With September being AKC Responsible Dog Owner Month, we thought we would reiterate what being a good dog owner is all about. Most of us had our first pet as a child, when our parents were trying to teach us responsibility. Chances are, you tried to get out of cleaning up after the dog and quickly realized that having a dog was not all about fun and games. You learned that responsibility is so much more than the basics of food and shelter.
Last month we discussed the therapeutic effects of CBD (cannabidiol, the medical component) for dogs. Although not much long-term research has been conducted, it has shown promising results in fighting the effects of cancer, pain, joint swelling, arthritis and more.
However, this is not true of marijuana itself.
The cannabis oil recommended for dogs does not contain (THC – tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the hallucinogenic component of marijuana. However, the marijuana we are talking about today is the marijuana that humans smoke.
Who doesn’t love a puppy? They are cute, adorable and full of fun. You can’t help but smile when a puppy is around, complete with adoring eyes that follow you everywhere you go. Their faces are so sweet!
However, puppies are not for everyone. This true story tells the tale of how a puppy can be a disaster if placed in the wrong hands.
My mother-in-law is 84 years old and lives on her own in a senior community in California. She is in relatively good health but has a bad back and mobility issues. Six months ago she lost her beloved labradoodle Hannah and was devastated. As she has had dogs ever since she was a child, she decided she was ready for another dog.
I encouraged her to get a senior dog, one that was already trained. However, she was insistent the dog be a labradoodle. I called animal shelters and rescue groups throughout California and was told these dogs are rarely abandoned because they are “designer dogs”. Instead, she decided to get a puppy who was lovingly delivered to her at 12-weeks-old.
My mother-in-law has brand new white carpeting and a white couch. She was having trouble housebreaking the dog because ”stern” is just not in her personality at this age. Even though she could give us the “stink eye” over the years, the dog did not respond to this type of discipline. It’s now been 4 months and “Lucy” is still pooping all over the house. “What are you going to do?” I ask her. “No worries”, she says. “I’ll just buy new carpeting.” “I leave the patio door open every night with the light on in hopes she’ll go outside on my patio.”
Does she think there are no burglars? She leaves the lights on – might as well invite the thieves in for a cup of coffee!
As our kids head back-to-school, they may encounter some unfamiliar dogs along the way. It’s important that kids know how to approach a strange dog correctly and react appropriately if the dog shows any sign of aggression. This quiz is critical to prevent dog bites!
Summertime means barbeques, trips to the pool or lake, and plenty of family and friend time. As summer temperatures begin to soar, there is nothing more refreshing than a dip in the pool or lake. Because your dogs go most of the places you probably go, it’s important for you to know whether they can swim or not.
Some dogs LOVE to swim, for others it’s a learned behavior, and still others will NEVER want to swim. Just because their breed is identified as one that loves to swim, never assume your dog knows how to swim. Never toss a puppy or newly adopted dog into a lake or pool unless you are there to save him in case he panics or gets tired. This could traumatize the dog and lead to a quick end to your water sports!
If it’s not possible to bring your dog along on a family vacation or leave him with a trusted friend or family member, you may consider a reputable boarding facility. Although there have been horror stories about disreputable kennels, there may be a great “bed and biscuit” in your area and your dog may even enjoy the company of other dogs. Without a doubt all kennels are not the same. DO your homework on them — some can be full-service and provide grooming, massages, and aromatherapy, while others not so much…
Planning a great adventure with your dog? Checking off some things on your bucket list? If you are going to be traveling with your pet it’s important to be prepared. Let HelpEmUp give you some guidance in how to travel with your dog via the road or airways.
Know your dog. First ask yourself the question: does your dog like to travel? Does he get car sick? Does he have an injury or illness that may prevent it? Some dogs and cats get extremely anxious when they are away from home. If your dog doesn’t have the right temperament to go with you, consider a reliable pet sitter and let your pooch rest comfortably at home.
I happen to be a holiday person. My decorations go up right after Thanksgiving and I have multiple trees with different themes and colors. I love the parties, dinners, gift exchanges and get-togethers. I love baking cookies with the kids, hearing my Uncle loudly telling the same stories over and over, and the kids running in and out.
My dogs not so much.
What I have come to realize is that my dogs don’t appreciate all the chaos and hustle and bustle that I do. They just want to hide under the covers and come out in mid-January.
Hopefully you haven’t lived through the angst of losing a dog. Even if you think your dog would NEVER run away, a sudden bolt of lightning or the rumble of thunder could cause him/her to panic. Or even worse, he could be stolen!
According to the ASPCA, more than 7.6 million dogs are lost each year — approximately one every 2 seconds. As dog owners, it is our responsibility to make sure our dog has proper identification in case he is lost or stolen. Although many dog owners realize the importance, the Pharr Road Animal Hospital sadly reports that less than 33% of dog owners report tagging their dogs.
There are numerous options available, but I hold to the belief that it is better to be safe than sorry. All of my dogs have been microchipped in addition to wearing a tag on their collar which states their name, my name, and my telephone number.
To Microchip or Not
A microchip is an electronic device that is very small (about the size of a grain of rice) and is injected beneath a dog’s skin using a hypodermic needle. The microchip itself does not have a battery—it is activated by a scanner that is passed over the area, and the radio waves put out by the scanner activate the chip. In dogs and cats, the microchip is usually placed at the back of the neck or in between the shoulder blades. As the procedure is pretty painless, dogs generally do not have to be anesthetized. Veterinarians report that the pain level is similar to a dog getting a vaccination.
Understand that a microchip does not use GPS technology – it can’t track or locate your dog. Instead, if someone finds your dog, they can take it to a vet to be scanned.
Did you know that 20% of companies now allow dogs in the workplace? This number has steadily grown as companies realize that dogs in the workplace help to reduce stress and can make employees happier and even healthier. Dogs in the workplace have been found to build teamwork, lower blood pressure, and heart attack risk. For employers this means fewer sick days, lower health insurance premiums and less chronic health issues.