November 2014

Synchronicity

Subscribers Only — Contained in the October issue is an article I wrote about internal parasites – worms. I needed art to accompany that article, and the best thing I could think of to depict a wormy dog was a photo of a typically round-bellied wormy puppy, the kind that is surrendered to shelters all too frequently. I called my local shelter and asked whether they had any wormy puppies with bloated tummies; it turned out that they had just received such a litter two days before, and I was invited to come down and take some pictures.   More...

What To Do When Your Puppy Acts Out

Subscribers Only — You thought you were doing a good thing for your mature dog when you adopted a new puppy. “She’ll love him!” you assured yourself. “It will keep her young and active.” Rather than loving him, however, your senior girl has let you know in no uncertain terms that this young upstart is a pain in her tail. What do you do when your pesky puppy or active adolescent is making life miserable for your sedate senior? Here are five things that can help:   More...

Teen Angel?

Subscribers Only — Is your once cute, cuddly, and well-behaved pup suddenly acting out? Is your dog ignoring you, taking off if he sees something interesting, and chewing on everything in sight? Did his once perfect “sit,” “down,” “stay,” and “come” seemingly disappear overnight? Are his friendly, social ways being replaced with rowdy, over-the-top greetings? Is he sometimes cautious or even suspicious? Does he occasionally look at you as if he hardly knows you?   More...

How To Crate-Train Your Puppy

Subscribers Only — Most puppies are crate-trained with relative ease. Remember that the crate should be just large enough for your pup to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. If you want to get one large enough for your puppy to grow into, block off the back so he has just enough room, and increase the space as he grows. Cover the floor of the crate with a rug or soft pad to make it comfortable and inviting, and you’re ready to begin training.   More...

Make Week One a Strong One

Subscribers Only — It’s one of the best feelings in the whole world – those first few hours with your new puppy when everything is perfect and anything is possible. It doesn’t take long, however, for that bubble to burst. It could be the very first day, when you step in that pile of puppy poo on your Persian carpet, or find deep puppy tooth gouges in your treasured pair of Jimmy Choo shoes. It might be that first night, when you pop your pup into his crate for the first time and crawl into your bed, only to be treated to a few pitiful whimpers, then a chorus of cries, and finally a non-stop serenade of screaming as your pup broadcasts to the world how lost and lonely he is.   More...

The Effects of Male Womb-Mates

Subscribers Only — If a mother dog’s hormones can affect her fetuses in utero, what about the hormones of their siblings? The effects of in-utero testosterone on females with all male siblings are well documented in rodents and cattle, and debatably exist in humans. These females undergo physical and behavioral masculinizing effects.   More...

How a Mother's Stress Can Influence Unborn Puppies

Subscribers Only — Can a highly stressful environment during pregnancy affect how puppies turn out? Imagine this: A young dog goes stray and lives on urban streets for two months, in almost constant fear. Kids chase her down a street, throwing rocks at her; she is attacked by another dog; and she struggles every day to scavenge enough to eat. At last she is apprehended by an animal control officer and brought to a shelter. Here she finally gets enough to eat, but she’s still not able to relax; the shelter is full of strange smells and loud noises, her run is small, and the floor is hard. After she’s been at the shelter for a few weeks, a shelter staff member realizes that she is pregnant and due very soon. The shelter puts her on the waiting list for a foster home, knowing that puppies don’t do well when they grow up in shelters.   More...

Tips and Techniques for Bathing your Dog

Subscribers Only — Giving your dog a bath is sort of like mixing a cocktail, or hitting a golf ball: It seems deceptively straightforward, but you need a lot of background knowledge to really master it. From what kind of shampoo to use to how frequently your dog should be sudsing up, there are all kinds of technical questions to consider before grabbing that spray hose and going to town. But there are also deeper issues at play: Nothing quite lays bare the state of your relationship with your dog like trying to negotiate that slippery expanse of porcelain together. Here are some tips for smooth sailing, at bathtime and beyond.   More...

Order! Labrador in the Court

Subscribers Only — His real name is Blake, but his nickname is Batman – a handsome gentleman, ready to swoop in on a moment’s notice to fight crime in his own special way. Blake is a gorgeous, three-year-old Labrador Retriever employed as a courthouse dog for the Pima County Attorney’s Office in Tucson, Arizona. Trained by Assistance Dogs of the West (ADW), and partnered with victim advocate Colleen Phelan, Blake provides support to victims and witnesses of crime as they navigate the vagaries of the judicial process.   More...

Hallmarks of Quality

Subscribers Only — The following is our selection criteria – the things a canned dog food must have to appear on our “approved” foods list:   More...

Canned Food Review 2014

Subscribers Only — How do you choose a canned food for your dog? It probably depends on why you want to feed him a wet food – and it may even depend on how big he is or how old he is. Are you trying to build or rebuild a dog’s health or help a starved dog gain weight? Tempt the appetite of a sick, depressed, (or just fussy) dog? Prevent further health problems in a dog with diabetes or kidney disease? Does your dog weight two pounds, 20 pounds, or 120 pounds? Is she two months old, two years old, or 20 years old? The answers you give will undoubtedly affect your choice, because top-quality canned dog food is extremely expensive.   More...