, it made simple tasks like eating a struggle. Since then, Bentley has gone through corrective surgeries to help fix the birth defect, but he still knows he’s a little different from other toddlers. All he needed was someone he could relate to. Brandon and Ashley, Bentley’s parents, decided to adopt a special puppy for their son. This pup has a cleft lip just like Bentley, so it was … Read more
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Rockster’s Legacy

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Our time with our furry buddies is never quite long enough, given their short life spans and how important they are to us. Thankfully, though, The Rockster — a legendary rescued mutt who inspired a line of premium dog food — blessed the world with 21 years before he died in June surrounded by his …
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New Hotel Goes To The Dogs

The post New Hotel Goes To The Dogs by Annie Butler Shirreffs appeared first on Dogster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Dogster.com.
Best Friends Animal Society has introduced the next level in pet-centric lodging with the opening of its Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile. Not only does the Roadhouse and Mercantile cater to the traveling public in search of pet-friendly accommodations, it fully supports the lifesaving work of Best Friends Animal Society. The Roadhouse was designed by …
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10 Ways to Jeopardize Your Cat’s Trust

If you’ve spent any time around cats, you’re no doubt aware that it can be challenging to make friends with them, and quite easy to put them off. Felines are exquisitely sensitive creatures, and each one is an “original,” meaning no two cats are alike.
To complicate matters further, cats tend to find many normal, everyday things stressful. For example, even a minor change in kitty’s daily routine can make her apprehensive, and big changes, such as a move to a new home or the arrival of a new pet in the household can quickly send even cool cats round the bend.
Cats need to feel in charge of their environment, and they associate changes in their surroundings or daily routine with a loss of control, which makes them anxious. And here’s the rub — many well-meaning pet parents don’t realize the role they may be playing in creating stress for their feline family members.
10 Don’t Do’s for Cat Guardians

1. Don’t force interactions with your cat — Don’t pull her from her hiding spot or hold her against her will (unless there’s an emergency of some kind and you need to move her). Encourage her to come to you but let her choose to interact with you on her terms.
Having consistently positive and gentle interactions fosters trust. If she wanders off to hide or have a nap, don’t pursue her. Having time to herself when she wants it will help her feel safe and secure.

To improve the communication between you and your cat, learn to interpret her body language, facial expressions and vocalizations. A good place to start: “30 Ways Your Cat Speaks to You.”
2. Don’t punish him — When your cat is behaving in a way you don’t want him to, getting physical with him will do only one thing — teach him to fear you. Yelling at him will scare him off, but probably only for the moment (and risk making him think you’re unsafe).
Instead, when you find him doing something he shouldn’t, distract him with a toy or activity to show him what you want him to do instead, and then lavishly reward him for his desirable behavior.

In addition, make sure he has plenty of approved climbing and scratching surfaces around your home, and keep potentially hazardous items out of his reach.
3. Don’t encourage play aggression in your cat — Play aggression is fairly typical behavior in kittens and young cats. Hiding under furniture and jumping out to attack your foot or ankle, pouncing on your legs under the bedcovers and even wrestling with and biting your hand are all par for the course for a young cat.
Normally, your kitten would get out such play aggressions with his littermates, during which he would learn when his ‘play’ had gone too far.

If a kitten gets too rough with his littermates, they will bite back or stop playing, teaching him that there are limits. Intense play aggression with uninhibited scratching and biting is usually seen in kittens and young cats taken early from their mothers, under-stimulated kitties, and cats without appropriate play outlets.
You can help to avoid over-aggressive play in your kitten by taking the role of his littermates; when he is about to pounce on you, hiss at him or loudly say “ouch” – then stop playing for a few minutes. If you are consistent with this, your kitten will learn the limits of play.
4. Don’t stare at her — Many kitties are tremendously uncomfortable with eye-to-eye contact from their humans. This is because most animals view prolonged eye contact as an act of aggression and staring at your cat can make her feel anxious and fearful.
A better approach when gazing at your cat is to close your eyes for a few seconds, then open them and look away, or simply glance away once she meets your gaze. This will show her you are not a threat.

5. Don’t physically restrain your cat — Don’t hold him to kiss or hug him. Cats are natural predators, but they’re also prey. The first thing a predator does upon catching a prey animal is restrain it, which is why your kitty needs to maintain his ability to move freely and escape. It’s also why he probably gets stressed when you hold him, even though you’re being affectionate.

Don’t hold his head. It’s natural for humans to approach cats head on, however, it’s anything but natural for the cat, which is why the response of most kitties is to recoil from a direct grab. Unfortunately, as soon as the cat throws it in reverse, many people are so committed to the exchange they grab his head and proceed to ruffle his fur. Now, imagine how you’d like it if someone did that to you!
Cats don’t appreciate a head-on approach or head grabs. They are much more comfortable with long, gentle strokes from the head or neck area to the tail, or a bit of light scratching around the ears or chin.

6. Don’t be an unnerving presence around her — Most cats absolutely do not appreciate sudden noises or movements, or anything that can be interpreted as aggressive or even assertive. Speak softly and move quietly and slowly around your cat. Focus on being very Zen and entirely non-threatening while you’re in her environment.

7. Don’t assume your cat doesn’t need help with grooming — Cats are natural self-groomers, but they still need help to maintain their coat and nails. How much grooming your cat requires depends a great deal on the type and texture of the fur, as well as his age, lifestyle and health status.
Older cats may have trouble grooming themselves, for instance, while cats with “pushed in” faces (such as Himalayans and Persians) may need the folds of their skin cleaned to prevent infection. Your cat also needs regular brushing and may even need an occasional bath.

8. Don’t ignore his litterbox — even for a day — Cats are fastidious creatures, and most will happily make consistent use of a well-placed, clean litterbox. However, if the box is allowed to get dirty and stinky, many kitties will eventually eliminate elsewhere.
This is especially true for older cats who tend to become even fussier as they age. If you want to keep your cat content to relieve himself in his litterbox, be sure to scoop it at least once a day. A thorough cleaning with soap and warm water, and a complete litter change, should be done once a week, or every two weeks at the outside.

Also, just as human toilets aren’t located in the middle of the living room, neither should your cat’s litterbox be in an open, noisy, high-traffic area of your home. Just like us, cats need a private, safe spot in which to do their business. Situate the litterbox in a quiet area of your home in which kitty isn’t apt to encounter people, other pets, or loud appliances. If your cat is older, be sure the location and the litterbox itself are easily accessible to him.
9. Don’t use chemical air scenting products around your home — These include scented candles, plug-ins and other strong-smelling chemicals. Cats are very sensitive to odors (it’s one of the reasons they’re so stressed during veterinary visits — all those smells!) and are often bothered by strong scents in the air, on clothing or bedding, and even on their humans.
Try to keep your use of chemicals of all kinds to a minimum, especially those with a strong odor. Instead, choose organic, nontoxic home cleaners in place of toxic pine-based floor cleaners, chemical wet mops, or ammonia/bleach-based cleaners.

10. Don’t leave your cat home alone overnight — Many people believe one of the advantages of having a cat is that their independent nature allows them to be left on their own for long periods. While it’s true most cats don’t require as much hands-on attention as dogs do, it’s really not a good idea to leave your cat alone when you travel.

Number one, kibble, which is the only food that won’t spoil sitting out in the open for days, isn’t a species-appropriate diet for cats. I never recommend dry pet food, especially for kitties. In addition, many cats will gorge themselves, eating all the food within hours after you leave. Then they (often) throw up and have nothing to eat until you return. This is stressful for your cat, and can also endanger her health, since kitties need to eat every day.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, an unattended, un-scooped, stinky litterbox is an invitation to your cat to find some other spot to relieve herself.
And finally, in a worst-case scenario your cat could injure herself or become ill during your absence, and no one would know. I recommend asking a friend, relative, neighbor or professional pet sitter to stop by each day during your absence to feed and water kitty, scoop the litterbox, and spend a few minutes with her to insure she’s content and healthy.
Sources:Insider February 1, 2020 Comments (4)

Furry Pets Benefit Children at Risk of Allergies

It was once believed that children raised around pets might be at an increased risk of developing allergies. However, research has since shown that the oppositeis actually true.
Exposure to pets in early childhood appears to be protectiveagainst the development of allergies, even in children at increased risk. One recent study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, revealed one reason why having pets may be so beneficial for kids at risk of allergies.1

Early Exposure to Pet Microbes May Strengthen Infants’ Immune Systems

Finnish researchers wanted to examine why early exposure to pets may be protective against allergies, so they collected fecal samples from one-month-old babies at increased risk of developing allergies. 
One-third of the infants living in a home with a furry pet (dogs, cats, or rabbits) had animal-specific bacteria in their fecal samples compared to 14 percent of those living in a pet-free home.
At six months old, the babies were tested for allergies. While 19 of the more than 100 infants tested had a reaction to at least one of the allergens tested, none of the infants that had animal-specific bacteria in their fecal samples did. Study co-author Dr. Merja Nermes of the University of Turku in Finland, told Reuters:2

“When infants and furry pets live in a close contact in the same household, transfer of microbiota between pets and infants occurs … For example, when a dog licks the infant´s face or hand, the pet-derived microbiota can end up via the mouth into the infant´s intestine.”

It’s thought that exposure to the animal-specific microbes has beneficial effects, including potentially strengthening the infants’ immune systems.

Plentiful Research Supports the Benefits of Pets on Children’s Health

The featured study is only one of numerous studies linking dog or cat ownership to a lower risk of allergies, asthma, and respiratory and ear infections in children. For instance:
In a 2012 study published in Pediatrics, infants who had contact with dogs in the home had 31 percent fewer respiratory tract illnesses and infections, 44 percent fewer ear infections, and 29 percent fewer antibiotic prescriptions than kids with no contact with dogs.3

A 2011 study published in Clinical & Experimental Allergy showed infants living in homes with cats had 50 percent fewer cat allergies than children not exposed to kitties from birth to one year of age.4

A 2009 study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed kids who lived with both a cat and a dog were less likely than other children to have allergies at age 13.5

A 2008 study published in Clinical & Experimental Allergy concluded exposure to dogs in infancy – especially around the time of birth – is associated with changes in immune development and a reduction in wheezing and allergic hypersensitivity.6

A 2002 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed infants exposed to two or more dogs or cats during their first year had fewer allergies not only to pets but also to dust mites and ragweed.7
One revealing animal study also found that mice exposed to dust collected from the home of a dog owner had the dog-related bacteria Lactobacillus johnsonii in their guts. The microbes actually reshaped the community of living organisms in the rodents’ GI tracts, and these changes affected the immune response of the mice and their ability to fight off certain allergens.8

When the L. johnsonii bacteria were given to two groups of mice not exposed to “dog dust,” they, too, developed protection against airway allergen challenge and viral respiratory infection. The researchers concluded:

“Early-life exposure to dogs is protective against allergic disease development, and dog ownership is associated with a distinct milieu of house dust microbial exposures. Here, we show that mice exposed to dog-associated house dust are protected against airway allergen challenge.”

Pets Benefit Kids Emotionally, Too

It’s a common and sad tale when new parents give up their pets once a baby enters the home. However, parents should keep in mind that not only are pets not a temporary commitment (adopting a pet is a commitment for their lifetime), but your furry family members can benefit your children in numerous ways.

When psychologist Dr. June McNicholas of the University of Warwick studied nearly 350 children aged three to 14, it was found that 40 percent said they sought out their pet when upset or bored. And as Susan Dawson, a researcher in human communications at Manchester Metropolitan University, told The Daily Mail:9

“From studies I have carried out backed up by case studies it becomes clear that pet ownership, or simply the chance to spend some time with pets, children can benefit a lot … They learn nurturing skills and are rewarded for their efforts …
They are given unconditional warmth which can be reassuring and they actually seem more motivated to talk and describe their experiences.”

Kids who grow up with pets also tend to have higher levels of emotional intelligence than kids who do not. This includes increased compassion and empathy, improved self-esteem and cognitive development, and stress relief.10

Are You Considering Adding a Pet to Your Family?

If your older child expresses the desire for a pet, it’s a good time to have a talk about responsibility and the permanency of owning a pet. Be sure your child has expressed a consistent desire for a pet (not simply a passing mention) and understands that it will require daily care (work) and not just playtime.

It’s a good idea to set up expectations ahead of time for what pet-care responsibilities your child will need to fulfill. Discuss these with your child and agree upon them together. Very young children shouldn’t be expected to care for pets without assistance. They can help, of course, but if your child is under five you can assume that you’ll be doing most of the pet care.

Children under the age of three to four should be monitored with pets at all times, and even children under 10 should not be expected to care for a dog or cat completely on their own.

That being said, even if your child commits to the responsibility, only add a pet to your family if you are prepared to take over their care if your child does not. If you decide your child is ready for a pet, resist the urge to give her one as a surprise. Instead, involve your child in each step of the process, including selecting the right pet for your family.Sources:The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology September 3, 2015Reuters September 10, 2015Related Articles:  The Positive Power of Pet Ownership  More Good News for Parents with Pets  Your Dog as Life Coach: Helping Your Child Make a Positive Difference in the World Comments (2)

Why Your Dog Needs to be on a Leash in Public Places

The post Why Your Dog Needs to be on a Leash in Public Places by Annie Burdick appeared first on Dogster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Dogster.com.
This is why dogs on leashes in public places is so important.
The post Why Your Dog Needs to be on a Leash in Public Places by Annie Burdick appeared first on Dogster. Copying over entire articles infringes on copyright laws. You may not be aware of it, but all of these articles were assigned, contracted and paid for, so they aren’t considered public domain. However, we appreciate that you like the article and would love it if you continued sharing just the first paragraph of an article, then linking out to the rest of the piece on Dogster.com.

Amazon Driver Rescues Senior Husky From Near Drowning In Pool

An Amazon delivery driver named John Cassabria stumbled upon a shocking sight during one of his scheduled deliveries. While walking to the front door to drop off a package as usual, he saw a commotion coming from the deep end of their pool. Once he saw what looked like a snout, his heart sank. Once John realized the splashing in the pool was coming from a dog in distress, he immediately jumped into action. Without hesitation, he jumped into the … Read more
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