Archive for the ‘Dogs’ Category

Don’t Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car!

Wednesday, June 16th, 2021

Pitfalls of Retractable Leashes

Monday, June 14th, 2021

The biggest problem is that there is not a good way to reel the dog back in, if he’s already out at the end of the leash. The models that have a cord inside can get wrapped around dog or people legs and can cut deeply; if you grab one, trying to control the dog, the cord can slice your hand open. The ones with a “tape” or flat line inside are safer, but there is still no good way to shorten the leash quickly if the dog is pulling away, only if he comes back toward you or if you can catch quickly up to him.


Want to Travel With Your Pet Again As Airlines Open Up?

Tuesday, June 8th, 2021

Airlines have enacted many changes to ensure the safety of those traveling by air during this time. Some restrictions have a direct impact on the ability of pet owners to travel safely with their pets.

Here is an update to the 9 most pet-friendly airlines in America.

In the guide you will find:

  • A chart of airlines and their updated pet travel restrictions due to the pandemic
  • Tips for choosing the most appropriate airline based on pet and parent needs
  • Resources for scheduling alternative travel options if policies are too restrictive

Keep Dog Tag Contact Information Up to Date

Friday, June 4th, 2021

Moved?  Changed phone number?  It is important to be sure that your dogs’ tags reflect the changes!


Human Cues and Dogs – there is an understanding!

Friday, June 4th, 2021

Some very young puppies reciprocate the human gaze and take social cues from human eye contact and gestures, says Emily Bray, a postdoctoral researcher at the Canine Cognition Center at the University of Arizona. She led a study published in Current Biology that found some 8-week-old puppies were willing to make eye contact with strangers and follow their command cues, though not all the puppies did equally well




Sunshine Mills Issues Voluntary Recall

Friday, June 4th, 2021


Possible Salmonella Contamination causes Sunshine Mills, Inc. to recall Certain Dog Food products.

To get details READ MORE.





Fireworks and Storms – Dr. Judy Morgan

Friday, June 4th, 2021

From Dr. Judy Morgan’s Friday Five on 6.4.2021

#1 Fireworks (and Spring Storms)

I have always loved fireworks since I was a small child. My dogs, however, would prefer that fireworks were held far, far away from home. With the Fourth of July coming up, I am planning ahead to help keep them calm. Here’s my list:

  1. Homeopet’s TFLN (Thunderstorms, Fireworks, and Loud Noises) – Besides having a great name, I love this product because it is homeopathic and non-sedating. A few drops given three times on the day of the fireworks will help keep the dogs calm.
  2. Thundershirts – These little coats might not look like much, but the swaddling effect helps keep pets calm. I have used them for cats and dogs for storms, fireworks, and really anything that is stressful (including trips to the veterinarian!). This product has a money-back guarantee if it doesn’t help (usually it helps).
  3. Flower Essences – I like products like Panic Attack or Mellow Out. These can be given along with the homeopathic products and used with the Thundershirt, as well.
  4. I have used herbal Valerian for it’s calming effects. There are many products on the market, including powders, tinctures, and capsules. Valerian should be given for 24 hours ahead of the desired effect to allow it to accumulate in the system.
  5. Nutricalm by Rx Vitamins for Pets – This product contains a combination of Valerian, tryptophan, ashwaganda, catnip, and L-theanine, which produces a calming effect for pets. Again, this product should be started a few days prior to the fireworks. This product is safe to use long-term.
  6. Hemp products – CBD has a calming effect on pets. Many options are available on the market, but not all are equally effective. Always buy from a trusted source.

In addition to using these natural products to help keep your pets calm, there are some simple tips you can follow.

  1. Pull the shades or close the drapes to block out the flashes of light.
  2. Put soothing music on the radio or TV to keep pets calm and over-ride the sounds of the fireworks.
  3. If you have a finished basement, put your pets downstairs where the sound will be less obvious and light flashes can’t be seen.
  4. Give your pet a high reward treat or toy for distraction. If your pet is used to chewing raw meaty bones, this might be a good time to give them a fresh bone. You can also fill a kong type toy with pumpkin or pureed food that has been frozen.
  5. Diffuse calming essential oils.
  6. If you need to take your pets outside for potty time, be sure they are on a leash and in a secured yard. Scared pets can bolt and lose their sense of direction.
  7. Be sure your pets are wearing identification and are microchipped in case they get lost.
  8. If fireworks and celebrations were held close to your yard, be sure to check your yard for fireworks and debris before putting pets outside in the morning.

Please don’t EVER take your pets to a fireworks display. This is a very dangerous place for them to be. Enjoy the fireworks with your family, but don’t include your dogs on this particular outing. Have a great holiday by keeping everyone safe.


Dog Bites

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

Dog Bites Are On the Rise.  What Can You Learn?


Tips on Pet-Proofing Your Home

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

We all have heard of “baby proofing” our homes.

Well, let’s take that concept 1 step further and apply it to our “fur babies”



The Danger of Cicadas

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021
Billions of cicadas are about to emerge. Here's what to expect

Billions of cicadas are about to emerge. Here’s what to expect 02:07

(CNN)Bonnie is a very good girl.

But every time the 4-year-old Shepherd mix goes outside in the yard to play or relieve herself right now, her owner, Julie Matthews, straps a muzzle over Bonnie’s face.
The goal? To keep her from indulging in a potential buffet of Brood X cicadas that have recently begun emerging from the ground after a 17-year hiatus.
“We don’t have many cicadas yet, but I’m afraid once she sees piles of them she’ll go nuts,” said Matthews, who lives in Fairfax Station, Virginia.
Bonnie loves to hunt. On several occasions, Matthews said, Bonnie has smashed catmint bushes outside their home trying to pounce on insects and salamanders. Once, she nearly put a toad in her mouth.
While Matthews said the muzzle gives her dog a creepy look — which she describes as not unlike the fictitious Hannibal Lecter — the dog owner feels more confident letting Bonnie run free knowing the moveable cicada feast is off the table.

Cats and dogs react to cicadas

Bonnie (right) needs to be muzzled so she doesn’t eat too many cicadas. Clyde (left) doesn’t need a muzzle because he doesn’t overindulge.
While many people are anxious about Brood X’s emergence across 16 states and the District of Columbia, those with a canine or feline companion to care for have additional things to navigate.
Some pet owners are already learning how their cats and dogs react to the sudden, abundant source of potential overstimulation and overeating at their doorstep.
“Our dog, Leo, thinks of the cicadas as his never-ending buffet that falls from the sky,” said Laura Jenkins, who lives in Reston, Virginia, of her 8-year-old rat terrier mix.
He eats the insects as experts say dogs tend to — whole — and crunches the exoskeletons “like chips,” she said.
“I feel like I need to be on high alert to ensure he does not spoil his meals with too much snacking,” said Jenkins via email. That includes staying away from heavily wooded areas on their daily walks, where a large concentration of the insects is piling up on the ground.
Cats tend to react to motion — think of a game of cat and mouse — and are more prone to bat at and play with the insects than eat them, said veterinarian Dr. Craig Felton, medical director of Old Dominion Animal Health Center in McLean, Virginia. They also usually chew what’s in their mouth.
“It’s unlikely cats would eat as many (cicadas) as dogs,” Felton said.
That said, he did recently treat a cat in his clinic that had injured its tail after busting through a screened door in pursuit of the flying insects, so collateral cicada injuries aren’t beyond the realm of possibility.

Gorging on cicadas can cause problems

Leo loves cicada snacks a little too much.
Pets gorging on cicadas to the point of vomiting is a legitimate concern, Felton said.
When they’re out in their fenced yards, left to their own devices, dogs, in particular, can get into trouble, he said.
“That’s where we see the most problems with dietary indiscretions,” Felton said.
Birds learn to tell male and females apart, said James English, an animal ecologist and adjunct professor at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, who did his doctoral work on periodical cicadas.
Only the male cicadas call, he said, so birds learn to peck at the insects to elicit a sound.
“If it doesn’t make any noise it will catch it because it’s full of juicy, nutritious eggs,” he said.
Birds even learn to pull off cicada wings, which aren’t worth eating, said English.

A potential choking hazard for smaller dogs

Dogs tend to be less picky. And for some, cicadas aren’t the safest bite-sized snack.
The insects, which can grow roughly 1.5 inches long, can potentially cause a choking hazard to smaller dogs with narrow tracheal and esophageal diameters, said Dr. Jerry Klein, chief veterinary officer of The American Kennel Club.

Candy company now selling chocolate-covered cicadas

Candy company now selling chocolate-covered cicadas 01:02
Among the breeds that fall into that category, he said, are pugs, Shih Tzu and French bulldogs. But choking is more likely to happen to any dog that eats rapidly and doesn’t chew its food, he said.
If your dog has eaten cicadas and is having trouble swallowing — but not having trouble breathing, which is considered an emergency — Klein said to offer it a small piece of bread to see if it will help “push the object down to the stomach.”
Afterward, he said, contact your veterinarian.
“Every dog is different, but in general, eating one or two cicadas should not harm a dog, though eating too many may cause vomiting and/or diarrhea,” he said.
There’s a small chance that cicadas could cause an allergic reaction in some pets, said Dr. Randy Benson of Benson Animal Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland.
Such a reaction, he said, is “similar to humans having allergic reactions to shellfish,” but it’s very rare.
The best way to prevent animals from consuming too many cicadas, Benson said, is to stay attentive during daily walks — something you should do anyway to ensure pets don’t swallow other objects that are hard to digest, he said.
“We are all lazy and like the idea of a fenced-in backyard where dogs can do their business and we can go about our chores,” Felton said. “But pet owners are learning that now is maybe not the time to do that.”
“This is a wonder of nature we have to put up with,” he said.