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

Home Care Page 49

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Dogs With The Blues

Yesterday, we lost our dearest friend, Emmett. He was 13 and everyone loved him. He was kind and patient – you know, the strong, silent type. Gracie, his sister and a beagle “bon vivant,” just ADORED him. She would use him for a pillow, a step stool, a cuddle buddy, and her all-around favorite fella. They would play for hours in the back yard and even though he was an old man, he could really wear Grace to a frazzle. She has figured out that he won’t be coming back. She mopes, she sighs, and she tries to get her other dog-sister to play with her, but Annie (the sister) just isn’t the touchy-feely type.

Back Massage Techniques for Dogs

Most dogs are used to our touching them with randomly placed pats on the head or back. If you think about it, however, the primary result of this brief contact is communication. Petting your dog is one way we thank them for a job well done and convey our love or appreciation for them. Massage and other forms of touch are also ways to communicate with your dog, but in a very different manner than petting. When carried out consciously with quiet intention, the methods I will show you in this article will convey your affection AND communicate in a deep manner with the physical structures of the dog's body.

Microchip Your Dog to Get Him Home Safe

Two stunning standard poodles, one pure white, the other charcoal gray, were wandering loose on Santa Cruz’s Seacliff Beach in early June, not far from a busy road. Jeff, the concerned citizen who corralled the dogs, was dismayed to find they had no tags, so he was unable to return them to their home. He put a “Dogs Found” ad in the newspaper and kept the dogs for three days, sure that someone would be looking for such wonderful animals, but no one called. With some ambivalence, he loaded them into his car and delivered them to the nearby Santa Cruz SPCA. They are obviously well-loved dogs, he reassured himself. They will be safe; the owner will come for them.

Non-Traditional Treatments For Dogs

Like many of the people who use non-traditional treatment modalities for their dogs, Richard Beaton and Sue Kelly never planned on calling anyone but their regular veterinarian when their dog Titan first hurt his back. And if Titan, a purebred American Cocker (also known as Bryant’s Triumphant Escapade CDX,JH,SH,WDX,CGC,TT), wasn’t in the midst of an obedience career when he began having gait problems associated with his injury, his owners may have been content with heeding their regular veterinarian’s advice for treating Titan.

Answers From Experts – 04/98

In the early days of my holistic practice, I tried, like you, to tell people that they had to feed their dogs raw meat. I found, like you, that the idea scared some people so much they would leave my practice. I agree that a raw meat diet is the healthiest for many dogs, though there are always exceptions; dogs are individuals, after all, just like humans. But now, I’m more gentle and flexible about my diet recommendations, and I try to take a gradual approach with people.

Answers From Experts: November 1998

a dog trainer and animal behavior specialist from Beverly Hills

Traditional Veterinary Medicine Mixed With Holistic Treatments

For Star, an eight-year-old Springer Spaniel cross, life hasn't always been easy. But thanks to treatments by Pedro Rivera, DVM, of The Healing Oasis Veterinary Hospital in Stutevant, Wisconsin, Star's life glimmers again. In addition to traditional veterinary medicine, Dr. Rivera often treats his animal clients with chiropractic, homeopathic and Chinese remedies, and glandular therapy.

Dog Massage 101

Dogs that compete in field trials, agility or herding competitions or those that play fly-ball or Frisbee automatically come to mind as canine athletes. Then there are seeing-eye dogs, rescue dogs, police dogs, drug dogs, and a host of others whose work is just as athletically challenging. It is easy to understand how these top performance animals might benefit from massage. The fact is, however, that even our four-legged friends who aspire to perfect their skills as couch potatoes are athletes in their own right.

Homeopathy Sparks New Life

In September 1998, our female Bernese Mountain Dog, Annie, became lame with painfully swollen and inflamed joints that were noticeably warm to the touch. She was just over four years old at the time. The sudden initial onset of symptoms occurred about three weeks after her annual vaccinations and a three-year rabies vaccine. We took her to the vet, of course, who conducted tests and more tests. A thorough blood work-up showed unusual and elevated antibody levels. All tests for Lyme disease, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis were negative.

Girl Trouble

We have two female dogs: a five year old Newfoundland and a two-year-old Shih Tzu. They are rivals. They both like to chew on rawhide bones, even if I give them the exact same kind. As soon as the Newf gets up off of her “place” the Shih Tzu goes and steals her bone. Then the Newf wants the Shih Tzu’s bone! This occurs even if the Shih Tzu has a very small bone. Another annoying behavior is that the Shih Tzu barks in a very threatening way whenever the Newf barks to be let back in the house. The Newf goes outside frequently to enjoy the air, so this is very annoying. We would like the Newf to be the Alpha dog. What can we do to keep her position?

Readers Offer More Suggestions

I was so excited to read your article concerning urinary incontinence in the spayed female. For the first time in many years of owning spayed females, I have a Labrador who at four years of age had symptoms of this problem. Not wanting to use hormone replacement therapy, I looked for an herbal combination containing the best herbs for menopause in women. I have been using “Women’s Menocaps” from Wise Woman Herbals for over a year now, two capsules a day. They contain dong quai, burdock, black cohosh, motherwort and licorice.

Safe, Non-Toxic Chew Toys

Let's get one thing straight: A dog's gotta chew what a dog's gotta chew. Dogs chew to exercise their jaws, to clean their teeth and gums, and to relieve boredom. It's a completely instinctive and healthful activity. Once upon a time, dogs chewed happily on bones that were left over from our meals. However, this age-old practice has slowly changed as humans have come to rely (largely) on processed foods. Today, few home kitchens provide a steady supply of bones to the household dog. As our eating habits changed, so have our perceptions of food safety.

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Give Them Time!

When you bring a dog home from a rescue or shelter – or anywhere, actually! – give them space and time! Be friendly and encouraging, but don’t loom or fuss over them.