Archive | dog behavior

Ruffwear to the Rescue for Arden and Her Pets’ 2,800-mile Road Trip

As The Pet Health and Safety Coach, I spend a lot of time on the road with Pet Safety Cat Casey and Pet Safety Dog Kona. Occasionally, Cleo, my 14-year-old retired K9 surfer, joins us. For all of us who travel with our pets, one way to stay sane –and safe — is to pack the right pet essentials.

So, on a recent five-week, 2,800-mile round trip from Dallas to San Diego where we conducted several pet behavior and pet first aid classes, I made sure that my SUV contained these two Ruffwear products:

  • The Ruffwear Haul Bag Water-resistant and roomy with a sturdy zipper, this pet travel bag easily held all the pet food, leashes, doggy potty bags, grooming wipes and favorite toys for my four-legged travel mates. It was the ideal size and didn’t take up a lot of cargo space. And, I used its outside pockets to stash items I needed to need quickly: doggy bags, bag of treats, bottled water and collapsible water bowl. Keeping all the pet stuff in one bag made transporting luggage into the hotel rooms each night so much more convenient
  • The Ruffwear Hydro Plane High-Floating Disc: To break up the monotony during those long road trips, I made sure to pack Kona’s favorite toy — this durable, lightweight disc. Kona is a two-year-old Jack Russell terrier mix who needs –and deserves — to s-t-r-e-t-c-h her legs and engage in mini-play sessions during road trips. Each time we found a safe place for her to run, I would hurl the Hydro Plane in the air and watch with amusement as Kona sprinted, leaped to catch it and then wrestle it to the ground with great glee. I like that this disc is gentle on her mouth and can even float for times when we are at dog-friendly beaches.

To learn more about these and other quality Ruffwear products, click here. And, to book us to come to your group to teach pet first aid classes or give dog/cat behavior talks, contact Arden Moore at arden@fourleggedlife.com.

Gotta go — it’s time for Kona, Casey and I to hit the road again!

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Pet Safety Cat Casey and Pet Safety Dog Kona make sure that I have packed treats for them inside this Ruffwear Haul Bag.

 

Kona patiently awaits another toss by me of the Ruffwear Hydro Plane.

Kona patiently awaits another toss.

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Nap time is ah…..so great in a TrustyPup Bed

You know the saying, “Let sleeping dogs lie.” Well, in our pet household, nap time is a prized activity among Kona, Cleo and Jeanne, who range in age from two to 14. Sure, we have sofas and beds, but this Terrific Terrier Trio delighted in taking turns snoozing in the comfy Remedy Rest Deluxe Memory Foam Pet Bed made by TrustyPup.

Need evidence? Just check out this series of photos showcasing each dog’s desire to circle, plop and snooze in this bed that features cushions that ease achy joints and conforms to each dog’s shape. Nice!

Other pluses: TrustyPup beds come in various sizes, the covers are machine washable and the beds are not only functional, but eye-appealing as well. With the holidays approaching, treat your favorite canine to one of these beds now available at Walmart, Target, Krogers and online at Amazon.com. And learn more by visiting its Facebook Page. It’s nap time!

 

 

 

Sweet Jeanne plops and sprawls in the TrustyPup bed.

Sweet Jeanne plops and sprawls in the TrustyPup bed.

Pet Safety Dog Kona is the first to discover the TrustyPup bed

Pet Safety Dog Kona is the first to discover the TrustyPup bed

Miss Cleo, a young 14-year-old, is deep into dreamland in the TrustyPup bed.

Miss Cleo, a young 14-year-old, is deep into dreamland in the TrustyPup bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maddie patiently waits her turn in the TrustyPup bed occupied by Gracie.

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Solutions for Your S-t-r-e-s-s-ed Dog

Sit. Stay. Don’t stress. Good dog! If only helping our dogs avoid negative situations would be as easy as mastering a basic obedience cue.

Alas, dogs face stressful situations daily. And they depend on us to develop coping skills to be able to react in a healthy manner. The state of stress in dogs was one of the key panel discussions featuring leading veterinary and behavior experts at the recent Purina Better with Pets Summit held in New York City.

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“Just like us, dogs face good stress and bad stress,” says Marty Becker, DVM, renowned veterinarian and best-selling author who served as this panel’s moderator. “Only when bad stress is chronic does it lead to health problems. Constant stress can be a recipe for illness, depression and a less-than quality of life.”

Some stress is actually good for our dogs, like the stress found in trying to figure out how to get treats out of a food puzzle. It is important to work our dogs’ minds as well as bodies.

Some stress inducers are easy to identify in our dogs, like being inside a crowded waiting room at a veterinary clinic, being chased by a large, aggressive dog off his leash or panting and pacing during a nasty thunderstorm. But as the panelists pointed out, the well-being of some dogs are impacted by stress sources that often go undetected.

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Among the surprising stress culprits: flickering florescent lighting, stainless steel veterinary exam room tables and walls painted in bold reds or blues. Even by cranking up the volume on the stereo or television can spike stress in some dogs due to their superior sense of hearing.

How can you tell if your dog is feeling stressed out? Here are some common signs:

  • Ears pulled back
  • Lip licking
  • Pacing
  • Shaking
  • Yawning
  • Tucking in his tail
  • Clinging to his favorite person
  • Whining

And, most importantly, remember that our dogs are very good at gauging – and responding to – our moods. They can pick up when we are afraid, anxious or unsure.

“Some dogs suddenly start barking at other dogs on walks the second you get nervous and tighten your grip on the leash,” says Dr. Becker. “Dogs pick up on our emotional cues.”

Fortunately, pet experts are recognizing the impact stress can play on our dogs’ overall health and are taking new steps. As discussed at the Purina summit, here are some innovative stress-busting strategies being adopted:

  • Opting for pastel, soft blues, pinks and yellows in shelters and veterinary clinics. “Think Easter colors,” says Dr. Becker. Turns out that studies show dogs are calmer in those colored-rooms than ones painted white or bright red, blue or yellow.
  • Enhancing stainless steel exam tables with adding heated pads for the dog to feel warm and have better footing while being assessed by a veterinarian.
  • Placing dogs up for adopting at mobile pet events inside cages with horizontal bars instead of vertical ones. It turns out, horizontal bars are less threatening and give dogs better visibility of their surroundings.
  • Replacing long kennel runs with more living room-like rooms for dogs at shelters. New evidence suggest that kennel runs unintentionally trigger repetitive behavior (running back and forth, and soiling or spinning) that heightens stress levels in these dogs.
  • Encouraging people pressed for time to agree to be a shelter volunteer by spending 15 minutes sitting quietly in a room with a dog up for adoption. Experts are discovering that this quiet 15-minute interaction helps lower stress in some shelter dogs.
  • Replacing florescent lights with soft LED lights. It turns out that dogs are not only irritated and stressed by the flickering florescent lighting, but are also agitated by the noise these lights make.

Heather Lewis, an animal arts architect who is among the innovative pioneers re-designing veterinary clinics and shelters all over the country, shares this take-home message:

“We have an opportunity and challenge to make life better for all animals, including those in the shelter and our pets,” says Lewis. “it is vital to think about environment from the animal’s perspective.”

About the Author: Arden Moore, The Pet Health and Safety Coach, is a pet behavior consultant, master certified pet first aid instructor and host of the Oh Behave Show on Pet Life Radio. And, she has written more than two dozen dog and cat books. Learn more at www.fourleggedlife.com.

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Meet Sister Marijon — On A Mission for People and Pets

Move over, Broadway. The best Sister Act I know has been earning “paws and applause” every day in Chicago since 1983 far from any stage. For more than 30 years, Sister Marijon Binder and a team of dedicated volunteers have been on a mission to improve the lives of people, especially seniors, and companion animals, especially cats.

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Her group, called Touched By An Animal and Cats-Are-Purrsons-Too, performs miracles of the heart by helping the elderly (and those struggling financially) keep their companion animals and finding lifetime homes for “tossed and found kitties.” These twin noble causes are made possible thanks to generous volunteers and donors.

8832456“Cats are messengers of God,” Sister Marijon related to me during a phone conversation. “To each person touched by an animal, God’s message is clear: unconditional love makes life’s meaning dearer. To honor the bond, to rejoice in that truth is why we are here.”

I totally agree. That’s why I am honored to be the keynote speaker at this group’s Spring Books n’ Baskets Benefit Brunch set for 11 a.m. Sunday, April 19 at the Holiday Inn Ballroom, 5300 West Touhy Avenue in Skokie, IL.

The title of my talk is, “Life Lessons Unleashed from PhDs (Pretty Happy Dogs) and CEOs (Cats Extraordinaire).” After all, the secret to bolstering your health may be just a tail wag or purr away. I will unleash 10 life lessons from dogs and cats designed to improve you mentally, physically and emotionally.

Admit it. You are as curious as a cat – and as eager as a pup — to learn these secrets. This is my purr-sonal invitation to join us and aid this non-profit group so it can continue its mission.

This fundraising event will also include a unique gift boutique, theme baskets, a scrumptious lunch and the chance to purchase some of my autographed pet books with the proceeds going to this wonderful organization. Here’s your chance to get your paws on an autographed copy of my latest and best selling books. For feline fans, we offer The Cat Behavior Answer Book, Fit Cat and Happy Cat, Happy You. For dog lovers, we will have copies of The Dog Behavior Answer Book, Fit Dog, and Happy Dog, Happy You.

Reserve your spot at this event by April 13. Tickets are $48 per person or $90 per couple, $360 for a table of eight or $450 for a table of 10. Tickets are $55 at the door with an advanced reservation. To make your reservation, please email tba@touchedbyananimal.org or call (773) 728-6336.
This “Sister Act” may never win a Tony or an Oscar, but Sister Marijon and her group are true champions for people and pets in need.
To learn more, please visit www.touchedbyananimal.org. We will see YOU on April 19!

Here is the flyer filled with details on this must-attend event:

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Learn Arden Moore’s “Mutt-gyver” Pet First Aid Tactics

Dogster cover

Dogster is the revamped Dog Fancy magazine that caters to the needs of 21st century dogs. I urge you to fetch yourself a copy by clicking here. And, as a special treat, here is the feature I wrote for this issue:

As a master certified pet first aid instructor and the delighted pet parent to a pair of canines named Chipper and Cleo, I’m all about doing my best to keep them out of harm’s way.

Like many of you, I keep a well-stocked pet first aid kit in my home as well as a smaller version in my SUV. When we’re off on a long mountain hike or other outdoor doggy adventure, I pack a mini-pet first aid kit.

But even the most conscious of pet parents among us does not tote a pet first aid kit around 24-7. The sad reality is that injuries and illnesses in our dogs can occur any place, any time – and usually when our pet first aid kit is not nearby.

So, what do you do when your dog gets stung by a bee or cuts his paw on a walk in your neighborhood or suddenly collapses and stops breathing in your living room?

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Don’t panic. Help is here. In my classes taught all around the country, I not only train people on the pet first aid basics (like rescue breathing, performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, stopping arterial bleeds and more), but also how to unleash their creative “Mutt-gyvers” inside of them. By that, I refer to how to use everyday household items to stabilize and immobilize your dog until he can be safely transported to a veterinary clinic for professional treatment.

Mutt-gyver is my playful canine twist that refers to (and pays homage to) that action-adventure television show of the late 1980s and early 1990s called MacGyver. The show’s hero, Angus MacGyver, relied on his Swiss Army knife, duct tape, shoelaces and other common items within reach to escape from and foil bad guys each episode.

It’s time we used that same “think-outside-the-box” MacGyver mindset when it comes to rendering emergency pet first aid for our dogs. So, here are some situations and common items you may be wearing or have within reach to use as makeshift pet first aid tools:

Dialing in the many safety features of your cell phone. In addition to taking a hands-on pet first aid class, I encourage you to download a pet first aid app to your cell phone today. Your cell phone is your No. 1 pet first aid tool. The app can provide step-by-step guidance to stabilize your dog. And during a serious emergency, such as if your dog has stopped breathing, you can perform CPR and talk to the nearest veterinarian via the speakerphone setting. Always alert the nearest veterinary clinic that you are en route and your ETA arrival so that they can prepare an exam room. Remember, in a serious pet emergency, every minute counts!

Safely restraining your injured dog. Even the mellowest of mutts can bite when in pain, so heed Pet First Aid Rule #1: protect yourself first before rendering care. The 6-foot nylon leash can be used as a muzzle restraint to prevent your injured dog from being able to open up his mouth wide enough to bite you. This restraint enables him to still breathe.

The key is to form a noose and make the first tie on the bridge of your dog’s nose. Next, tie under the chin, then tie on the back of the neck below the ears and finish by threading one end under the first tie on the bridge of the nose looped back to the top of the head where you tie it in a bow (never a knot) Please see the photo of my dog, Chipper, sporting this makeshift leash muzzle restraint.

Other Mutt-gyver restraint options: For smaller dogs, you can use the drawstring from a hooded sweatshirt or your sneaker shoelace as a temporary muzzle. Belts may work in some circumstances. For dogs with short muzzles, like pugs, boxers and some pit bulls, consider restraining by rolling a thick bath towel around their necks and grip the ends behind their heads, lifting slightly up to prevent them from being able to open their mouths wide.

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Administering to cut paws. Here’s a lesson I learned a couple years ago when I was on a 6-mile hike with friends and their dogs. A 60-pound dog in our group named Katie badly cut her front paw midway through the hike. She was too heavy to lift on the rocky terrain for the three miles back to our base camp. So, I cleaned her paw with bottled water, used a bandana to apply pressure to stop the bleeding and left the folded bandana on the wound. I then wrapped her paw in a white crew sock (you could also wrap the paw in an unused plastic doggy bag) and tied it snugly using a friend’s hair tie. We were able to safely usher Katie back to camp and then on to the veterinary clinic for professional treatment.

Other Mutt-gyver options: If your dog badly strains or breaks his leg on an outing, limit his movement to prevent him from putting any weight on the injured limb. After applying a restraint muzzle, you can make a makeshift splint by using paint stirrers or Popsicle sticks as splints and wrapping the limb in a water bottle, newspapers or a magazine held in place with shoelaces or a bandana. Dogs too heavy to lift can be placed on your sweatshirt and dragged or carried in a sweatshirt sling.

Treating bee or wasp stings. Bees, in particular, are driven creatures on pollinating missions. During the heat of the day, they often scurrying from low-level flowers and ground covers. You can reduce your dog’s chance of being stung by steering them away from ground cover on your leashed walks and making sure your dog heeds the “come back” cue from you so he doesn’t inadvertently poke his nose in a bee hive unleashed on a hike.

If you can see the stinger, slide the edge of your credit card or driver’s license against the stinger to usher it out. (Please refer to the photo of my dog, Cleo, going belly up to have me practice on removing a pretend stinger from her belly via my credit card.) Do not use tweezers or your fingernails to attempt to remove the stinger, because you will risk rupturing the poison sac. Keep your dog calm and take him to the veterinary clinic if the area swells and he develops breathing difficulties. If you do have an antihistamine available to give your dog, make sure that the only ingredient is diphenhydramine.

* Treating your dog who gets too hot or too cold. Unlike us, dogs perspire through their paws. On superhot days, keep your dog cool by dipping his paws in cool water. You can pour bottled water into your baseball cap if necessary. On cold days, coat your dog’s paws in petroleum jelly to prevent ice crystals or salt from cutting the paws. And heed the motto to “hug, not rub” to warm your dog who may suffer from frostbite. Place a small dog inside your winter coat to gradually warm up from your body heat. Wrap a large dog in a Mylar blanket, that lightweight shiny blanket that marathon runners and campers use to retain heat.

Household items checklist
Here’s a rundown of everyday items that can be used in a pet first aid situation when the kit is not available:
• 6-foot nylon leash
• Bath towel
• Sneaker shoelaces
• Mylar blanket
• Bottled water
• Baseball cap
• Your credit card or driver’s license
• Your bandana
• Your sweatshirt
• Thick magazine and/or newspaper
• Unused plastic doggy bag
• Your cell phone (with a pet first aid app)

Share some of your “Mutt-gyver” pet safety ideas! Email me at arden@fourleggedlife.com.

And, contact me about teaching veterinarian-approved, hands-on pet first aid/CPR/safety to you and your group. I often am accompanied by Chipper and Casey (my tolerant dog-cat teaching assistants) and we conduct in-service training for pet-related businesses as well as to the general public. Learn more by visiting my pet first aid site by clicking here.

 

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BlogPaws Bound with Zeki the Pet Safety Cat!

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When you have cool cat with an important pet safety message, you must travel. And, this week, Zeki and I are making the road trip to Las Vegas where we will speak and give pet first aid demos at the must-attend BlogPaws conference.

Now, the thought of making a five-hour drive with a cat may not sound like it would make your Top 10 list of favorite things to do, but Zeki frequently travels with me by car and by plane to assist in my pet first aid and pet behavior talks. We are very excited to attend our first BlogPaws and mingle with some of the top two- and four-leggers in the pet industry. We look forward to seeing long-time friends like Janiss Garza (of Sparkle the Designer Cat blog fame), Tina Martinez of the Morris Animal Foundation as well as finally getting to meet the multi-talented blogger Carol Bryant and business savvy Shawna Schuh, president and chief pet wrangler of Women in the Pet Industry (to which I happily belong).

As many of you know, Zeki is a former Dallas stray who survived a brutal knife skinning and now is a certified therapy cat with Pet Partners (formerly the Delta Society) and the first feline of pet first aid. Zeki is a confident cat who lives in the Me-NOW. Please check out her adventures by liking her Facebook page – Zeki the Cool Cat. She also lives for turkey treats! I have tried, without success, to convince her that there are NO turkey-payout casinos in Vegas. She has her feline sights set on winning a big turkey jackpot. I think I heard her meowing about it being like Thanksgiving every day. TDZekiH🙂

Zeki and I will have a booth with a pet first aid/Pet Life Radio show theme.  Each week, I host the Oh Behave Show on Pet Life Radio, the No. 1 pet radio network on the planet!  Look for Zeki and I to give a mini pet first aid demo to attendees at 2 p.m. Thursday (May 8) followed up by a fun dog party demo at 4:30 p.m. Yep, one of the many ‘collars’ I wear in the pet world is founder of National Dog Party Day. Dogs and their people get to revel in the moment, raise money for grrr-eat pet charities and learn some fun new canine games. This year, we are expanded NDPD and will be unleashing details on how you can host a party in your community soon. But mark the dates: National Dog Party Day will be celebrated the weekend of Sept. 13-14 – you pick the date/time that weekend that works best for you!

Our big talk comes Saturday (May 10) from 3:45-5:15 p.m. where we will give a hands-on, veterinarian-approved pet first aid class. We welcome people who want to be their pet’s best health ally and we welcome well-mannered dogs. Zeki loves teaming up with d-o-g-s in our pet first aid classes. We have fun and I will ‘reveal’ why every pet first aid kit should have an orphaned white sock, sneaker shoelaces and an Ikea plastic carryout bag!

PFA2114ZekiClassRedMuzzles2The pet first aid class is a sneak peek at the full classes we offer as part of Pet Tech, the world’s premiere leader in pet first aid training. As a master instructor, I travel all over North America (often with Zeki and sometimes, my dog, Chipper). Students earn two-year certification in pet first aid. I customize classes for professional pet groups: pet sitters, boarding kennel staff, vet techs, dog walkers and more. Find out more by sniffing around my Pet First Aid 4 U site.

Whew! It’s time to pack! Zeki and I hope to meet you in purr-son at BlogPaws!

 

 

 

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Arden and her dog-cat pet first aid teaching team head to Texas!

Dallas’ Park Cities Pet Sitter, Inc. Will Have Newest Sitter Staff Certified in Pet First Aid and CPR in November

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) October 14, 2013pet first aid training with Arden Moore

Park Cities Pet Sitter President, Joette White, believes having the best trained sitters possible is the key to her business’ success and longevity. Part of this training includes having her pet sitters trained in pet first aid and CPR. Ms. White’s newest pet sitters will undergo Pet Tech First Aid/CPR training on November 10th to receive certification on the latest pet first aid and CPR protocols. The certification class will cover things like pet restraining and muzzling, choking management, fracture/bleeding protocols, care for heatstroke and frostbite, poisoning, seizures and other emergency management techniques.

Ms. White says that having her pet sitters certified in pet first aid and CPR helps set Park Cities Pet Sitter apart from other pet sitting companies, and gives her clients additional peace of mind. “Park Cities Pet Sitter clients really treat their pets like family members; and while no one likes to think about potential emergencies, they do occasionally happen. This is why we have our pet sitters trained in pet first aid/CPR protocols, because the health and safety of our clients’ pets is our number one priority.”

The Pet Tech First Aid/CPR training will be given by Pet Tech Master Trainer, Arden Moore. Ms. Moore is a unique instructor in that she brings her own household pets, dog Chipper and cat Zeki, as live test subjects for the training. In addition to her Pet Tech Master Trainer status, Ms. Moore is a pet behavior consultant, best-selling author of 24 pet books, and the host of the No. 1 pet podcast: the Oh Behave Show on PetLifeRadio.com.

Though the November 10th training class is for Park Cities Pet Sitter employees only, Ms. Moore is also offering two additional pet first aid/CPR training classes that are open to the public. The first is on Sunday, November 3rd from 9:30am-2:30pm at the Sheraton DFW Airport Hotel, located at 4440 W. John Carpenter Freeway in Irving, TX. The second open-to-the-public class will be offered on Monday, November 11th from 9am-3:30pm at the SPCA of Texas, located at 2400 Lone Star Drive in Dallas, TX. The fee to join either training class is $99, and that covers all course materials and an official two-year certification.

Pre-registration and payment is required to secure a spot in either the November 3rd or November 11th class. To sign up for either class, go to http://www.petfirstaid4u.com/schedule, and click on the PayPal BUY NOW button for the preferred class date.

Park Cities Pet Sitter, Inc. has served the Dallas area 7 days a week, 365 days a year since 1992. Pet sitting, daily dog walks, pet taxis, overnight sitting, pet supply shopping, litter box cleaning and dog training are all services PCPSI offers. Park Cities Pet Sitter, Inc. is bonded and insured, and all sitters are employees–not independent contractors. A manager is on-call 24 hours a day to handle any emergencies. Additional information about Park Cities Pet Sitter can be found on their website at http://www.pcpsi.com.

ARDEN MOORE — Founder of Four Legged Life.com and creator of National Dog Party Day, Arden Moore is known as The Pawsitive Coach™. She is an animal behavior consultant, best-selling author, professional speaker, media consultant and certified pet first aid master instructor. She has authored 24 pet books. Each week, she hosts A-list celebrities and top pet newsmakers on her Oh Behave! Show on Pet Life Radio.com, drawing more than 800,000 loyal listeners. She shares her Oceanside, Calif. home with rescue dogs, Chipper and Cleo, cats, Murphy and Zeki and an overworked vacuum cleaner. To learn more, please visit http://www.fourleggedlife.com.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11224796.htm

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Surfing Safely with Cleo, the 12-pound Mutt

I woke up yesterday all excited about entering Cleo, my 12-pound mutt, in the annual Loews Surf Competition staged at Imperial Beach, CA. Despite her size, she is a gutsy dog who loves, loves, loves to ride in waves on her surfboard. She is a proud member of the So Cal Surf Dogs. SurfBestPic62213-300x246

However, the waves were nasty and menacing at the event and there was also a strong current that was clipping photographers to their knees in the surf.  And, one 90-pound dog named Bodie, suffered a severe swollen back leg after his surfboard soared high in the air and landed on him, causing him to yelp in pain. As a master certified pet first aid instructor with Pet Tech, I was able to assess Bodie, wrap his leg in an iced bandana and help carry him into his vehicle so his pet parents, Kristi and Mark Jagger could take him to their veterinarian. Fortunately, no broken bones! (Learn more by visiting my pet first aid site: www.petfirstaid4u.com and I hope to see you in an upcoming class!)

I, like many people with small dogs, opted to withdraw from competition for safety reasons.  If the waves could hurt a big dog like Bodie, there was no way I was going to risk injury to little Cleo.  So, since my sister, Karen and nephew, Andy were visiting from Indiana, we went with Plan B:  we drove up I-5 to Ocean Beach Dog Beach were the waves were much calmer.  Here is a very happy Cleo catching a wave there.

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Do Your Dog’s Bites Affect His Bark? Dog Diet and Behavior

Dogs and children benefit by being fed healthy nutritional foods

Dogs and children benefit by being fed healthy nutritional foods

For some people, dogs rank right next to children in the hierarchy of family importance. Depending on your children, your dog may rank higher. You wouldn’t feed your family something you knew was harming them— shouldn’t the same practice apply to our pets? With almost 62 percent of United States’ homes housing a pet (according to the ASPCA), it is obvious that many of us appreciate the companionship offered by animals— and learning about their diet is a good way to show them we care.

The Importance of Diet

We all know that eating right equates to feeling good. When you eat healthier, you have more energy, an improved mood and you experience less illness. Recently, researchers have begun to consider whether the same applies to our furry companions.

Little Research, a Big Problem?

According to a study from Nutritional Research Reviews, little actual work has been done in determining the effects of diet on canine behavior. The authors of the study predict that many problem behaviors in dogs— such as aggression, barking and anxiety— could be addressed through diet.

The study’s authors conclude, though there is little research into canine diet, other animal studies indicate that nutrition does impact behavior. Rats, for instance, were less likely to kill mice if they were given enough tryptophan. With good research, it could be possible to address canine behavior through nutrition.

What We Do Know

The lack of official research has not stopped dog lovers from attempting to create the perfect dog food. The results of these efforts range from all-raw meat diets to vegetarian diets and everything in between. The common thread between all of these diets, though, is the inclusion of high-quality ingredients.

Because there has been no scientific consensus on the perfect dog diet, owners have been forced to experiment. Specialty food manufacturers provide the healthy, happy and long-lived dogs of their customers as evidence of the effectiveness of each diet. This leaves you (the dog owner) with the final decision on what you think is best for your dog.

Avoid the Cheap Stuff

According to Whole Dog Training, an entire host of behavioral problems can often be laid at the feet of cheap commercial dog food. Ingredients such as corn, a cheap protein filler in low-quality dog foods, do not have the necessary nutrients to keep your dog healthy.

What Diet Is Best?

Dogs appear to be pretty versatile omnivores; they just need good quality food. According to Living Green Magazine, the Guinness Book of World Records includes the oldest living dog: a Border Collie that lived for 27 years. The dog was fed a vegan diet with no meat or animal products.

Others argue that feeding a dog (an animal obviously designed to eat at least some meat) a vegetarian diet is ridiculous. Most veterinarians, according to ABC News, would never recommend a vegan diet for dogs.

It appears that there will be no consensus anytime soon on the perfect diet for a healthy, well-behaved pet. You, however, do not necessarily need to seek perfection. Simply doing some research and reading labels on your pet’s food is a great place to start. Provide clean water, plenty of pats on the back and happy trips to the park. Shop at trusted pet stores or websites, and feed them high-quality food for their furry tummies.

Trial and Error

In the end, the diet that works best for you and your pet will be determined through trial and error. Learn what to avoid and aim for a more wholesome approach. Then sit back and see how it works for your dog.

Question: What do you do to keep your dog healthy and happy? Please share your ideas here.

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TGIF-K9 Style: Thank Gosh It’s Fur-i-Day – Time to Play!

All work and no play can make us two-leggers feeling stressed and acting grumpy. Earlier today, I invited a couple neighbor dogs — Stan the miniature Poodle and Buddy the no-so-miniature Schnauzer to a backyard play date with my dogs, Chipper (Golden retriever-Husky) and Cleo (12-pound mystery mutt).

Within a minute, Stan the Man let out a friendly yelp and plopped into a play bow and the fun began. Check out the short video of this fun foursome dashing and romping and enjoying one another’s company.

Dogs do learn a lot from us, but when we give them the opportunity, they can teach us a lot about getting the most out of life. Play — it does a body good! That’s the “woof” message today from Arden Moore, the Pawsitive Coach(tm) and Four Legged Life.com.

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