How Accurate are TV and Movie Depictions of Dog Breeds?

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As a dog lover, you probably notice that dogs are often shown in TV shows and movies. Not surprisingly, the way dogs are depicted by the media, especially when it comes to their breeds, can affect the perception a TV viewer or moviegoer might have. This leads to stereotypes that may be widely accepted but not always correct., an authorized DirecTV reseller, has created a nifty, informative online guide to dispel common dog breed stereotypes found in TV shows and movies. For each of 15 breeds, the guide compares and contrasts the stereotype with the reality and has some good, specific advice if you choose to adopt any of these breeds. Keep in mind, of course, that a mixed breed dog may exhibit characteristics of a number of different breeds. Also included in the guide are links to trailers for movies in which dogs are featured.

You can find the guide here:


Free Pet Safety Guide

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Whether you just got a dog or you've had one for some time, it's important to know that there can be hazards around your home that could be dangerous to your pet's well-being.

That's why you'll find a free online "Pet Safety Guide," courtesy of ADT Security, to be useful. This online, interactive guide allows you to click on various rooms in a typical home and find out how to pet-proof them. There are lots of important tips about what to look out for in such common areas as kitchens, bathrooms, and laundry rooms, plus valuable information about maintaining a safe home exterior.

The Pet Safety Guide also includes a handy "Pet Home Safety Checklist" you can download, along with a comprehensive list of supplies you may need as a pet owner.

Check out the Pet Safety Guide here:

In addition, during medical emergencies and times of need, some owners may not have the financial means to cover the high cost of emergency vet bills. To ensure every pet gets the help they need, the following state by state guide provides a list of the resources and organizations in each state that are offering financial assistance for pet owners in need:


Moving? What About Your Dog?

JesseSchoff-unsplash.comMoving is always stressful for people -- but it can also be stressful for pets. A recent article in The New York Times, "How to Move When You Have Dogs and Cats," offers some good tips to make sure your dog can handle the move.

Writer Matthew Haag discusses preparing for the move, whether to drive or to fly, and how to help your pet acclimate to a new home. Two interesting points Haag makes about move preparation relate to the way you approach the move. First, he writes, "Set an example by staying calm," because dogs and cats can channel human stress. Second, he advises packing over several days instead of all at once to avoid making your pet anxious.

As for acclimating to a new home, Haag advises, "Unpack their belongings first and set them in an area of the house that can be all theirs," and "Introduce your dogs to the area with walks, allowing them to stop and sniff around the neighborhood."

Haag also shares a number of good tips for driving with dogs, including websites that can be helpful, and he provides a rundown of air travel rules and regulations.

If you're planning a move, this article is well worth reading. You can find it here:

Image: Jesse Schoff,

Does Your Dog Connect with You on an Emotional Level?

AngelinaLitvin-unsplash.comPeople who have owned dogs for a long time are likely to share a very special bond with those pets. Many dog owners may even believe that dogs read and react to their emotional state. Now an emerging field of science called "emotional contagion" -- the spread of emotions between animals and people -- is helping to confirm that dogs really can connect with their owners on an emotional level.

A recent article in The New York Times, "The Empathetic Dog," shares the story of Benjamin Stepp, an Iraq war veteran whose service dog, Arleigh, senses Stepp's emotional distress and takes action to calm him. According to the article, "The dog senses when his agitation and anxiety begin rising, and sends him signals to begin the controlled breathing and other exercises that help to calm him down." This is just one of countless examples of ways in which dogs help humans by understanding their emotional state.

Some of the research being done on the emotional connection between animals and humans is fascinating. For example, one study cited in the story exposed dogs and humans to a baby crying, a baby babbling, and radio static. The babbling baby and radio static did not elicit much of a reaction from either humans or dogs. "But the sound of a baby crying produced a drastic response. Cortisol levels spiked in both people and dogs," according to the article.

So that deep emotional connection you think you have with your best furry friend? It could be very real!

Image: Angelina Litvin, Unsplash


ReTail Scene: ThunderEase, New Line of Natural Anxiety Relievers

Screen Shot 2017-06-27 at 11.32.52 AMEver heard of ThunderShirt? It is a product made by a Durham, North Carolina company, ThunderWorks, that is proven to reduce anxiety in many dogs. Now ThunderWorks has introduced a product line that naturally relieves anxiety in dogs and cats called ThunderEase.

According to the company, ThunderEase replicates feline and canine pheromones — naturally providing a sense of comfort and security during a wide variety of stressful occasions and situations.

“Both dogs and cats emit natural pheromones to help them feel safe and communicate in their environments," said Phil Blizzard, CEO of ThunderWorks.  "For dogs and cats, mothers emit them during nursing. ThunderEase mimics those comforting pheromones and, in turn, provides a very natural solution to treating anxiety and many other behavioral problems in cats and dogs.”

Like ThunderWorks’ other products, ThunderEase is a drug-free and veterinary recommended solution. The pheromones are effective in treating uneasiness in a new home or environment, fear of loud noises like thunder or fireworks, urine spraying and scratching, stressed caused by change, multiple cat tension, anxiety when visiting a veterinarian office or while boarding, and much more.

The ThunderEase diffuser kits, refills and sprays are now available for dogs, online at and will soon be available at pet retailers across the country. ThunderEase Collars for dogs will be available this fall.

“ThunderEase has been proven to be over 90% effective for many anxiety cases ,” said Blizzard. “Pheromones are highly recommended by veterinarians as an alternative solution to treat fear, anxiety and stress in pets without the need for a costly prescription.”

July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 3.56.05 PM"National Pet Fire Safety Day" Tips to Keep Pets Safe from House Fires:

  • Extinguish Open Flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Pet Proof the Home - Take a walk around your home and look for areas where pets might start fires inadvertently, such as the stove knobs, loose wires and other potential hazards. 
  • Secure Young Pets - Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home.
  • Keep Pets Near Entrances – When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them. 
  • Practicing Escape Routes with Pets – Keep collars and leashes at the ready in case you have to evacuate quickly with your pet or firefighters need to rescue your pet.
  • Since Pets Left Alone Can’t Escape a Burning Home – Use monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center, providing an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
  • Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. This critical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets. You can obtain a free window cling by going to or at AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Days events. Details are available at
  • Keep Your Information Updated - Firefighters are familiar with pet alert window clings so keep the number of pets listed on them updated. Knowing the accurate number of pets in the house aids rescuers in finding all of your pets.

Top 4 July 4 Toxins for Dogs

ID-100223199According to the ASPCA, these are the top four toxins for dogs on July 4th:


Fireworks are divided into two categories, personal use and professional. Personal fireworks can be purchased by the general public while professional fireworks are restricted. Fireworks generally contain fuel, oxidizers, color producing compounds (often heavy metals), binders and reducing agents.

While fireworks have the potential to cause serious toxicity, most exposures to personal fireworks do not result in life-threatening signs. Common concerns with exposure to fireworks include gastrointestinal upset, corrosive injury, dermal burns and possible foreign body obstruction.

Heavy metal toxicity is more likely with larger exposures or exposures to professional fireworks.

Pool Chemicals

Pool chemicals can include chlorine tablets, muriatic acid and brominating tablets.

Exposure to pool products – once they have been diluted appropriately in the pool or spa – is generally not a serious concern. However, it is very different when pets get into the products directly.

Most often there is concern for gastrointestinal signs as well as potential for corrosive injury. Respiratory signs may be a problem if the exposure is in a confined area or the owner has been mixing chemicals inappropriately in a small, enclosed space. 

Lawn Products

Generally lawn products fall into three categories: herbicides, fertilizers and insecticides.

Casual exposures to yard products generally result in mild and self-limiting gastrointestinal upset. But what you want to watch out for is exposure to agricultural products (especially older ones), larger exposures to insecticides (particularly granular products) or exposures to older or foreign products.

You are more likely to run in to a nasty toxicity with older (particularly agricultural) or foreign products.


Grapes/raisins, onions and garlic, xylitol, macadamia nuts, chocolate, moldy food, avocados, cherry pits, alcohol: Summer festivities include a plethora of foods pets should not get into.

While there is not much new to share in this category, xylitol keeps popping up in unexpected places – the newest one is peanut butter. Make sure to  check those labels!

Image: Satit_srihin,

Pet Loss Support Groups in July

PupinframeAsheville, Wednesday, July 5: A pet loss support group meets at 6 PM on the first Wednesday of each month. Location: Jefferson House, 21 Edwin Place (next to the Unitarian Universalist church), Asheville. Donations accepted. Call (828) 254-6001 for additional information.

Waynesville, Wednesday, July 19: A pet loss support group meets from 6 to 7 PM on the third Wednesday of each month. Location: Kimball Counseling, 258 N. Main Street, Suite A, Waynesville. Donations accepted. Registration required. For additional information and to register, call Susan Kimball, LCSW, at (828) 226-7366.

Image: Whittaya Phonsawat,

Guide to Dog Ownership Costs

ID-100329003When it comes to owning a dog, you certainly can't put a price on the love and companionship a dog brings to your family. But just as with a human family member, there are costs involved in owning a pet. has put together a helpful, comprehensive and current guide to pet ownership costs. The guide covers the lifetime costs of a pet, including acquisition, medical, grooming, food, equipment, and training costs. The guide also discusses specific costs related to owning a dog, such as most and least expensive dog breeds, typical costs for health-related items including vaccines, flea treatments, and heartworm preventative, emergency medical care, pet insurance, tips for reducing the cost of pet ownership, and more.

Included with the guide is a handy free cost calculator so you can estimate dog ownership costs yourself.

Check out the guide here:

Image: Stuart Miles,

New Book Focuses on Disaster Preparedness for Pet Owners

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 3.25.24 PMWhether the wind blows, the ground shakes, the flames rise or snow and water fall from the skies, you must be prepared for your pet’s sake!” says Denise Fleck aka The Pet Safety Crusader™. “Disasters aren’t always on a regional scale. Power could go out on just your street or in only your building.  A tree could fall on your roof or a water pipe could break in your home alone.  Even without your neighbors being affected, your household of two-legged, four-legged, feathered, finned or scaled family members could be in distress.”

In her just released 9th book, “The Pet Safety Crusader’s My Pet & Me Guide to Disaster PAWparedness,” Fleck, who has personally instructed more than 12,000 humans in animal life-saving skills and millions more on national TV segments, lays out the steps your pets need you to know to be READY, REACT and then RECOVER.  “Training, supplies, a positive mental attitude and a plan can make all the difference,” she says.  In addition to preparedness tips for humans and their animal companions, the author provides templates for your family's emergency plan, what to have on hand and skills to possess, suggestions for specific disasters ranging from earthquakes, hurricanes and chemical disasters to tsunamis, power outages and civil unrest. The book concludes with a comprehensive manual covering basic first-aid – should the worst happen – for those who walk on two-legs, four paws or hooves, fly, swim or crawl.

Order the book below:

Two Handy Money-Saving Guides for Pet Owners has published two free, handy money-saving guides for pet owners: "The Budget-Friendly Guide to Caring for Your Pet" and "Understanding Pet Insurance."

"The Budget-Friendly Guide to Caring for Your Pet" has a wealth of information, covering the following topics:

  • Can you afford a pet?
  • Thirteen steps for saving on pet expenses
  • Resources: How to save money on pet care
  • How dog expenses vary by breed
  • Should I get pet insurance?
  • An emergency plan for your pet
  • How to protect your pet if something happens to you
  • End-of-life care for your pet

Find this guide here:

"Understanding Pet Insurance" offers the following helpful advice:

  • Who benefits from pet insurance
  • Compare popular pet insurance plans
  • Reasons for pet insurance
  • Understanding pet insurance coverage
  • How pet insurance works
  • Other ways to pay for pet care
  • Special circumstances
  • Expert pet insurance advice

Find this guide here:

Image: Jk1991,

Take a Hike with Your Dog!

PoochPathsjpgWith warmer weather coming, it's a perfect time to take a hike with your dog. That's why you might like to have a copy of Carolina Mountain Dog's eBook, “POOCH PATHS.” This handy eBook offers descriptions, links, directions, and even insider tips for more than thirty dog walks and hikes in the local area. You’ll find useful information about Asheville greenways, Bent Creek Forest trails, Blue Ridge Parkway trails, DuPont State Forest, Pisgah National Forest, and much more.
POOCH PATHS is available to you as a Carolina Mountain Dog reader for just 99 cents!

Read a free sample, and then purchase and download POOCH PATHS in any eBook format, including a PDF, here:
You're sure to find POOCH PATHS of value. Order your copy today!

"The Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Pets"

ID-10032214When you’re planning a trip, you have dozens of details to worry about. If you add a pet to the mix, those details may begin to feel overwhelming. Whether you’re traveling for pleasure or moving to a new place, that doesn’t mean you have to leave your dog behind.

A new free online guide published by can help. "The Ultimate Guide to Traveling with Pets" offers some tips to show you how to keep yourself and your pet calm and comfortable, no matter what distance or mode you travel. The guide includes helpful information about the following:

  • Prepare for your journey
  • Research the pet rules of your destination
  • Contact a specialist pet relocation company
  • Learn about your airlines' pet policy
  • Prepare for other modes of travel with your pet
  • Find pet-friendly accommodations
  • Schedule a pre-trip checkup with your veterinarian
  • Prepare your pet and pack the essentials
  • Watch your pet's diet
  • Plan for emergencies and the unexpected
  • Keep your pet calm and comfortable during the journey
  • Enlist in the latest pet resources

You can find the complete guide here:

Image: Dan,

What to Do When Pets are Left Behind

ID-100271616One sad and often unmentioned aspect of financial difficulties is the impact it has on a family pet. A large percentage of animals that wind up in animal shelters across the country are either strays or owner surrenders. Those animals are often the victims of financial hardship.

If you are faced with foreclosure or know someone else who is dealing with foreclosure, what do you do about the furry family member affected by this harsh reality? The website has published an objective, informative online guide to help answer that question. The guide covers:

  • Why homeowners abandon pets
  • Legal implications of foreclosed upon pets
  • Preventing abandonment of pets
  • Tips for homeowners facing foreclosure with pets
  • How to save abandoned pets
  • Adopt vs. buying a puppy
  • What is the best pet to adopt for my family?
  • Animal shelters and rescue groups

You can find this free guide here:

Image: Patrisyu,

Posana in Asheville Creates Menu for Dogs

ID-10055327Hooray for Posana, a restaurant at 1 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville. Recognizing that plenty of dog lovers dot the Asheville streets, Posana has not only welcomed dogs to their outdoor patio, the restaurant has also created a menu especially for culinary canines, according to a recent report in Mountain Xpress.

The menu was kicked off on March 7 in a nod to "Dine to be Kind," a fundraising event in which Posana, along with over sixty other local restaurants, contributed a portion of sales to Asheville Humane Society. Martha Pollay, co-owner of Posana, "worked really hard to find things that were pretty lean and good for dogs to eat," says Peter Pollay, co-owner and executive chef.

"Homemade biscuits, grilled Carolina Bison burgers, grilled Ashely Farms chicken breast, Brasstown Beef doggie meatloaf and a dessert dish of bacon soy doggie ice cream make up the canine menu," reports Mountain Xpress. "Prices range from $3-$8. All orders are served in dog dishes."

So next time you're in downtown Asheville with your doggie, remember that you'll find both a warm welcome and a special menu at Posana.

Image: Stuart Miles,


March 23 is National Puppy Day

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In honor of National Puppy Day, March 23, has published a useful infographic that discusses the benefits of pet adoption, considerations for choosing the right puppy, and puppy care tips for new parents. You'll find the infographic here: has all sorts of helpful articles for puppy owners or for anyone thinking of getting a puppy.

To learn more about National Puppy Day and to see puppy photos and videos, visit:


3 Baked Doggie Treats Perfect for a Mountain Hike

Guest Post by Joe Hughes, the Village Baker

3 Baked Doggy Treats The Carolina mountains are the perfect getaway during the spring and summer months. Beautiful wildflowers grow across the mountains, the Biltmore is teeming with tourists, and the Blue Ridge Mountains are waiting to be explored.

And who better to take with you on a hike or to the top of a mountain than your dog? A walk in nature is all many dogs need to overcome their behavioral problems: digging, chewing, fear of people, etc.

If your pet is afraid of people (mine is), a treat is a good tool to reinforce your dog's good behavior.

You can even bake a few delightful treats using your handy dandy bread maker.

1. Homemade Beef Dog Biscuits

Homemade dog biscuits are a great way to know what your dog is eating. You'll be able to make the same (or better) dog treats you find in the store right in the comfort of your own home. A few necessities before we get started are:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups wholemeal
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup instant oats
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 1 tsp. yeast

If you have a bread machine, you can add all the ingredients, starting with the water, and mix until a dough is formed. Sometimes, the humidity in the room will cause the dough to be too dry, and in this case, you'll want to add more water to the mixture.

Knead the dough until smooth and tender.

Roll the dough out, cut into shapes and allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes. You'll want to bake the biscuits for one hour at 325F. Do not give to your pup immediately. Allow the biscuits to cool overnight.

2. Peanut Butter and Parsley Treats

You've planned a trip to the dog park, and now your dog is getting all excited. You'll want to pack some water with you along with dog treats before heading out for the day. Peanut butter and parsley treats are a great option for your pup.

And they smell super good, too.

You'll want to make sure you understand how to bake at higher elevations before proceeding. Water boils faster at higher elevations because of the pressure.

Now, you'll need to grab a few essentials to get the ball rolling:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup quick rolled oats
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley

Preheat your oven to 300F and grease a few baking sheets or cover them in parchment paper before beginning.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, dried milk, salt, oats and parsley. Add in the eggs and peanut butter, mixing to combine the mixture. You'll have a crumbly consistency at this point. Now, add in the water, adding enough for the dough to come together.

Roll the dough to 1/4" thickness and cut into desired shapes.

Bake for 40 – 60 minutes, or until done.

Allow to cool for an hour before giving to your pet.

3. Chicken Dog Biscuits or Cookies

Dogs love chicken. One of the things I was told was to have a lot of treats available when my mother adopted a dog. A lot of seniors forget how energetic dogs can be, and this leads to dogs barking, chewing and crying.

A treat, or two, can help correct these issues pronto.

Chicken treats are my dog's favorite, and the treat I make is so simple. Place the following ingredients, in this order, into a bread machine:

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup dry milk powder (nonfat)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup instant oatmeal
  • 1 cup flour (all-purpose works well)
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 3 tbsp. Fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese

Select the dough option and hit start to begin mixing the dough. Allow to knead for 5 minutes before removing the dough. Dust your countertop with flour and allow the dough to sit for 15 minutes.

Roll the dough to 1/2" thickness and cut into the desired shape.

Bake for 45 minutes at 250F on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.

Let cool before serving.

You can also rip off clumps of dough and shape them into balls, bones or any other shape. I promise, your dog won't care what shape the treat is.

Joe Hughes, known by most as the Village Baker, is an expert in homestyle cooking techniques, with a primary interest in baking. He runs the very popular website,, which provides the latest homestyle cooking news, techniques, tricks, and recipes. He can be reached at

Image: Pixabay

Tips for Seniors on Adopting a Pet

Guest Post by Jennifer McGregor

ID-10044405A furry friend can provide incredible companionship, especially for empty nesters or widow(er)s. Studies have shown that pets help with depression, can help battle the side effects of dementia, and of course give their owners a sense of responsibility and purpose. Although it’s often recommended for seniors to consider adopting a pet, special considerations need to be addressed first. After all, some pets can be very demanding and high energy—which can be too much of a responsibility for some seniors.

First, consider what kind of pet and breed matches your needs, goals, personality and lifestyle. There are dog breeds best suited for seniors because of their relatively low energy level, low demands, and size. Seniors may want to steer clear of breeds like Huskies which are very high-energy, large in size, and demand an owner who can accommodate their need to run and play.

Cats are generally less demanding than dogs and easier to manage, but even within cat breeds there’s a wide range of personalities. Some seniors want the most affectionate of lap cats who are happy purring away at your side all day, while other owners-to-be are looking for a more independent breed.

There are also exotic and unique pets such as birds, reptiles and even livestock depending on your ability, available space and housing restrictions. Choose your potential pets based on how well they match you, not on their cuteness or immediate availability. Although shelter pets can often be a great choice and are of course in need of a home, make sure their breed characteristics and medical history have been determined first. Some shelters are better at this than others.

Helping Pets Settle

It can take pets awhile to adjust to any new home. Signs of moving-related stress that are often completely normal include anxiety, “acting out,” vomiting and crying. However, these might also be signs of a more serious condition. Adopting a healthy pet is a must for any owner, but especially seniors who might not have the energy or finances to handle a pet in need of immediate veterinary care.

Empathy is paramount to helping new pets settle. What would you want if you were put in a new home without any information? Safety, security, and an easing into the new environment. Don’t push pets to be social faster than they’re ready. Establish routines including mealtimes, where their meals are, where their litter box is or where they ask to go outside to relieve themselves, and offer a small, safe and comfortable space that’s their very own. For many pets, this might be a crate with the door left open.

Pet-Proof Your Home

If it’s been awhile since you’ve shared your home with a pet, you may have forgotten how curious and adventurous they can be. Keep any potential poisonous items in a high or closed cupboard out of their reach. Research which regular household items might be poisonous to a pet but not to you (such as chocolate for dogs and poinsettias for cats). Remove any breakable items that a pet might accidentally knock over—or knock over on purpose! Cats especially are renowned for taking joy in those crashing sounds.

Most importantly, make sure you research a vet and establish a relationship early. Get your new pet into the habit of seeing the vet not just for stressful appointments, but fun ones, too. Many vets offer free or low-cost “sessions” to check weight or blood pressure, simply to get your pet used to traveling to the vet.

Adopting a pet can be a fantastic addition to your golden years. Plus, there are many older pets that are in need of a home and aren’t considered as “adoptable” as their younger friends. However, older pets are often lower energy, already have good habits established, and may have a long history of good health.

Choose your pet wisely, prep your home, and get yourself ready for introducing a new friend to your environment. Soon enough, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.

Jennifer McGregor is a pre-med student who loves providing reliable health and medical resources.

Image: Ambro,