September 2014

Dried & True: Consider Dehydrated Dog Foods for Your Dog!

Occasionally we are asked to rate the various options that owners have for feeding their dogs, based on the relative “healthiness” of each major type of food: home-prepared (raw or cooked); commercial raw, frozen diets and freeze-dried or dehydrated raw diets; canned food, and kibble. Actually, in our opinion, that list of food types is ranked accurately right there, from best to worst, in terms of their potential for improving or supporting a dog’s peak health.   More...

Combating Your Dog's "Urine-Marking" Behavior in the House

Subscribers Only — I can still remember the day, more than a decade ago, when I first realized with horror that our Scottish Terrier, Dubhy (pronounced “Duffy”), was marking in the house. We were trying to sell our Tennessee home at the time, which made the indoor leg-lifting behavior doubly disturbing. Homes with urine stains and odors don’t show particularly well. Dubhy was young, just over a year old. I wrote off the amber-colored stains I found on the heater vent to not-quite-finished housetraining, redoubled my management efforts, and stepped up the “potty outside” routine. It didn’t help. I began to question my professional dog-trainer credentials. Personally faced with persistent indoor marking, one of the more frustrating challenges dog owners encounter, I was not succeeding at resolving it.   More...

Treatment for Your Dog's Ear Hematomas

Subscribers Only — The purplish, sausage-like lump turned out to be an aural hematoma. An accumulation of blood in the ear flap resulting from a broken blood vessel, hematomas are common in drop-eared breeds like mine, though they occur in dogs of all ear types. They are believed to be caused by trauma to the relatively thin tissue of the ear flap, or pinna, often as a result of head-shaking.   More...

Your Dog & The "Placebo Effect"

Most people are familiar with the concept of a “placebo effect,” the perception that a subject’s health improved after the subject unknowingly received an inert treatment that should have had no effect on the subject whatsoever. The assumption is that because we believe that we have received an actual treatment, our mind tells us that we should feel a bit better. Then, amazingly, we do feel better. We notice a reduction in symptoms and ultimately conclude that the “medicine” must be working. The irony is that placebos actually can be powerful medicine (or something), at least for some people, for some diseases, some of the time.   More...

Games for Building Reliable Recall Behavior for Your Dog

Take some pressure off by turning your recall practice into fun and games. This can help you and your dog enjoy the training and take it to the next level. Some of these games focus on a specific element of “Come,” while others help build enthusiasm for the recall.   More...

Dehydrated Dog Food Review 2014

Subscribers Only — On what do we base that ranking? While it’s difficult to get nutritionists to agree on just about anything, it’s likely that most would agree on the following general idea: that a diet that was formulated to be “complete and balanced” and comprised of fresh, lightly processed or unprocessed species-appropriate ingredients is healthier than a “complete and balanced” diet containing highly processed ingredients that are uncommonly consumed by a given species in nature. That general theory explains our high esteem for the dehydrated and freeze-dried diets that we’ve listed in the attached dehydrated dog food review for 2014.   More...

Develop Your Dog’s Flexibility

I often dog-sit for friends and relatives. It’s easy for me, because I have all sorts of dog gear, food, treats, and chews laying around. Also, my own home and the house down the block where I have my office are both securely fenced (and well-outfitted with crates and dog beds of various sizes). Plus, if the dogs are fidgety and in need of exercise and stimulation, I can grab my camera, load the dogs into my car, and head out to a nearby open space area to run them on trails or allow them to swim in the river – and any good pictures I get, or interesting experiences I have with the dogs, are helpful to my job!   More...