How to Exercise with Your Dog

Filed under: Dog Health,Dog Life — Tags: , , , mtest on January 24th, 2014

by Jessica Remitz

Though it may seem like your four-legged friend loves nothing more than to nap on the couch, dogs need regular exercise to stay healthy just like people do. From long evening walks to a daily game of fetch, starting a fitness routine with your pup — combined with feeding them a well-balanced, nutritious diet — will keep them happy and healthy for years to come.

Benefits of Exercise

Similar to people, one of the main health risks associated with a lack of exercise in dogs is obesity, says Susan O’Bell, DVM at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. Dr. O’Bell also notes that dogs that go without regular exercise may be prone to a variety of behavioral issues, including destructive behaviors like barking, digging or chewing. Aside from preventing these issues, providing your dog with regular exercise supports healthy aging by easing chronic symptoms and allows them to be social and explore their environment.

“Many dog owners report that their dogs seem to be better behaved when they receive adequate daily exercise,” according to Dr. O’Bell. “Additionally, at least one study has shown that dogs who have hip dysplasia show less lameness if they have longer duration of exercise throughout the day.”

When to Start Exercising Your Dog

While it’s important to have your dog exercise throughout his or her life, you’ll want to keep in mind their life stage and fitness level before starting an exercise routine. Puppies under the age of three months, for example, should have off-leash time on soft surfaces such as grass or carpeting; stairs, meanwhile, should only be used sparingly. In fact, Dr. O’Bell points out that retrospective studies have shown use of stairs by puppies at this age may be a risk factor for future development of hip dysplasia in certain breeds. She also recommends saving long runs with your pup until they’re a bit older — between 10 and 12 months of age — to ensure their growth plates have closed.

Finding the Right Exercise Routine for Your Dog

The best kind and amount of exercise for dogs will vary greatly, depending on the dog’s age, breed, and physical condition. Consult a veterinarian to devise the safest routine for your dog, especially with senior dogs, overweight dogs, or brachycephalic dog breeds like English Bulldogs, which are prone to overheating — particularly in warm weather.

There is, however, one type of exercise that both you and your dog can benefit from immediately: multiple walks outdoors every day. “Unless a veterinarian has told you otherwise,” Dr. O’Bell says, “pet owners shouldn’t underestimate the power of briskly paced walks throughout the day.”

Additional forms of daily activity can include swimming, a game of fetch and mental exercise such as food puzzles or basic obedience training. Agility training and competitive events can also be beneficial forms of exercise, but only if you’ve done your homework. “Owners should take time to educate themselves on what agility or other dog sports entail,” says Dr. O’Bell. “…and should participate in gradual training programs, as one would with any sport.”

Lastly, coordinate with a veterinarian on a balanced diet that is appropriate for the exercise routine your dog is about to undertake. This will help boost your dog’s energy level and, if weight loss is also a goal, assist in shedding the excess fat. Now get out there and start exercising with your dog.

This article originally appeared on partner site

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Dog Found in Trash Heap Gets Second Chance

Filed under: Dog Life,Dog News,Dog Rescue — Tags: , mtest on December 20th, 2013

Dog Found in Trash Heap Gets Second Chance

by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

A dog that was found in a Los Angeles trash heap isn’t in the dumps anymore.

The Husky, which has been named Miley by her rescuers, has not only been saved from a near certain death, but now is an internet sensation.

The video of her rescue earned over 5 million hits in just 5 days. “It’s been viewed all over the world, it’s just incredible,” Eldad Hagar of Hope for Paws, told Pet360.

Miley’s rescue began when local resident called Hagar and told him of Miley, who had been living in the trash dump for at least several months.

When Hagar arrived, he didn’t know if the pitiful pup was beyond saving. Emaciated and covered with mange and skin infections, the dog was so sick that she didn’t even have the capacity to run in fear.

After sitting with her for over an hour, Hagar finally gained Miley’s trust and she was ready for her new life.

It wasn’t easy, says Hagar, but after several weeks of medicated baths and intense medical treatment, Miley is now doing very well.

She’s even made a friend at the shelter, Frankie, a Chihuahua that nearly drowned in a drainage tunnel.

However, Hagar says the pair will not be adopted out together. “Miley wants to play rough and long and Frankie is done after just a few minutes,” says Hagar.

Miley, who is estimated to be about a year old, is also not up for adoption quite yet, she still needs more medical attention and has to be well enough to undergo spay surgery. All that could take at least another month, Hagar says.

Is Hagar worried that a viral video may bring out some people who might want Miley just because of her celebrity status?

Hagar says it’s possible, but his 10 page adoption application is formulated to weed out any people who may not want to adopt for all the right reasons.

“I’ve been doing this so many years, no one can trick me,” says Hagar. “To adopt a dog through us is a very hard task.”

This is not Hagar’s first viral rescue video, his organization was also responsible for the video of Fiona, which has earned over 50 million views, he says.

This article originally appeared on partner site

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Seeing-Eye Dog Saves Blind Owner

Filed under: Dog Life,Dog News — Tags: , , mtest on December 20th, 2013

Seeing-Eye Dog Saves Blind Owner

by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

A guide dog named Orlando is credited with saving his owner’s life when the man passed out and fell onto subway tracks in New York City, just as a train approached.

Cecil Williams, who has been blind since 1995, was on his way to a dentist appointment when he suddenly felt faint.

He tried to lean on his guide dog for support, but instead tumbled onto the tracks.

The black Labrador retriever immediately jumped into the path of the oncoming train as well and began licking Williams’ face, trying to get him to move.

The express train slowed down, but could not stop and one and half cars passed over the two before it was able to come to a halt.

Williams had fallen in the trough between the rails. Witnesses to the incident flagged down a subway workers, who told him to stay there.

“He was definitely this man’s best friend. When the train was coming, the dog didn’t move,” Ana Quinones, who witnessed the incident, told the New York Post. “The dog was loyal to his master. He tried to save him. He was trying to pull him away when he was too close to the edge. He risked his own life to save his owner.”

Williams suffered a cut on his head, but was not seriously injured. He doesn’t know why he passed out; however, he is on insulin and other medications. Orlando was not harmed.

Williams says Orlando will get a special treat for his heroic act. Unfortunately, guide dogs must retire at age 11 and Orlando is nearing retirement. Williams says he will have to find a new home for his trusted dog since his insurance will not pay for a non-working dog. He says he would keep him if he could afford Orlando’s care.

“The dog saved my life,” an emotional Williams told the Associated Press from his hospital bed. “I’m feeling amazed. I feel that God, the powers that be, having something in store from me. They didn’t take me away this time. I’m here for a reason.”

Editor’s Note: Photo from The New York Post’s Facebook page.

Did you know guide dogs will follow their owners just about anywhere to keep them from harm?

This article originally appeared on partner site

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Caught on Camera: Dog Robs Dollar General

Filed under: Dog Life,Dog News — Tags: , , mtest on December 20th, 2013

Caught on Camera: Dogs Robs Dollar General

by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

A “pawsitively” bad dog in Clinton, S.C. was apprehended last week after he was caught on security camera taking off with goods from a Dollar General.

The crime spree began when Cato the Husky broke away from his leash and headed straight for the store.

According to Fox Carolina, the surveillance cameras showed Cato walking up to the doors at approximately 9:38 a.m., however, the doors closed before he could make his way in. Finally, he was able to sneak in with customers where he proceeded to rob the store of pigs ears, beef bones, dog food, and treats.

The four-legged bandit then left the store in less than a minute, but returned about three minutes later.

“We had to lock the door to keep him from coming back in,” said store manager Anastasia Polson.

Cato must have known that he needed to hide his loot because he took all the stolen goods and buried them nearby.

The police, who filled out a report just for the fun of it, might have asked Cato for a confession, but the four-legged bandit exercised his fifth amendment — right against self-incrimination.

The ‘red-pawed’ dog did have to spend some time in the pokey, but Holly Darden, Cato’s mom, bailed him out and paid for the stolen goods.

This isn’t the first time Cato has entered local businesses.

“He’s gotten into Ingles. He’s gotten into BI-LO. He goes to Pizza Hut. And he goes up to Yo Cup which is downtown too,” Darden said.

We are happy to report that Cato is now back home lounging around the house.

Image/via Fox Carolina News Facebook page

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Rescued Dog Saves Family From Fire

Filed under: Dog Life,Dog News,Dog Rescue — Tags: , , mtest on December 20th, 2013

Rescued Dog Saves Family From Fire

by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

As a family of six in Virginia settled in for the night on Saturday, they lit the fireplace to keep warm. What they didn’t know: Their rescued pit bull was about to return the favor by saving their lives.

Sammie the pit bull started jumping on the bed of Tina Sharpe, who was sleeping in her home in Hanover County, Va.

When Sharpe got out of bed to see why Sammie was upset, the room was already filled with smoke. She couldn’t see anything.

Sharpe, whose sister owns Sammie, alerted the rest of the family. All made it to safety.

“If it wasn’t for the dog, we’d be dead,” homeowner Brenda Sharpe told WTVR News.

The family lost everything, but the most important thing is that they’re all safe and they have the family dog to thank.

“She is a hero,” Tina Sharpe says.

The fire is thought to have started in the chimney. The Red Cross is assisting the family.

Do you think rescued animals know they’ve been rescued and return the favor if they have the opportunity?

This article originally appeared on partner site

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2013 National Dog Show Results

Filed under: Celebrity Dogs,Dog Life,Dog News — Tags: , mtest on December 4th, 2013

2013 National Dog Show Results

by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

If you’re a dog lover, chances are that your Thanksgiving Day not only included turkey on your table, but dogs on your television.

I can’t tell you how many posts I saw on Facebook on Thursday talking about “The Dogs,” which were of course, the dogs in the National Dog Show.

If you watched the show, you saw the three new breeds that were introduced this year, as well as a first time winner for a particular breed.

The winner this year was a real crown “jewel,” by the name of Jewel, an American Foxhound. This was the first time an American Foxhound has won the Best in the Show title in the 12 year history of the National Dog Show Presented by Purina.

For those of you not familiar with Jewel, she a 3-year-old dog who defended her title in the hound group. She was named Best in Show over a Norfolk Terrier, a Standard Schnauzer, a Bichon Frise, an Irish Waterspaniel, a Bearded Collie and a Pekingese.

“Jewel flies around on a loose lead, then she stops and free stacks with a look that says, ‘Beat me.’ She is probably the best American Foxhound I’ve ever bred,” Lisa Miller, Jewel’s handler of Mechanicsville, Md. said.

This may have been a first win for the American Foxhound and the hound group in general, however, this group has been around for many years. Some evidence indicates hounds were first brought to America in 1650, when the Englishman Robert Brooke sailed to the Crown Colony of America with his pack of hunting dogs. These hounds would later become the basis of several strains of American Hounds. In the mid-to-late 1700s, hounds from France and England were brought in to further develop the breed.

Did you know that even President George Washington had an American Foxhound?

Other winners at the show include:

Herding Group – a Bearded Collie named “Fawny,” of Ridgefield, N.J.

Toy Group – a Pekingese named “Rodger,” of East Berlin, Pa.

Terrier – a Norfolk Terrier named “Ryder,” of Boston, Mass.

Sporting – an Irish Water Spaniel named “Riley,” of Seattle, Wash.

Non-Sporting – a Bichon Frise named “Honor” from Washington, D.C.

Working Group – a Standard Schnauzer named “Schweitzer,” of Baltimore, Md.

Editor’s Note: Photo of Jewel from the National Dog Show.

Did you watch the National Dog Show? What did you think of the winners?

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ASPCA Announces 2013 Humane Award Winners

Filed under: Dog Life,Dog News,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , mtest on December 2nd, 2013

by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

Last week, the ASPCA honored amazing people and animals at a special luncheon in New York City. Each year, the ASPCA puts out a call for nominations and a committee then selects one winner from each of the three categories from hundreds of nominations.

Here are the winners of The 2013 ASPCA Humane Awards:

ASPCA Tommy Monahan Kid of the Year

Catherine Hubbard may have acquired more empathy for animals and accomplished more to help them in her six years than many people will do in a lifetime. The little girl designed her own business cards that read, “Catherine’s Animal Shelter” and named herself the “Care Taker.” Catherine was one of 20 children killed nearly one year ago at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. Her parents have asked that donations be made in her name to the Animal Care Center in Newtown, where they hope to build the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary.

ASPCA Dog of the Year

A little over a year ago, Xena, a pit bull found malnourished and abandoned in Georgia, was near death and almost out of hope. Today, she is the ASPCA Dog of the Year, not just because of her “warrior” status in fighting to stay alive, but also for spreading the message of compassion and tolerance. She was adopted by Jonny, who is autistic, and his family. “We found it truly inspiring that two individuals who are often so misunderstood – a pit bull and a boy with autism –were able to form such a special bond and help enrich each other’s lives,” Lindsay Sklar, senior director of special events for the ASPCA told Pet360. “Xena is clearly an example of a pit bull that is acting as an ambassador for the breed, and we hope this award helps to debunk the pit bull myth by highlighting the wonderful bond between Xena and Jonny.”

ASPCA Cat of the Year

Deployment in an unfamiliar and often hostile land can be very disorienting and lonely for our military men and women, but when Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott began a friendship with a stray cat at a base in southern Afghanistan, it got him through the rough times. Koshka, as he named the feline, reminded him of his home in Oregon and when it was time for him to return, his parents helped him bring his new furry family to the States. “Staff Sgt. Knott’s story truly touched our hearts, and clearly exemplifies the importance of the human-animal bond. It is obvious that Staff Sgt. Knott saved Koshka’s life, but Koshka also saved Staff Sgt. Knott’s life in return,” says Sklar.

Editor’s Note: Photo of Xena at the awards luncheon courtesy of ASPCA.

Does your kid or pet have an award winning inspiring story? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

This article originally appeared on partner site

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Dog Saves Best Friend’s Life After Ski Accident

Filed under: Dog Life,Dog News — Tags: , , mtest on November 15th, 2013

Skiing can be a highly exhilarating and rewarding sport, but it can also be an unforgivingly dangerous one as well.

Leonard Somers learned that lesson on November 2 when he fell into a ravine, hit a frozen tree trunk and broke his back, which left him paralyzed. Lucky for him, his Alaskan husky, Juneau, had accompanied Somers on that fateful day on the slopes.

Juneau is credited with saving Somers from freezing to death. When the loyal canine saw her owner in trouble, she swung into action. “I saw Juneau running up the path,” Jenny Beltman, another skier said. Beltman originally only saw Juneau by herself, but quickly realized that the canine was calling attention to her injured owner. Flight for Life rushed Somers to St. Anthony’s Hospital, where he underwent surgery.

Now, more than a week after the accident, Somers says he doesn’t know yet if he will walk again, but says it could have been much worse, if it wasn’t for his loyal four-legged companion. “I love her so much for her help,” Somers told reporters. “If you ever see her on the streets, give her a big hug and a kiss.”

Do you think some dog breeds are more likely to know when their humans are in trouble? Tell us in the comments section below.

This article originally appeared on

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What to Do When You Find a Lost Pet

Filed under: Dog Behavior,Dog Health,Dog Life,Dog Rescue,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , mtest on November 15th, 2013

by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell


For the past several weeks, it seems like a lot of people in my social media circles have been finding dogs.

Of course, they want to help reunite them with their families, but I find a lot of them aren’t aware that free listing sites pose dangers to not only people seeking to rehome pets, but also to pets found by well-intentioned people who are trying to get them safely home.

We’ve seen the extreme dangers of listing pets on free sites such as Craigslist with cases such as Puppy Doe, who was rehomed twice on Craigslist earlier this year and ended up in the wrong hands.

Recently, one friend posted two apparently well-cared for dogs on Facebook who she found running the streets of Kansas City, another friend advised her to post their pictures in the “found pets” section of Craigslist.

I advised her that people such as bunchers (who sell animals they’ve gotten for free to research labs) and dog fighters (who look for free bait dogs) troll sites such as this and sometimes claim animals are theirs when they’re not, she responded, “I had no idea!”

Even a friend who rescues animals posted way too much information that could allow someone with evil intent to claim a dog she had found.

The trick is posting enough information that the pet parent might recognize that you may have their beloved lost pet without posting too much information.

Based on my years of rescue and with help from the Humane Society of the United States’ tips, the following is what you should do if you find a pet and want to help get him back home, rather than take it to a shelter:

-After segregating the dog or cat from your pets, check the collar (if there is one) to make sure a name/phone number is not stamped on the inside of the collar). If there is a rabies tag, but no other information, call the vet listed. They keep records and will have the owner’s information under the rabies id. If there is no collar or tags, take the animal to a vet to see if there is a microchip.

-Knock on doors in the area where the pet was found and ask neighbors if they know where he may belong.

-Check “lost” ads in the local newspapers and Craigslist. If you find an ad that you think matches the animal you found, get in contact with them and ask them to describe their pet to you, including any unusual markings, collar color/design or quirky traits.

-Make flyers– you can include a photo of the pet, but do a “head shot” that doesn’t show other identifiable markings. If the pet had a collar, you can include that information in the ad, but do not include the collar description or color as this is something the owner should be able to identify when they get in touch with you. Also, if the pet has two different colored eyes or any other unusual markings, do not include this in the information. You can include the breed and sex of the pet, but don’t include specifics such as “male that is neutered.” Again, this is something the owner should be able to tell you to identify their pet. Post the flyers in the neighborhood and leave them with veterinarian offices and shelters in your town or city.

-If someone contacts you about the pet, ask them to describe it and listen for them to include the specific things you left out of the ad. Ask them to email or text you a photo of their pet.

Of course, there is always a chance that the poor animal was left on the side of the road and no one claims them. Several of our rescues that were dumped ended up as part of our family and we have also rehomed those we could not keep.

If you cannot keep the pet and cannot find a no-kill shelter that will take the pet, many rescues are willing to give you tips on how to find the pet a good, loving home, or go to the HSUS website, which gives tips on rehoming.

Have you ever thought about the possibility of people with bad intentions trolling the “found pet” ads?


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Happy or Sad? Direction of Tail Wag Shows Mood

Filed under: Dog Behavior,Dog Life,Dog News,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , mtest on November 15th, 2013

by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell

When a pet parent sees a dog wag his tail, it typically just tells us that the dog is happy. When a dog sees another dog wag his tail, it might mean something entirely different, depending on which way the tail wags.

A new study, conducted by various researchers at universities in Italy, and published in the Current Biology, suggests that dogs react differently to a tail wagging to the left vs. a tail wagging to the right. The research included 43 dogs, which all wore vests to monitor their heart rate. The dogs then watched special images of other dogs, which intended to remove stimuli from their brains, except for the tail wagging. The canines were then shown a silhouette of a dog wagging its tail to the right. The dogs stayed calm. However, when the dogs were shown the dog wagging his tail to the left, the dogs heart rate increased and they became more anxious.

Canine behavior researchers believe this new study to be an important step in helping us understand canine behavior. “The finding that dogs are sensitive to the asymmetric tail expressions of other dogs supports the hypothesis of a link between brain asymmetry and social behavior and may prove useful to canine animal welfare theory and practice,” reports Current Biology. Giorgio Vallortigara of the University of Trento in Italy, who has done previous studies on tail wagging, including a 2007 study which first proved dogs wag their tails in different directions to convey different emotions summed it up, “If you are going to visit a dog, if you are vet, there will be probably a side which is better with respect to the probability to evoke a more friendship response or to evoke a more aggressive response,” he told NPR.

Have you ever paid attention to which side your dog is wagging its tail?

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