This is an action-packed issue.
On the next page, we introduce dog owners to the concept of pediatric spay and neuter surgery – performed when a puppy is just six to 14 weeks old. Animal protection professionals regard the procedure as the tool that may finally make a significant dent in the animal overpopulation problem, a cause we wholeheartedly support. Immediately following that article, however, is one that addresses concerns about the procedure that some holistic veterinarians have (“Can I Spay Later?”). Is it more important to take the action that will help the entire canine population, or the one that will be best for your individual dog? We try to help you find a win/win solution.
We’re also proud to bring you a comprehensive article about why – and more importantly, how – to utilize the most amazingly effective training tool to come along since the invention of the dog treat. It’s becoming more and more common to see people using head halters to control their dogs without choke or pinch collars. Unfortunately it’s also fairly common to see the halters misused, or to hear about someone whose dog objected to the halter so mightily that the owner decided the tool was without value. Pat Miller, our lead writer on training issues, shows us how to properly introduce the halters for maximum control (and peaceful, effortless walks!).
We’ve featured Case Histories of many grievously ill dogs who have recovered full health and vitality with the help of homeopathy. Freelance writer Debbie Stover, a newcomer to WDJ’s pages, presents the first part in a two-part series on this mysterious system of medicine. Accepting that the super-diluted homeopathic remedies can actually effect a canine cure may require a “leap of faith” on the part of some skeptical dog owners. All we ask is that you keep an open mind – and keep homeopathy in mind when faced with a condition your vet deems as “incurable.” We’ve had hundreds of dog owners tell us amazing stories about their beloved companion’s recoveries (and their own conversions!).
The Case History is another “raw food saves the day” story. In this case, a sickly Setter is restored to glowing health through food. When he was sick, the rescued dog could hardly bear to be touched; today he’s a therapy dog, being hugged and kissed in convalescent hospitals weekly.
Janet McClay, another writer who is new to WDJ helps us figure out how to safely shave a pound or two (or even 10-20) off our portly pooch. You probably already knew that the answer is diet and exercise . . . but what kind of diet? And how much exercise? See the article to find out.
In the February issue, we reviewed a number of products designed to make it easier to clean up after your dog on walks: poop bags, scoops, and carrying cases! We mentioned that the ability to biodegrade was important to us when choosing a poop bag – which sparked an immediate flurry of mail from readers who suggested that landfill garbage dumps are simply not the best place for dog poo, whether it’s in a biodegradable bag or not. We share our current best thinking on the weighty subject of environmentally friendly dog doo disposal.
Finally, we present the story of a reader who had a bad experience at a vet’s office: where the vet sort of manhandled her growling (but frightened and muzzled) dog. Positive trainer Pat Miller explains how the dog who is afraid of the vet’s office can be – and should be, quickly – trained to feel better about necessary visits to sometimes unpleasant places.
It’s a lot to take in, but you’ve been warned!
-By Nancy Kerns