October 2014

Letters & Corrections

I just finished reading my June issue of WDJ and, as usual, loved it! I just have one comment/question regarding “Vaccine Titer Tests” where you state, “Rabies is a slightly different case. Because the disease poses a significant risk to human beings, it’s the only vaccine that is required by law to be administered to dogs. Each state has its own legal requirements for rabies vaccination. Some require annual rabies vaccinations; the rest require the…   More...

Tips on Adding a Dog to Your Household

Subscribers Only — We currently have three dogs. We lost our Scottie a few months ago to cancer, and our Australian Shepherd last year to old age and failing health. This is the fewest number of dogs we’ve had in our family for as far back as I care to remember, and while I grieve Missy and Dubhy’s absence every day, a part of me feels some guilty relief that the canine chaos and caretaking load has lightened somewhat. Still, while I know it won’t be for a while yet, another part of me contemplates the next potential pup-addition to the Miller pack . . . which leads me to contemplate the complexities and challenges of bringing home a new dog.   More...

Can Dogs Really Detect Cancer in Humans?

The dog’s nose is an amazing organ, with abilities and features far superior to our own in many ways. First are the physical adaptations of the nose itself. The inside of the dog’s nose is lined with many folds of tissue (called the olfactory epithelium), which in turn contain hundreds of millions of olfactory receptors, specialized cells responsible for detecting odors. Because of the increased surface area caused by these folds, the dog’s nose contains a ridiculously high number of receptor cells when compared to the human nose; on average, the dog has about 220 million, while our noses harbor a paltry 5 million. This difference contributes to the dog’s ability to detect almost impossibly minute concentrations of compounds, by some estimates in concentrations as low as parts per trillion.   More...

The First Year in the Life and Training of a Hearing-Alert Service Dog

Subscribers Only — Meet Lulu. Lulu is a Havanese-mix puppy, just about a year old. In many ways she is a typical adolescent pup: outgoing, social, and full of enthusiasm for life. But there is something special about Lulu. She is in training to be a service dog. When Lulu is fully trained, she will be a hearing-alert dog for her human companion, Sara Walsh.   More...

What To Do If Your Dog Has Worms

Subscribers Only — Deworming agents are present in any number of prescription and over-the-counter treatments for dogs and puppies. If your dog shows signs of a gastrointestinal worm infestation, there are all sorts of products available that are made exclusively to rid dogs of various types of worms. But there are also deworming agents included – whether they are needed or not – in many flea and tick treatments and in most heartworm preventive drugs; in fact, it’s sometimes hard to find a minimalist flea treatment or heartworm preventive drug that does not contain dewormers. The question is, is this really necessary? Are intestinal parasites that much of an ongoing threat to most dogs – and their owners?   More...

The Healing Power of Dogs

Subscribers Only — Somehow I always felt my connection to dogs and to dog people would have a significant impact on my life, and I was right. That’s not even a strong-enough statement: they not only impacted my life, they’ve saved it.   More...

Five Things To Do If You Witness Animal Abuse

I assume that most Whole Dog Journal readers are as upset as I am when I see someone treating a dog badly. What should you do when you see someone being rough with their dog? Hard as it may be, I urge you to be calm and take several deep breaths before you act. Then . . .   More...

Emotional Rescue

I suspect I’m not alone in having a childhood filled with dogs as my primary companions and emotional “security blankets” – I’ll bet that an awful lot of you experienced that, too. Or you came to love and lean on dogs for friendship and comfort at another challenging time in your life. How do I know? Because it’s been my observation that people who are committed to their dogs to a degree that inspires them to subscribe to magazines tend to be highly emotionally invested in their canine companions.   More...