What Is Wrong With Dog Owners Today?

Dog lovers, dog people and pet owners all have one weakness. This one, single blast of kryptonite dissolves any bit of common sense, education or understanding of dog behavior. A cute dog video.  We all ooo, aww, and lose our minds to the cuteness that is the dog, and that can be very dangerous. Let me explain.

Misinformation takes up more space on the Internet that truth. Misinformation hurts people, hurts dogs, and can literally do nothing positive in the world.  Correct, honest and proven facts, on the other hand, can help people better understand their dogs. This higher level of canine understanding means a more intense bond between human and pet. Who doesn’t want to be closer to their dogs?dogskate

This blog post is to serve as a catalyst in a new string of blog posts breaking down the behavior expressed in dog videos gone viral. I will highlight the good, the bad, the unseen and the silly. I hope the insight I can provide on these popular, much loved dog videos will help you to look at your canine companion in a totally new light. Instead of adding your own emotions into the mix, you will see what the dog sees and, hopefully, feel what he feels as well!

Subscribe to the blog and you can be notified when a new “What Is Wrong With Dog Owners Today?” post has been made.

Advertisements

They Call It Puppy Love!

There is one thing about dog lovers that I really do love. We’re creative. We have to be in order to live with a creature that does not speak our language and yet communicate with him every day. That takes ingenuity, patience and more than anything it takes love.

newshirtI had a successful T-shirt campaign in the past, and it was far past due to have another. Only this time it is not meant to help me or my business. This time half – 50% – will go to a charity that does so much and saves so many lives every single day. You may not hear about it because this one of a kind non-profit does not post sick or injured animals on Facebook to beg for attention or money. They don’t wait for donations to roll in before making the choice to save a life. If the Sanctuary has space – the animal is saved. No question about it.

Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary has helped me, personally, many times with my own critters. Be it information or offering a permanent home for an animal that has no place else to go, Critter Camp was always there. They may not be a dog rescue, but a furry, scaly or feathered family member does not need to be a dog to deserve love, trust, and medical care. That is why I have chosen Critter Camp to benefit from half of the money raised from this new campaign.11183439_10153568219866383_2628250851517749190_n

Buy a shirt, share the campaign, and above all hug your dog!

https://www.bonfirefunds.com/they-call-it-puppy-love

Can My Dog Eat Almond Butter?

You may have recently read that almond butter has more nutritional value and may be tastier than peanut butter. Peanut butter is a well known treat loved by dogs, but can your dog have almond butter instead? The short answer is yes!

Nutritional Differences

While both peanut butter and almond butter have the same kind and amount of fiber, the differences really show in the vitamins! Almond butter has a substantial advantage over peanut butter when it comes to vitamin E. Your dog’s body needs vitamin E for a healthy skin and coat, and it can even help him recover from some health conditions! Almond butter is also higher in magnesium which nourishes the nervous system. It also contains 100% more iron, keeping blood oxygenated.almond-butter

A few dangers lurk in your peanut butter jar that you may not be aware of, and can help you make up your mind to switch your dog to eating almond butter instead. It is believed by many veterinarians that the use of peanut butter, even rarely, can increase your dog’s chances of acute pancreatitis. Almond butter, however, does not seem to have this danger. Don’t fear the loss of protein from not using peanut butter, because almond butter matches that found in natural peanut butter!

How Can I Give Almond Butter To My Dog?

Your imagination can really bring creative ways to provide this delicious and nutritious nut butter to your best furry friend. KONG toys can be filled with almond butter, or mix it with canned pumpkin and bake it for a crunchy home made doggy treat! Your pup can lick it right off the spoon after indulging into the healthful snack yourself!

If you really want to include this treat into your dog’s daily diet, introduce it slowly. Give him a teaspoon every other day, then increase it to every day for a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.

Can I Use Any Almond Butter?

Choose only plan, natural almond butter from your local grocer. Avoid any with added flavors or ingredients without first making sure it is safe and healthy for your dog to eat! Switching to almond butter can give your dog the health boost he has been missing. Before you know it, your dog will have a shiny, soft coat!

Pet Protector – Does It Really Work?

The short answer is simply I don’t know. I have not yet had the opportunity to try this silvery little disc on any of my dogs. However, the idea that a dog tag could repel fleas and ticks for up to 4 years really intrigues me!

The company claims that this little chemical free disc is scientifically proven to keep biting and dangerous bugs away from your dog. It’s a 1 time buy, 1 time use product that you put on your dog’s downloadcollar and live worry free for 4 years. So yes, I am highly intrigued!

Currently, my own flea and tick preventative cannot be found at any vet office or pet store because it is not marketed as such. Neem oil mixed with Avon’s Skin So Soft and Citronella oils have never done me or my dogs wrong in any way. This year I decided to try Avon’s Bug Guard as it is a synthetic copy cat of a natural extract and is not toxic. Both the oils and the Bug Guard work wonderfully but they do have their draw backs – they must be repeatedly re applied every time we want to go outside and play or train!

Research online lead me to Amazon.com reviews of the product and so far nearly everyone has been mostly satisfied with the Pet Protector. If you want to give it a go, head to their website and get one for yourself. Make sure you comment here to let me know what you think of the Pet Protector!

Introducing a Dog and a Cat

animal-cat-amp-dog-cat-kitten-dog-sleeping-sublime-143020964817Dogs and cats, the age old rivalry that we’ve seen play out in movies and cartoons for years. But what about real life? Surely they can get along, right? Of course they can! Granted, just like with anything else, it will take time in order to introduce a dog and a cat together. Unfortunately, you cannot just throw them in a room together and hope for the best. Likewise, when there is friction between the two, you cannot just let them sort it out. As a responsible pet parent,it is up to you to conduct safe introductions between your dog and cat.

Introductions

When starting the introductions, it is important to consider where you are doing them. If you are bringing a cat home to a dog that you already have, it’s important to know how your dog will react to a cat. If possible, find a friend that has a cat that is ok with dogs and see how your dog reacts with them. If you are introducing a dog to a cat you already have, it’s best to just do the introductions at home.

The best way to do introductions for a dog and cat is similar to introducing two cats together. Place an each animal in separate rooms. Let them smell each other, examine the door, and generally get to know the sounds and smells of the other animal. Over the course of a few days, switch who is in each room to allow them both time to acclimate to each others smells and areas. Do this repeatedly. Once both are calm and acting naturally, you can try leashed introductions.

For a leashed introduction, it’s important to let the cat move around without restrictions, but the dog must remain on a leash the entire time. You can continue this step until both the dog and cat seem comfortable with each other. Once they do, you may try supervised free time for both the dog and the cat. If things seem ok, then you have successfully introduced a dog and a cat! If not, however, make sure to go back to the separation and continue working from there.

What To Watch For

There are, of course, things to watch for. If your dog is staring at the door, digging, growling or barking, there may be an issue, and either your dog is not ready for a cat, or if you are introducing the dog, it may not be the right fit for your family. Likewise, when doing leashed introductions, if your dog lunges at the cat, you may need to take a step back to the separation.

The dog and cat

The dog and cat

Keep an eye on the cat as well. If the cat shows any signs of back arching, hissing or any defensive actions, it may be too early for introductions and you have to go back to the seperations.

Cats vs Dogs

Despite what cartoons may lead you to believe, cats and dogs can get along just fine. It takes time, it takes patience, and it takes a good plan, but ultimately, your cat and dog can get along like best of friends.

What Do Gamers & Dog Rescuers Have In Common?

Gaming has become a popular cultural motif in today’s society.  What was once reserved for the “nerds” of society is now for every in the social pyramid and for all ages. Now, even those who are passionate about dog rescue have their very own mobile gaming outlet that does more than just entertain – it helps rescue dogs!

animalcase

Motion Stride is a game development studio that is bringing gaming animal lovers the new mobile game called Animal Case.  The mission is to raise awareness about abuse, rescue and adoption of canine companions. What better way to do it than through an entertaining, fun and colorful gaming application?

Personally, I am a gamer. I have been playing consoles since I could walk and PC games for the past 11+ years.  Mobile gaming has opened the door to games for many others that normally may never have cared for this interactive hobby.  Dog rescuers, for example, are often times too busy to bother with a game and when the time comes to relax, they are too tired to bother. Mobile gaming allows the user to play on the go – in car rides, at the dentist office and other areas they normally would be left to read a magazine or stare out a window.  Mobile games for dog rescuers, or those who really, truly care about rescuing dogs and promoting adoption have never had a real, honest game catered just to them.

11110881_920826854650517_824487960943518656_nAs it is written on the fun to visit website at motionstride.com, you can view the passionate mission state that claims Motion Stride is “providing the mobile gaming market with products that propagate quality moral values and increase the social awareness of important causes.”  Animal rights and animal welfare has become a hot topic item among the press and those who are emotionally and passionately driven in causes they believe in. I for one find that the mixture of the two – gamers and animal rescuers – will result in something refreshing for those looking for a new way to make a difference in the world we live in.

This means that while you sit in the vet’s waiting room for your recent foster dog to get his vaccinations, you have entertainment that helps to make a difference within the cause you have devoted your time, money, and efforts to bring change for abused, neglected, orphaned or simply unwanted dogs.

So how exactly does this game play out? I’m not entirely sure. The website does not give much information on the game itself, but it also is not yet available on the market. Once it hits online stores, however, I imagine that it will catch the attention of many dog lovers and those serious about their gaming hobby.

You can stay up to date and involved with Animal Case by both signing up for their newsletter and following Motion Stride on social media Facebook  Twitter

Dealing With Your Dog’s Fear & Aggression

growling

If you are forced to put your dog in a crate or kennel due to his aggression or fear issues when guests come to visit your home, then learning about the true cause and how to fix it is past due! Fear and aggression typically go hand in hand together. A dog that is fearful may become aggressive in an effort to protect himself, but that does not mean that you can’t help him get over his fears and learn to be a relaxed and happy dog!

The Cause

The cause to both fear and aggression can be a deeply rooted problem from a lack of proper socialization or even a traumatic experience such as being hit by a car or even landing incorrectly on his leg during a jump. It is difficult to find the cause, but easier to help cure your dog of the fears that his triggers bring up. When your dog is no longer terrified, he will stop lashing out through barking, growling, lunging or even biting.

Most dogs who exhibit fear aggressive behaviors do so because this is what they learned to do in situations that frighten them this badly. They feel like their safety is in jeopardy, so they do the only thing know can which is protect themselves through aggressive behaviors. This learned reaction can be hard wired into the brain during puppyhood. A puppy will go through special growth periods in their lives called a fear period. The first fear period begins at 4 weeks of age and usually lasts until about 12 weeks of age. This period is especially important to do proper socialization with objects like umbrellas and hats, gentle people that you know and even sounds, smells, and floor textures. Socialization does not teach your dog to be social with other people, dogs and animals but instead teaches him not to be afraid of unfamiliar and scary things. During negative socialization experience, a puppy can learn to act out in fearful ways which leads to aggressive behavior as an adult.

body_language_of_fear_in_dogs

The Fix

Correcting aggressive and fearful behaviors in a dog is a long term commitment, but includes only short sessions using counter conditioning techniques. Counter conditioning is a fancy term for helping your dog change the way he feels about his triggers. Currently he is terrified, but in time he will feel comfortable and relaxed around whatever it is that scares him with your help!

Before you get started, honestly ask yourself if your dog is in danger of harming anyone. If he attempts to bite, or has bitten in the past it would be in everyone’s best interest to seek the guidance and aid from a professional canine behaviorist. The cost is well worth the prevention of someone getting hurt or your dog risking euthanasia due to his aggressive behavior.

Start with a handful of high value treats like real meat or cheese. Always keep the trigger well below your dog’s threshold. During this entire process, you never want him to regress to his aggressive or fearful behaviors at all. If he does, you have pushed too far too soon and must go back a few steps and work you way up all over again. As your dog is exposed to his trigger, make sure he is rewarded with the high value treat. For example, if a guest knocking on the door makes your dog go berserk start with only one knock on the floor and immediately hand your dog a treat. You want to get him to the point of expecting a treat every time he hears a knock.

You can build the criteria by moving the knocks, and yourself and dog, closer and closer to the door. Always provide that reward after your dog is exposed to his trigger. In time he will a positive emotion when that trigger occurs instead of feeling fearful and acting out aggressively.

Keep At It!

Some dogs may take a year, others only mere weeks to get over their fear. It all depends on the dog himself and your training abilities. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek professional guidance! Remember, always reward your dog for good behavior!