The best in health, wellness, and positive training from America’s leading dog experts

Home Care Page 47


Best Dog Ball Brands for Playing Fetch

A rousing game of fetch is a team sport; it requires a thrower and a retriever. Dog and owner work together, or the game doesn’t happen. This partnered activity helps to cement the dog/human relationship. It’s also a perfect outlet for a dog’s excess energy. The ball-fetching dog gets to satisfy his hard-wired instinct to chase and catch prey, while benefiting from the regular exercise that promotes good physical and mental health. Besides, there is something intrinsically soul-satisfying about watching a dog in hot pursuit of a ball, stretching his legs in full flight across open space, whether it’s with the lithe grace of a sighthound, the determined strides of a retriever, or the scrabbling charge of a stubby-legged terrier.

Doggie Daycare Provides Supervision, Socialization and Stimulation

Enter the rapidly growing phenomenon of commercial doggie daycare. Our ancestors would have laughed heartily at the notion, but an increasing number of dog owners are realizing the benefits of paying to provide their dogs with a day full of activity and supervision. Imagine the relief of owners who realize (often too late!) the difficulty of housetraining the new puppy when no one is home to take her outside regularly; now they can happily drop Puddles off at daycare in the morning, knowing that the staff can further the pup's understanding of proper potty behavior. Those who have dogs with separation anxiety can stop administering tranquilizers (and stop taking them themselves), knowing that their house is not being systematically reduced to toothpicks in their absence.

Dog Bathing Products Reviewed

Not very many dog owners look forward to bathing their dogs, and most dogs are even less enthusiastic about the ritual than their owners. However, having the right equipment can make the task less burdensome for human and canine participants alike. There are a number of accessories on the market that claim to make your bathing chore less onerous. These include tools to help you get your dog wet, tools to get her dry, and tools to hold her in place while you do all the stuff in-between.

Dog Parks Help Socialize and Exercise Dogs in a Safe Environment

Regular walks on leash don’t even come close to addressing the exercise needs of most dogs. The result is an exacerbation of canine behavior problems including aggression due to lack of socialization, to destructive behavior, hyperactivity, and separation anxiety. The best solution to the “place to run” dilemma is the dog park. More and more, savvy community leaders are building fenced areas where dogs and their owners are encouraged to run, play, and socialize together. The concept has caught on and is spreading.

Is Your Pup Ready for The Dog Park?

You’re lucky. You have a fabulous dog park in your community. But so far, you’ve hesitated to turn your beloved buddy loose with the pack of rowdy canines you’ve seen playing there. Or maybe your dog is so unruly that you’ve worried about your ability to get him back on leash once he’s been emancipated. Here are some tips to help you decide whether you two are ready to lose the leash at the park.

Selecting a Holistic Veterinarian

In every issue, Whole Dog Journal encourages its readers to “consult a holistic veterinarian.” But how do concerned dog owners find a holistic practitioner, and how do they assess that candidate’s qualifications? The answer to the first question is easy: You find a holistic veterinarian by contacting the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association; the contact numbers are listed in "Resources" every month. The answer to the next question is difficult; my complete answer could fill an entire issue! But with just a few pages to speak my piece, I’ll give you my pared-down opinion on how to evaluate a practitioner’s ability to practice quality holistic medicine.

Another Round of Dog Toy Testing – A Focus on Safety, Durability and Cost

Testing new toys! This is always our favorite assignment, since we get to spend lots of time playing with our dogs. We have once again perused the pages of various dog supply stores, catalogs, web sites, and trade shows to find a selection of new toys to review. This time, we found a greater than usual percentage of delightful surprises, though we were, as usual, also disappointed a few times. All in all, remember that proper toy selection is a very individualized venture – you must keep your own dog’s interests, propensities, and chew power in mind when shopping for her.

Remedies for Your Flea Problem and More

a reader's 18-year-old Timber Wolf, benefits from non-toxic flea control.

Caring For An Older Dog With Osteoarthritis

The onset of “old age” in dogs varies by breed and size, but generally, the larger the dog, the fewer years it takes for him or her to appear geriatric. This is the average scenario, however; disease, stress, inadequate nutrition, and indifferent care can cause premature aging, as well as hasten the end of the dog’s life.Fortunately for us canine caretakers, the conditions that plague older dogs are fairly easy to observe – if you know what you are looking for. Most are also easy to treat, as long as you are willing to make some changes in your dog-care plan.

Car Safety for Canines

There are seat belt laws in most states now, and young children are legally required to be restrained in safety seats in cars in all states. But nowhere is there a law requiring dogs to be safely contained in vehicles. Those that do only address restraint for dogs in the back of open pick-up trucks. (And even when dogs are safely restrained in the back of a truck, the potential for the dog to be severely injured in an accident is great.

Corner Book Review

Mother Knows Best takes a pack leader approach to dog management and training, comparing a trainer’s body language and physical corrections with observations on how mother dogs similarly train their puppies. Benjamin, a dog trainer, emphasizes the importance of social structure in a dog’s environment, and suggests that because mother is so successful a teacher in Nature, a training regimen that imitates this natural learning will also succeed in owner/dog relationships.

Latest Blog

Canine Obesity: It’s a Big Problem

Most of the dogs in the U.S. are overweight, their owners don’t know it, and their veterinarians don’t feel comfortable talking to their clients about it.