Whole Dog Journal Blog

WDJ Article Wins Dog Writers Association of America Award

February 13, 2019 - The Dog Writers Association of America was established in 1935. The organization describes itself as “the most recognized professional writing association devoted to dogs,” and its annual writing competition recognizes excellent dog-related journalism in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, website, books, photos, illustrations and more.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 04:49PM Comments (5)

Dog Trainers Save Lives

February 7, 2019 - Annie had a number of things working against her. The most significant were these: She could be highly reactive to other dogs. She would seem fine, and then suddenly explode in a frenzy of barking and try to attack every other dog she saw. And she appeared to have serious physical problems; she moved like she had bad hips and torn ligaments in her knees. Adding to the unattractiveness of her total “package,” she had chronic, explosive diarrhea.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 12:13PM Comments (14)

Getting Your Dog to Potty in Winter

January 31, 2019 - When temperatures hit near- or below-zero, you may need to strongly encourage your dog to potty – actually, insist on it! Veterinarians see spikes in the number of cases of urinary tract infections in winter, when dogs tend to “hold it” for as long as possible, declining invitations to go outside at their usual potty times, and failing to take the time to empty their bladders fully when they do go outside. The longer urine is held in the body, the more bacteria can grow in that urine; when the population of bacteria tips past a level that the dog’s immune system can control, discomfort and systemic illness can result.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 10:46AM Comments (16)

Dry Dog Food Lists, Puppy Adoptions and Complications Along the Way

January 24, 2019 - The February issue, the one containing our annual discussion and review of dry dog foods, has been published, and as is often the case, we missed a company or two that should have been included on our list of approved foods. WHEN will we be perfect? Not this year, sadly. We will update the online version of the list as errors or omissions are detected and include corrections in the March issue.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 10:22AM Comments (8)

Want to Help Animals? There Are Many Ways You Can

January 11, 2019 - It may be that when someone talks about volunteering to help animals in a shelter, that the average person imagines herself walking dogs or cleaning cat boxes in a shelter facility. Those are tasks that shelters can often use! But there is literally no end to the ways that people can help homeless animals.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 12:45PM Comments (6)

Lessons From the Camp Fire Aftermath

January 10, 2019 - At the peak of the Camp Fire emergency, over 2,000 animals were in temporary shelters in a number of locations. This included large animals – horses, donkeys, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, and llamas – who were all taken to a local fairgrounds, where they were held in pens much like any they had ever been held in. I’m sure they experienced some anxiety, but given that their feed and housing was not much different than what most of them had experienced before, I would hazard a guess that they were more or less none the worse for wear. I’d guess the same could be said for the barnyard poultry: hundreds of geese, ducks, and chickens who were also evacuated or rescued from the fires. Lots of these birds were held temporarily at the shelter where I spent the most time volunteering, and they all seemed mentally and physically just fine, even the ones being held in crates in the medical treatment rooms while under treatment for injuries or illness.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 11:19AM Comments (12)

Foster Puppy Update: Not Quite Ready for Prime Time

January 3, 2019 - When I last told you about the puppies, I was at the U.C. Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH) with the largest pup, who has something going on with one of his eyes.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 10:00AM Comments (13)

New Year’s Resolutions for Dog Caretakers

December 27, 2018 - I had to check last year’s blog posts to see if I had published any New Year’s resolutions last year; I didn’t, so I don’t have to admit how much or even whether I met any of my resolutions. But this year, I want to give public resolutions a go, to see if it will help me get any of them done.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 09:19AM Comments (9)

Thoughts from a UC Davis Veterinary Hospital Waiting Room

December 20, 2018 - I am back at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital [VMTH] at UC Davis, just a week after my last visit. Last week, I was here with a dying puppy. This week, I’m here for an emergency ophthalmology consult for another puppy from the same foster litter. Not quite three weeks ago, the biggest, strongest pup in the litter suddenly developed a big swollen eye.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 11:26AM Comments (49)

Frustration and Heartbreak on the Road to Saving Sick Puppies

December 13, 2018 - I wasn’t certain the pup would make it through the night, but she did. And while she had, as the vet put it, “reduced mentation,” not responding like a well puppy, when I spoke to her and praised her, she would wag her tail and brighten. She lapped weakly at water and broth and watered/down canned A/D (food for debilitated dogs) that I syringed into her mouth or held in a spoon on her lips, but would get a little panicky if too much went into her mouth at once.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 12:11PM Comments (24)

Updates on Dog Food Recalls, the Camp Fire Aftermath, and My Sickly Foster Pups

December 6, 2018 - In my neck of the woods, we still have a huge ongoing mess to sort out with trying to reunite animals with their people following the devastating Camp Fire. Currently, there are three temporary emergency shelters that are caring for hundreds of dogs and cats (and other animals). It’s hard to get exact figures, but more than half of the animals have not yet been identified by any owners, for many reasons.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 10:52AM Comments (22)

Camp Fire: More Notes from a Disaster Area

November 29, 2018 - Tens of thousands of people and animals have been affected by the fire, and thousands of people are helping those displaced. Several emergency shelters were hastily set up to contain pets. Some of the pets were left at the shelters by owners who were themselves homeless and staying in shelters; many more were rescued and brought to the shelters with either an address or rough estimate of where they had been rescued from.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 10:38AM Comments (34)

Camp Fire: Notes from a Disaster Zone, Part Two

November 21, 2018 - Within a day, there were more than 1,000 dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, pet birds, snakes, and more at these shelters. Large animals including horses, cows, goats, sheep, and pigs were taken to other shelters. Care and feeding of the animals – not an insignificant task that involved taking dogs out of their cages to potty, and cleaning cat boxes – fell to NVADG volunteers.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 10:56AM Comments (11)

Camp Fire: Dispatch from a Disaster Area

November 15, 2018 - By midday November 8, the “adopt the puppies” project was forgotten; all local media and social media was about evacuation, emergency shelter sites for evacuated people and animals, and rescue. This fire had a name, the Camp Fire; it was so named after the road closest to the place where it started, Camp Creek Road.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 09:28AM Comments (23)

Some Dog Food Recalls Are More Critical Than Others; This One Is Critical

November 8, 2018 - On November 2, the FDA announced a voluntary recall by Nutrisca pet food. Three sizes of a single variety of Nutrisca dry dog food, Chicken and Chickpea, was found to contain dangerously high levels of vitamin D. The FDA also announced a voluntary recall by Natural Life Pet Products, whose Chicken and Potato dry dog food in 17.5-lb. bags was also found to have dangerously high levels of vitamin D.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 10:16AM Comments (2)