A photo isn't just worth a thousand words -- it might just save your dog's life. Here are some you should have on hand at all times.
Your smartphone's photo album can be much more than a brag book filled with snapshots of your favorite four-footed friends. It can actually be a life-saver -- especially if, say, you're traveling and you forgot not only your dog's medication, but its name and dosage -- or your dog sitter runs out of said med and needs your help refilling it.
If you're like us, you already use your notes app to keep track of everyday reminders. But a photo is worth a thousand characters, and images are so much more effective as mnemonic devices!
Dogster EIC Janine Kahn keeps many sharp photos of her Italian Greyhound, Moxie, on her iPhone.
Here are eight items that can easily be recalled -- not to mention texted or emailed to the appropriate person -- with a snap of your camera's shutter button. Please take these pictures without delay, and use the comments section to tell us what we've left out!
8 Important Dog-Related Photos to Have on Hand: 1. Pictures of your dog's current medications; make sure the RX name and dosage are clearly visible in the photos.
2. Pictures of your dog, in case (heaven forbid) he or she goes missing and you have to create a Lost Dog flyer on the double.
A snapshot of Moxie's tag collar and license.
3. Closeup shots of your dog's license and vaccination tags -- make sure they're in focus so all letters and numbers are legible.
4. A picture of your dog's microchip ID info, and a Web site screen shot of Home Again (or whichever company's chip is implanted in your dog).
Some vaccines Moxie received as a puppy.
5. A picture of your dog's food -- the package it comes in -- to make it easier for your dog sitter to restock in case the supply runs out in your absence.
6. A picture of the business card of the pet-supply store where you buy your dog's food, especially if it's a prescription diet.
Moxie's microchip number.
7. A picture of your veterinarian's business card, clearly showing the phone number, email, and physical location address (or a screen shot of the hospital's Web site).
A screen grab of the emergency hospital that's nearest Janine and Moxie.
8. A picture of the business card of the nearest 24-hour emergency vet hospital (or screen shot of the hospital's Web site).
Dogster readers, what would you add to this very important list?
BY Julia Szabo
A popular misconception is that dogs age 7 years for each calendar year. In fact, canine aging is much more rapid during the first 2 years of a dog's life. After the first 2 years the ratio settles down to 5 to 1 for small and medium breeds. For large breeds the rate is 6 to 1, and for giant breeds the rate is 7 to 1. Thus, at 10 years of age a Great Dane would be 80 years old while a pug would only be 64.
How to Tell a Dog's Age If you've taken in a dog whose age is unknown, there are some ways to determine his age. Here are some things vets check to get a general sense of how old a dog is:
The Teeth: Dogs usually have a set of permanent teeth by their seventh month, so if you've come across a dog with clean pearly whites, he is likely a year old or thereabouts. Yellowing on a dog's back teeth may put the dog between one and two years of age, while tartar build-up at a minimal level could mean you have a dog between 3 and 5. Missing teeth or severe wear usually means the dog is a senior and could use some special dental care.
Muscle Tone: Younger dogs are more likely to have some muscle definition from their higher activity level. Older dogs are usually either a tad bonier or a little fatter from decreased activity.
The Coat: A younger dog usually has a soft, fine coat, whereas an older dog tends to have thicker, coarser (and sometimes oilier) fur. A senior dog may display grays or patches of white, particularly around the snout.
The Eyes: Bright, clear eyes without tearing or discharge are common in younger dogs. Cloudy or opaque eyes may mean an older dog.
Use this chart to calculate your dog's age:
Old Age in Dogs
The age at which a dog can be considered elderly varies widely among models. In general, the larger the dog, the more quickly it declines. For instance, a Great Dane could be considered "senior" at age 5, while a smaller toy poodle would still be spry at twice that age. Remember, however, that just because a dog is chronologically old doesn't mean that an endless series of malfunctions is in store. In many cases an elderly dog can enjoy many healthy, active, pain-free years.
One of the best ways to prolong the life and improve the functions of an elderly dog is to carefully regulate its fuel intake. Older dogs exercise less and thus need fewer calories. And since age reduces their ability to digest and absorb nutrients, high-quality food specifically formulated for their needs is a necessity. Excessive amounts of protein, phosphorus, and sodium can aggravate kidney and heart problems, so most such foods contain smaller amounts of higher-quality protein, along with reduced quantities of other elements. Levels of vitamins, zinc, fatty acids, and fiber, however, are increased.
The American justice system stands firm on the presumption of innocence. The accused in a criminal trial is innocent until proven guilty. The Latin term for this is Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat. This means that the burden of proof is on the prosecution (qui dicit, the one who speaks out), which must gather and present legally admissible evidence that the accused (qui negat, the one who denies) is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is any doubt, the accused must be acquitted.
Unless he’s an American Pit Bull Terrier.
Tragically, the pit bull has been routinely betrayed by the American justice system . In the case of this most feared and legislated-against dog breed, the rule is: Guilty until proven innocent. The dog doesn’t even get to stand trial – he’s simply sentenced and removed.
Removed from the home he knew for years, seized by animal control officers in the presence of the horrified children he loves; removed from the animal shelters that are meant to be a homeless dog’s port in any storm; removed from the compassion that should encircle every dog, regardless of breed.
It’s unconstitutional and un-American, but it’s the way it is. Thousands of good dogs have been branded “bad,” found guilty without a fair trial . The breed as a whole has been categorized as “dangerous” and handed the harshest possible sentence: Death.
The accused come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Even before they get a chance at life, pit bull puppies are put down at animal shelters in states where breed specific legislation makes it illegal to own one. The lucky ones are pulled by dedicated animal rescuers, then transported to other parts of the country where they may legally be fostered or adopted. The unlucky ones are euthanized by gas, intracardial (“heartstick”) or intravenous injection.
“Punish the Deed, Not the Breed” is a famous pro-pit slogan. But it’s the breed that keeps getting punished, over and over again . The dog pays the price for its owner’s irresponsible deeds. The real criminals are the people who exploit, abuse, and neglect these dogs – not the dogs themselves. Yet it’s the dogs – not their owners – who get the bad rap.
Convicted dog fighter Michael Vick is enjoying a successful second career in football; his new employer received a congratulatory call from the President of the United States thanking him for giving Vick a second chance. The dogs Vick killed are forgotten. Some of them are enjoying their second chance, experiencing love and kindness for the first time. Others – the ones Vick boasted about intentionally drowning or electrocuting - never got that chance.
The injustice that continuously befalls dogs categorically labeled “dangerous” has motivated many to rise to the pit bull’s defense. One pit defender is documentary filmmaker Jeff Theman . His production company, Riverfire Films, has spent the better part of the last two years shooting and editing footage for ”Guilty ‘Til Proven Innocent,” an investigation of breed specific legislation in his home state of Ohio.
Jeff’s constant companion and muse throughout the long process of making this documentary has been his adopted dog Preston, rescued from an Ohio fighting ring by Cleveland’s For the Love of Pits and granted what all pit bulls deserve: a new leash on life.
In Jeff, Preston found a doting Dad: “I’ve even received a speeding ticket for rushing back home to be with him!” he says. “Words just can’t describe the unconditional love I have for him. Every day Preston changes minds; he’s a shining example of why dogs should be judged as individuals and not systematically killed.”
I’m proud to be one of the people speaking up for pit bulls in Jeff’s film, and I’m looking forward to his final cut. In the meantime, I hope you’ll view the trailer and post a comment about it. Preston thanks you.
All that hard work is evident in the trailer, which was just released on YouTube. Check it out here .
as seen on: http://blogs.dogster.com/living-with-dogs/riverfire-films-unleashes-documentary-on-discrimination-against-dogs/2011/04/
At a minimum, you should plan on hiring a trainer and a veterinarian for your dog's care. Depending on your schedule, lifestyle, and the breed of your new dog, you may also need to work with groomers, pet sitters, boarding facilities, dog walkers, or even daycare operators.
Be aware that with the exception of veterinary medicine, all of these professions are unregulated. Do some detailed research to find qualified and trustworthy pet professionals in your area who can provide your pet with the best possible care.
By Casey Lomonaco owns Rewarding Behaviors Dog Training in Binghamton, NY.
Many people put more thought into purchasing a new pair of shoes than they do into choosing the canine friend who will share their home for a decade or more.
It's vital to do your research, because not every dog is right for every household. Base your decision on exercise levels, suitability with children and/or other pets, temperament, grooming needs, size, and any performance goals you may have for your dog. Avoid impulse buying!
Casey Lomonaco owns Rewarding Behaviors Dog Training in Binghamton, NY.
A few spoonfuls of warm chicken soup can help your dog get his appetite back when he is under the weather. Also, tasty broth helps a dog make the transition from IV to solid food after an illness. It is important to choose the no MSG broth because your dog does not need any food additives when he is not feeling well.
I always choose low salt and organic as well (organic chicken broth is not expensive), but I will confess that sometimes the saltier broth is tastier and helps a reluctant eater lap up more on his own. To get him going, try dipping your finger in the broth and dropping a little on his tongue.
Helen Fazio and her dog Raja are world travelers. Click here to visit their blog, and click here to follow them on Twitter.
Sometimes, and usually with a sheepish look on her face, a student will confess that she allows her dog to sleep in her bed each night. This confession is frequently followed by an almost reflexive cringe, as if the student is expecting fire and brimstone to fall from the ceiling of the classroom and bury her and her dog under the weight of trainer-induced guilt. As politely as possible, I laugh and admit that I, too, allow my dogs to sleep in the bed with me.
I think that students are often afraid of admitting that their dogs share the bed because they’ve been told that it will make the dog “dominant.” More likely, it just makes the dog comfortable and unfortunately, sometimes at the expense of human comfort!
There are some dogs that find the bed to be an extremely valuable resource and will therefore display resource guarding behaviors (freezing, staring, growling, hackling, snapping, or biting when approached on the bed or when someone in the bed rolls over, jostles or moves the dog, etc.). These dogs should be managed carefully and not allowed access to the bed at all until significant progress has been made on addressing the resource guarding issue. That said, if your dog does not resource guard the bed and you are considering allowing her to share your bed, you may want to keep the following in mind:
DOGS ARE BEDHOGS – Big dogs, small dogs, they all have the potential to be bedhogs. I’m sure there is a five pound Chihuahua out there with enough dedication to leave his owner curled up in a two foot square on the corner of a California King while Paco luxuriates, stretching his legs and snoozing in comfort.
ALLERGY SUFFERERS BEWARE! I always admire the brave (and somewhat tormented) souls who have severe allergies to dogs and yet love them so much they absolutely must live with dogs. If you are one of these allergy-suffering dog lovers, you may want to consider very carefully whether allowing your dog to sleep in the bed is a good idea for both your health and sleep hygiene. It’s hard to get a good night’s rest if you are sneezing, have itchy or watery eyes, and are getting a Mastiff paw in your shoulder sporadically throughout the night as well. Some of my clients who suffer from allergies like to set aside time to snuggle the dog in bed before turning in for the night or briefly in the morning, allowing the dog to spend the rest of the night in a crate or on his own bed.
YOUR BED WILL GET MESSY – Dogs shed, drool, have dirty paws, and are adept at messing up clean linens. Be prepared to wash those sheets a lot more frequently if your doggy shares the bed!
If you’re ok with these things, keep reading…
I do recommend that if you choose to allow your dog in bed, you train a reliable behavior to get your dog off the bed on cue. In addition to the bed that you sleep in, your dog should have her own bed and/or crate in the bedroom. For this behavior, you should practice to the point where you can send her to her bed while you are lying in your own bed, putting clothes away in a dresser or closet, or sitting and reading a book.
You can also, if you like, put getting into the bed on cue and establish stimulus control so that your dog only gets in bed when invited. You may choose to train your dog that she is only to sleep at the foot of your bed and not near your pillow. If you are unsure about how to train these behaviors, hire a trainer or leave a comment on this blog and I will add it to the list of topics that I need to get around to covering!
Practice classically conditioning your dog to associate both people approaching her while she’s on the bed and people pushing or moving her around on the bed on cue with feet, hands, knees, elbows, hips. Not that you’ll shove your dog around intentionally, but unless you’re physically restrained, you’ll likely do these things to your dog in your sleep. I’ll be honest, if I need to move Mokie in bed while I’m still semi-conscious I’ll use a hand target, but if I’m in dreamland she sometimes gets shoved around by my feet as I try to find a comfortable position. I’ve paired these experiences with good things for Mokie (treats), so she doesn’t really worry about it or will choose to go lie on her own bed.
Occasionally, do have your dog sleep separately in a crate or on her own bed, sometimes in rooms which are not occupied by humans. Train your dog to relax on her bed or in her crate while she’s alone, incorporating calming aids if necessary. At some point, chances are good you will need to board your dog or perhaps have a friend, family member, or professional provide pet sitting services in your home or at theirs. If your dog is not used to sleeping alone, she may be stressed by having to sleep by herself. Separation from the owner can be intrinsically stressful to some dogs, as is the change in routine that often accompanies pet sitting or boarding situations, so preparing her for sleeping by herself in advance will make that one less thing for your dog to worry about while you travel.
There, I said it. I do it – every morning I wake up with Mokie’s head on the pillow next to mine and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Allowing the dog to sleep on the bed is certainly a personal decision and not for everyone. If you want your dog to sleep in your bed and she is able to do so happily, what’s the problem? More than likely, your dog wanting to share the bed is not a sign of dominance, it is a sign that she has refined tastes and is smart enough to realize that the most comfortable, warm sleeping spot happens to be the one you have chosen for yourself.
as shown in http://blogs.dogster.com/dog-training/the-great-bed-debate/2010/10/
UPPER WEST SIDE — Community Board 7 confronted a classic New York puzzle Monday night: squeezing too many people into too small a space.
In this case the space is a 10–foot wide path in Riverside Park that cyclists, dog walkers, moms with strollers and seniors out for some air all share.
The crowded path has become a trouble spot, prompting weekly "incidents" involving bikers and pedestrians and a "couple of accidents," said Crista Carmody, a city park and recreation manager, at Monday night's Community Board 7 parks committee meeting.
"We were getting a lot of complaints," Carmody said.
In response, the parks department posted signs telling cyclists to get off their bikes and walk on the path, which starts at W. 72nd Street and slopes down to the Hudson River.
Cyclists say they weren't consulted about the signs. Others claim the cyclists speed and are inconsiderate to other path users.
Monday night was a chance for all parties to discuss solutions to the problem, which officials say will only worsen as more bikers head to the recently completed Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.
Parks officials say they've gotten complaints about bikers speeding on this path near W. 72nd Street. (DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht) The path is one of the busiest entrances to the Greenway because it's one of the safest for cyclists, Carmody said.
Tila Duhaime of Upper West Side Streets Renaissance, a group that advocates for cycling, said forcing bikers to dismount sends a message that the city doesn't respect cycling.
"The problem with something like a dismount zone is that it says if you have a bike, you're the problem," Duhaime said. "It delegitimizes biking."
But others argued that the signs were needed because the path, shared by small children, dogs and would-be Lance Armstrongs, is a disaster waiting to happen.
Some park users claim the path is too narrow to be shared safely by pedestrians and cyclists.
"There are too many people who use it for too many things," said Community Board 7 member Suzanne Robotti. "Everybody's got rights, and nobody's got the right-of-way," Robotti said.
She suggested that New York take a cue from Amsterdam, where cyclists and pedestrians live together in relative harmony.
Community Board members and the public tossed around several possible solutions to the problem, including: speed bumps, stop signs, speed limits, painting a separate area for bikers on the path, and mounting an education campaign to make cyclists more aware of other park users.
Community Board 7 member Phyllis Gunther suggested bringing in experts to design a wider path. Board member Ken Coughlin nixed that idea, saying, "What we need are psychologists to figure out how you mold behavior."
Board members took no formal action Monday night. They said they'll revisit the issue at the parks committee's Sept. 20 meeting.
Before then, Carmody said she hopes to get a count of how many people use the path and what time of day it's busiest.
By Leslie Albrecht
NYC walkers Blog
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