November 2011

Features

Hemangioma in Dogs

The cause of hemangiomas is idiopathic (unknown). These growths usually don’t appear until at least middle age. Thin-skinned, light-colored breeds often experience hemangiomas. You’ll most likely find a hemangioma on the dog’s trunk or legs, especially hairless areas like the lower abdomen.

How to Cope With Losing a Dog

It’s important to remember that grieving is normal, natural and healthy. It’s okay to cry, scream, yell, get angry, and be depressed and sad, as long as you aren’t harming yourself or anyone else. If at any time you feel overwhelmed and unable to cope, or feel that you are “stuck” in one of the stages of grief, you can seek help from pet-loss hotlines, grief counselors, and other health professionals who specialize in helping people through the grief process.

Shaping Your Dog's "Sit"

Shaping – taking a desired behavior, breaking it into small steps, and reinforcing the steps until you build the final behavior – has become a standard dog training tool, especially in the force-free world. Those who are familiar with shaping regard it as invaluable for teaching and refining behaviors. If you don’t yet have experience with shaping, try this exercise with your dog. It will help you realize how subtly and precisely you can influence the movement of virtually any part of your dog’s body.

The Mudbuster

Using the Mudbuster tool to clean Woody’s feet has dramatically cut down the number of towels I go through. Instead of needing a separate towel each time I have to clean all four feet (but especially his front/digging feet), I half-fill the Mudbuster with water and dunk each paw into the device a few time. Then I can use the same towel all day to quickly and simply dry his freshly cleaned feet. To finish, just pour out the muddy water and rinse the Mudbuster in the sink. (It can be run through the dishwasher for a more complete cleaning.)

The Marvelous Mutts

At a performance by The Marvelous Mutts, as the name suggests, you won’t see any pedigreed dogs, but you will definitely witness focused owners and competitive dogs! Looking at a photographic gallery of The Marvelous Mutts, one could easily be confused with having found the listing for a rescue promoting their mixed-breed adoption candidates. Instead, it’s an inspiring model, both for what rescue dogs can do and what highly motivated dog owners can do for shelter and rescue dogs.

Dogs and Children: How to Keep Them Both Safe

Fortunately, there are many things we can do to improve the odds for safe child-dog interactions, beginning with the dog herself. Ideally, every dog should be well socialized with babies and children from puppyhood. Many young adults adopt a pup at a time when children are, if anything, a distant prospect, without seeming to realize that kids could easily arrive within the 10 to 15 years of their dog’s lifespan. Even if there will never be children in the dog’s immediate family, chances are she will encounter small humans at some point in her life. By convincing her very early on that children are wonderful, you greatly reduce the risk that she will ever feel compelled to bite one.

Adolescent Dogs: 6 Facts To Know

It’s true that a dog's adolescent period involves a ton of changes to the dog’s biological, physical, and psychological makeup. By extension, his behavior is affected. It’s also true that there are times when this transformation is accompanied by some challenging moments. But rest assured it’s not all doom and gloom! For every challenging feature of canine adolescence, there is an equally awesome element that makes this a very special time.

Health Insurance for Dogs in 2018

Deductibles range from $50 to $1,000, with possible custom amounts available (you may have to call and talk with an agent). We were impressed with Embrace’s Healthy Pet Deductible strategy, which reduces your deductible by $50 each year you don’t have a claim. When you do have a claim, the deductible resets to the original amount.

Are You Allergic to Your Dog?

Those of us who struggle with allergies of any type can thank our immune system for its tendency to over-react to certain perfectly harmless things in the environment. In the case of an allergic reaction to dogs, the body is reacting to harmless proteins in the dog’s urine, saliva, or dander.

Whole Dog Journal's 2018 Approved Dry Dog Foods

It’s an inescapable fact that quality pet foods cost money – and the highest quality dry dog foods cost a lot of money. As much as we may want to buy “the best” food for our dogs, most of us have a budget – unique to each of us, based on our financial status, the size and number of dogs we own, and perhaps even our relationship with our dogs – to which we will respond, “No, forget it; that’s too much.” So how much does a good dog food cost, and how do we find the happy medium between nourishing ingredients and an affordable price tag?

5 Steps to Safely Pull A Tick Off Your Dog

It’s hard to say which is worse: running your hand over your dog and brushing against an attached tick, or seeing a tick skitter across your dog’s face. Either way, the unwelcome arachnid must go. What should you do?

The Emotional Lives of Dogs

Traditionally, dog trainers have spent little or no energy considering a dog’s emotions when training or changing behavior; indeed, trainers or owners who did talk about emotions were often ridiculed and accused of anthropomorphizing. But when emotions are driving behavior, a dog cannot simply choose to stop doing the behavior without ramifications. The reality is that animals (including people) are quite often not rational actors. If that sounds counterintuitive to you and you believe that behavior is largely chosen rather than the result of emotional experiences, perhaps a few examples will help you understand.

How Can You Know What Your Dog is Feeling?

Dog body language can be quite difficult to read, so it’s important to consider the context when interpreting behavior. Not only do you need to consider the environment (for example, dogs will pant when they’re hot, but also when they’re stressed), you also need to look at all of the body parts together. Although many people attempt to correlate each type of movement with a specific emotion, the easier approach is simply to compare the overall pictures of a distressed dog to a happy dog.

Suggested Dog Park Rules

The most successful dog parks have rules – and people who enforce them. Registration and numbered armbands make it easier to identify rule-breakers, which helps with enforcement. Here are some suggested rules for dog parks, which you should feel free to share with your community.

The Pros and Cons of Dog Parks

Dog parks are lifesavers for the owners of dogs who need extra exercise and outdoor stimulation in order to be able to relax and behave well at home. But well-enforced dog park etiquette is a rare thing, so what happens when badly behaved dogs at dog parks start influencing your dog? Taking your dog to the dog park for the first time should warrant caution; even securely fenced parks hold risks simply because they involve lots of strange, unleashed dogs. How do you know if you should try your local dog park? Just as with so many other dog training and behavior questions, it depends!