Thursday, July 2, 2015

Keep Your Dogs Calm During the 4th of July Fireworks With These 5 Simple Tips!

The Fourth of July fireworks may be fun for pet owners but the loud noises and bright flashes tend to terrify dogs so my advice to you is to check local listings to find out when the festivities will begin, walk your dogs beforehand to tire them out, and then keep them inside for the rest of the evening and follow these 5 tips to keep them calm: 
My friend Ruffles is waiting for the fireworks to be over while I sit with her in the bathroom.

1) Put your dogs in a safe enclosed room preferably without windows or doors that they could escape from if the opportunity arose.

 My friend George was so engrossed in watching television that he hardly noticed the fireworks!
2) Put music, the TV, or the air conditioner on to drown out the sounds of the fireworks.

Lemmy snores on my arm while Iggy sleeps contentedly during the fireworks on July 4, 2014.
3) If you are leaving the house for the night hire a friend, a pet sitter, or a family member to come over and stay with them for the night.

4) Purchase a Thundershirt! This product has been known to successfully treat anxiety in over 80% of dogs!

5) Put a few drops of Bach's Rescue Remedy in your dog's mouth, ears, or water bowl. This product contains the essence of 5 natural flowers: impatiens, cherry plum, rock rose, clematis, and Star of Bethlehem which has been proven to reduce anxiety in pets and people.
I know your dogs will appreciate the effort you've made to make them comfortable during this year's 4th of July festivities!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

7 Signs of a Reputable Dog Rescue Organization

For many owners of rescue dogs (including myself), the checklist of what a reputable dog rescue organization looks like is discovered long after the adoption takes place because the excitement of dog ownership takes precedent over the practicality of researching a rescue organization beforehand.

After doing a great deal of research I found a list of 32 signs of a reputable rescue from the Ohio Great Dane Rescue but because this post would be too long if I listed them all I chose highlight seven that I felt were the most important below:

1) A reputable rescue makes sure animals are up to date on all vaccines, and microchips where appropriate to ensure all pets are healthy, up to date on all shots, heartworm tested/on prevention, and received necessary vet care before placement.

Most rescues obtain an Intrastate Health Certificate which means it is only good for transporting reasons.

2) A reputable rescue takes responsibility for the animals adopted through them for the span of each animal’s life, not "just” for the span of foster care or transport.

Many of our clients who have adopted dogs from rescues STILL receive yearly or twice-yearly check-ups from their rescue agency. Now, that's impressive! 

3) A reputable rescue will never hurry the adoption process or waive requirements simply for the convenience of the rescue.

Putting pressure on the public to adopt by a certain date is unfair to potential adopters and equally unfair to the animals who have been transported to an adoption site because the dog may not be right for the family and/or vice versa. 

4) A reputable rescue will help adopters make decisions about which dog is a good fit for their home and will offer advice and assistance on meeting the correct one for the adopter.

5) A reputable rescue helps educate new adopters and may require adopters to participate in training courses to assist in a good adoption.

6) A reputable rescue keeps dogs in foster care to screen for health or behavior problems.

7) A reputable rescue is not for profit, and works on adoptions, not sales.

Before adopting from a rescue organization be sure it is licensed to operate as a shelter and not as a pet store store. 

If you are considering adopting a dog from a rescue organization, please keep this checklist in mind. You and your new pooch will be happy you did!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Quasi Modo Takes Home the World's Ugliest Dog Title

Have you heard the phrase, "She  has the face that only a mother could love"? In the case of Virginia Sayre, a veterinarian from Loxahatchee, Florida, it was love at first sight when she met Quasi Modo, a 10-year-old pit bull-Dutch shepherd mix who was born with missing vertebrae which left her with a bit of a hunchback. 

On June 26, Quasi Modo won the title of "World's Ugliest Dog" at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma, California, and gained international fame for her unattractiveness. She took the $1,500 prize Friday night besting 25 other dogs in the contest.

Quasi stated in her biography that "My appearance can be a little unsettling to some (I have had grown men jump on top of their cars to get away from me because they thought I was a hyena or Tasmanian devil) but once they get to know me I win them over with my bubbly personality".

If you'd like to learn more about this adorable pup (Yes, I do think she's adorable!) you can visit her on her very own Facebook page today!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Silly Cat Sunday

How many of your cats would get hired based on this credential alone? :) 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

What Type of Collar or Harness Works Best for Leash Training?

"How do I stop my dog from pulling on the leash?" is a question I've heard from frustrated clients often and one of my suggestions is to buy a martingale collar (often referred to as a no-slip or combo collar) because when it is fitted properly there's better control than with a harness and a dog will be unable to slip out of his/her collar. 

When I adopted Daisy in 2009 she was approximately nine months old and hadn't been leash trained so, believe me, I can relate to everyone who has had more than their share of problems walking their dog. 

I started training her with the use of a standard harness (shown above in 2009 with her friend, Sophie) and when that didn't work I tested the Easy Walk Harness out and then went on to using a Gentle Leader but she still continued to pull so at the last resort I experimented with a martingale collar and now she walks beautifully except for the occasional times when she tries to pull towards a squirrel or cat!

Even though I've had success with these collars I know that they aren't the best solution for every breed so I recommend experimenting with a variety of walking "gear" until you find one that helps you enjoy your walks with your furry friend.

What does your dog wear on his/her walks? What worked? What didn't work?  

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tara the Cat Honored with Hero Dog Award for Saving Her 6-Year-Old Boy

When the topic of bravery comes up in a conversation involving pets dogs win the the debate just about every time but when Tara, pictured above, rescued her beloved 6 year old friend, Jeremy, from a vicious dog while he was playing in his front yard in Bakersville, California. The dog grabbed Jeremy by the leg and started dragging him and, incredibly, Tara ran up and tackled the pooch, and the entire incident was caught on video and has since been seen more than five million times on YouTube alone:

In May 2014, Tara became the first cat to receive the Los Angeles SPCA's Hero Dog Award. The shelter presented its 33rd annual Hero Dog award to the family in downtown Los Angeles.

Not surprisingly, Tara and her family were appeared on the Today Show and you can see them in action here

In addition to the award, Tara won a year's supply of cat food and fans who are following her on and on her Facebook page! Now that's some cat!