Whole Dog Journal Blog

What would you do?

February 28, 2014 - A number of people commented on last week’s blog to say, in essence, “Why didn’t you straighten out that irresponsible dog owner?” All I can say is that it goes against my nature to give advice to people who aren’t asking for some – especially random strangers. I was deeply exasperated with him – but he wasn’t’ asking me for advice. I may have been negligent in failing to help the dogs . . . but what would you do, really? And what would you do if some stranger in a store told you what you were doing with your dog is all wrong?
Posted at 02:09PM Comments (35)

Anyone can help

February 10, 2014 - I’ve sort of turned into the volunteer coordinator at my local shelter. That’s the best way I can help the animals there – by trying to bring in, train, and support other volunteers. But I have to admit, I have been feeling kind of burned out lately.
Posted at 08:34AM Comments (21)

Can’t find a certain food on our “Approved Foods List”?

February 3, 2014 - It happens every year: In our February issue, we review dry dog foods, and list the companies that make the dry dog foods that meet our selection criteria in our “WDJ’s Approved Dry Dog Foods” list. We list the foods by company, because if we listed them by the name of the food, we’d have to repeat the company information for some companies many, many times.
Posted at 01:51PM Comments (25)

Socializing the puppy, the right way

January 27, 2014 - I got to dog-sit my son’s new puppy, Cole, this weekend, while he was out of town at a tournament with his sports team. I actually pulled rank on my son’s girlfriend, who volunteered to be the one who dog-sat Cole this weekend. I wanted to see how Cole’s training was coming along; my son shares his college home with four other young men, all of whom love dogs and have dogs back at their parents’ homes, but who all have varying amounts of proper dog-training knowledge and experience.
Posted at 01:23PM Comments (7)

Mourning the loss of an “easy” dog

January 20, 2014 - I know a couple who adopted a shelter dog, and, some six months after that fact, have decided to give the dog up following an incident with the dog. The wife took the dog to a friend’s house, and due to a lot of factors (that were entirely predictable to anyone knowing much of anything about dogs, but apparently, undreamed of by the inexperienced owner), the adopted dog attacked the dog who lived in that…
Posted at 01:41PM Comments (23)

If The Shoe Fits

January 13, 2014 - The Arctic weather plaguing much of the country wreaks havoc with our dogs, too. Paws get frozen quickly in temperatures like these. Snow between your dog’s foot pads can cause frostbite and lameness, and crusted snow and ice can easily cut his feet. Trim the excess hair from the footpads and toes of longhaired dogs; this will make it easier to remove ice and snow.
Posted at 10:06AM Comments (10)

When Raising a Puppy, Grumpy Uncles are Good, But Not Perfect

December 30, 2013 - I have fostered a lot of adolescent dogs for my local shelter, dogs who are really sweet individuals who have been in the shelter for months and months without getting adopted. Usually they are the ones who have personality quirks (and sometimes, quirky looks) that make it difficult for them to get adopted. And their behavior, especially after months in the shelter, is almost always rather unacceptable – to people and to other dogs. While shelter volunteers may have been working with them to learn to offer a calm sit, the shelter has few enough experienced volunteers to also work with them on more advanced behaviors, such as leash manners.
Posted at 11:45AM Comments (8)

Trifexis and Adverse Effects

December 23, 2013 - A few weeks ago, the talk of the dog-related section of the Internet was Trifexis, the oral flea-control medication introduced a year or so ago by Elanco Animal Health. News reports alleged that more than 700 dogs have been killed by adverse reactions to this drug. To verify that number, I looked to the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), the agency responsible for collecting and analyzing reports of adverse effects of veterinary drugs on animals.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 05:08PM Comments (50)

Puppy in the house!

December 16, 2013 - My son, a senior in college, has been counting the days until he can have a dog of his own. For like, the past seven years. You see, he’s one of those children of divorce, so he split his time between mom’s house and dad’s house – and when he was in high school, he said he didn’t want to make a dog move back and forth, or stay with one parent without him every other week
Posted at 03:11PM Comments (8)

Hunting Dogs

December 2, 2013 - I have to admit: I have met dogs I don’t enjoy, and one type that I have a lot of admiration and respect for, but would never want to share my home with, are hunting dogs.
Posted at 12:00PM Comments (40)

Giving thanks for my steadfast friends

November 25, 2013 - I’m grateful, beyond what words can express, for the companionship and health of my near-perfect “heart dog” Otto, a six-year-old scruffy mixed breed. Our early years together were a challenge but worth the effort, and I count on him to behave well in all sorts of circumstances and he *almost* never lets me down.
Posted at 12:08PM Comments (11)

Fighting Words

November 18, 2013 - So, one of my sisters visited recently. She lives out of state, and I loaned her my car to drive for a week, which she was going to spend traveling to see her daughter -- about 6 hours drive from me -- our other sister and a friend about five hours from there, and then come back here. All that happened.
Posted at 09:46AM Comments (12)

About the coolest thing ever

November 11, 2013 - I can’t hold it in any longer: I have the most photogenic dog ever. And now I get to celebrate his gorgeousness life-sized, forever. There is a small chain of pet supply stores in Northern California called Petfood Express. It’s my personal favorite, for many reasons. But one of its coolest innovations is something it calls its “My Mutt Program.”
Posted at 11:12AM Comments (7)

Dog Food Nutrition and Feeding Trials

November 4, 2013 - I received a message on WDJ’s Facebook page about feeding trials the other day. Feeding trials are considered by most veterinary nutrition experts [emphasis added] to be the “gold standard” for proving nutritional adequacy claims – superior to the “nutrient levels” method of proof. That’s because it’s quite possible for a laboratory analysis to confirm that a food contains the amounts of various nutrients judged to be necessary for maintaining a dog, but for the product, in practice, to fail at that very job.
Posted at 01:41PM Comments (6)

Are your dogs prepared for Halloween?

October 28, 2013 - Every year for the past seven years, I’ve experienced a Halloween preview that used to be more stressful for my pets than Halloween itself. I live across the street from a tiny YMCA; the facility is just one small building with a fenced play yard smaller than my own front yard. But every year on the weekend before Halloween, the YMCA hosts a huge haunted house in its building and yard. The event, a major fundraiser for the organization, draws hundreds and hundreds of adults, teenagers, and children, who will walk, intermittently screaming, through a winding path of scary sights and sounds.
Posted at 11:35AM Comments (10)