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February 2013

January 2013

Free Leash Training Session-Asheville, Feb. 2

DogonleashIs your dog friendly towards dogs off-leash, but becomes a wild, reactive beast when restrained? Then this help session is for you!

Pet Behavior Aid presents "GGRRR!" -- a leash reactive dog help session -- on Saturday, February 2 from 9 to 10:30 AM. It will be held at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption & Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (behind Harmony Motors, off Brevard and Pond Roads, near the Farmers Market).

Topics include:

  • How to read your dog's signals before he or she erupts
  • Management tools and ideas to reduce reactivity
  • Helpful behaviors to teach your feisty fido
  • How to set up for successful dog greetings

This help session is open to the public and free of charge, but donations will be accepted. The event is for humans only and no registration is required. 

For more information, visit www.petbehavioraid.org, email info@petbehavioraid.org, or call (828) 707-0644.

Image: Quinn Dombrowski, Flickr


Keep Your Dog Warm in the Winter

By Rachel Morris for Exceptional Canine

Keep Your Dog Warm in the Winter

When the weather outside gets frightful, it's a must to make sure your dog stays safe and warm. Your pet is unlikely to whine about the wind chill, so it’s up to you to keep an eye on the conditions and decide when it’s time to come inside and warm up. Use these tips to help keep your dog toasty on the coldest days.

Pay attention to the mercury Down coats, chunky scarves, wooly hats and thick gloves make it easy to forget what the temperature actually reads, but remember that your dog is only sporting what nature gave him, and for many dogs it’s not always enough. “Dogs who have a second layer of hair, such as Huskies and Newfoundlands, can withstand cold conditions, but most breeds don’t have this additional layer of insulation,” says Douglas Aspros, DVM, President of the American Veterinary Medical Association. If your dog lacks this additional warmth, Aspros says to be careful when the temp dips below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s a wet or exceptionally windy day, consider shortening your daily walk, or skipping it altogether and only venturing outdoors for bathroom breaks.

Size up your dog Smaller breeds have a higher surface area to body mass ratio compared to their larger dog park pals, which means they radiate heater faster. If your pup is on the petite side, a dog jacket can help provide protection from the wind and cold. Older dogs with arthritis—whether large or small—should be watched carefully too, since the cold can aggravate the condition and make their joints even stiffer. Bottom line: Pay attention to your pet.  If she’s reluctant to go outside on a winter day, it’s probably a sign that she’s not ready to handle the weather.

Feed wisely If your pet’s outdoor time isn’t cut short during the winter, he’ll need more energy to stay warm, so talk to your veterinarian about upping how much food you give him. However, most dogs tend to spend more time indoors during the winter. Be careful not to overfeed your dog if he gets less exercise during the colder months to ensure that he is at a healthy weight come springtime.

Watch the ground Dog booties don’t just look adorable; they can also be a big help on frozen surfaces. While they won’t do much to keep your dog’s paws warm, they will protect him from irritants such as sharp crusty snow and ice that can cut up his pads. If you choose not to purchase booties for your dog, Aspros recommends attempting to avoid these icy areas during your walks and checking your dog’s paws after he comes inside to make sure they aren’t injured. And don’t worry about him getting cold feet: Thanks to their unique circulation system, dogs’ paws are naturally equipped to handle frigid temperatures, according to a 2012 study in the journal Veterinary Dermatology.

Sleep soundly Your dog will probably scout out a warm spot to curl up indoors, whether it’s in front of the fireplace or in a sunny patch on the floor, but be sure that his bed is also located somewhere away from drafts. If you have hardwood or tile floors, consider throwing an extra blanket on there to give him more protection from the chilly surface. And when in doubt, an extra snuggle session will warm you both up, no mater how frosty it is outside.

Rachel Morris is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, NY, and fervent photographer of her 1-year-old dog, Ridge.


Rabies and Shot Clinic, Asheville, Weaverville-Jan. 26

Dog_being_vaccinatedNeed to get your dog vaccinated? Come to a low-cost shot clinic on Saturday, January 26 at the following times and locations:

9 AM to 12 PM: Tractor Supply, Old Brevard Road, Asheville

1 PM to 3 PM: Tractor Supply, Monticello Road, Weaverville

1 and 3-year rabies shots are just $10. (You must have a prior certificate to get a 3-year vaccine.) DHLPP or DHPP is $15 and Bordetella (kennel cough) is $15. FVRCP/FELV combo for cats is $20. This service is provided by James Boatwright, DVM. For more information, call 828-553-5792.


Stop the Barking-Asheville, Jan. 26

ScreenHunter_03 Jan. 13 16.13Pet Behavior Aid will hold a free session to help dog owners deal with barking. If you tried everything you know to do do to stop your dog from barking so much, then this session is for you. Learn the different types of barks, what they mean, and creative ways to stop the barking.

The session will be held on Saturday, January 26 from 10 to 11 AM at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption & Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (behind Harmony Motors, off Brevard and Pond Roads, near the Farmers Market).

For more information, visit www.petbehavioraid.org or call (828) 707-0644. This session is sponsored by Pet Behavior Aid, an organization dedicated to to increasing the retention of companion animals in their homes in Western North Carolina.


Art for Animals - Jan. 25, 26, Asheville

ArtforAnimalsCartoonArt for Animals is a unique exhibition -- a collection of artwork by local artists who have generously donated their talent to benefit homeless animals. This exhibit will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday, January 25 and 25, from 10 AM to 6 PM at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville. The Adoption Center is located off Brevard and Pond Roads, behind Harmony Motors near the WNC Farmers Market.

The Art for Animals exhibit is generously sponsored by Harmony Motors. For more information visit www.ashevillehumane.org.

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Free Housetraining Session-Asheville, Jan. 19

ScreenHunter_02 May. 23 15.15Pet Behavior Aid is offering "Housetraining 101," a free one hour housetraining help session, on Saturday, January 19 from 10 to 11 AM. The session will be conducted at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption and Education Center at 14 Forever Friend Lane in Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads, behind Harmony Motors, near the WNC Farmers Market).

Topics include:

  • How to teach your dog when and where to eliminate
  • Housetraining schedules
  • Management options including crate training
  • Proper accident cleanup
  • Troubleshooting

The help session is free and open to the public, but donations are accepted and appreciated. Humans only, please.

For more information, visit: www.petbehavioraid.org, email info@petbehavioraid.org, or call (828) 707-0644.


Free Puppy Social-Asheville, Jan. 19

ID-10036262Your puppy needs socialization with other dogs to develop into a healthy, balanced pet. Join other puppy owners at a puppy social on Saturday, January 19 from 9 to 10 AM, at Asheville Humane Society's Adooption and Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Pond and Brevard Roads near the WNC Farmers Market).

Mingle with other puppy parents and get your training questions answered by certified trainers while your puppy romps with other pups and meets new and different people and things. Doggie treat bag and human treats provided for all participants.

Requirements:
- Ages 9-20 weeks of age
- Puppies must be healthy
- Must be in home at least 10 days prior to coming to social
- Must have at least 2 sets of vaccinations
(copy of vet records required)
- Rabies vaccine is required (16 weeks and older)

This is a FREE family friendly event, but space is limited! Reserve your puppy’s spot today. Call (828) 707-0644 or email  info@petbehavioraid.org to make a reservation. For more information visitwww.petbehavioraid.org

Image: nixxphotography / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Free Leash Training Session-Asheville, Jan. 17

DogonleashIs your dog friendly towards dogs off-leash, but becomes a wild, reactive beast when restrained? Then this help session is for you!

Pet Behavior Aid presents "GGRRR!" -- a leash reactive dog help session -- on Thursday, Jan. 17 from 7 to 8:30 PM. It will be held at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption & Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (behind Harmony Motors, off Brevard and Pond Roads, near the Farmers Market).

Topics include:

  • How to read your dog's signals before he or she erupts
  • Management tools and ideas to reduce reactivity
  • Helpful behaviors to teach your feisty fido
  • How to set up for successful dog greetings

This help session is open to the public and free of charge, but donations will be accepted. The event is for humans only and no registration is required. 

For more information, visit www.petbehavioraid.org, email info@petbehavioraid.org, or call (828) 707-0644.

Image: Quinn Dombrowski, Flickr


BARK! The Musical - Photo Contest - Jan. 12, 13, Asheville

ScreenHunter_10 Jan. 03 16.58Is your dog a star? The critically acclaimed BARK! The Musical is coming to Asheville from February 15 through March 10 at Asheville Community Theatre. Your dog can be part of the fun!

On Saturday and Sunday, January 12 and 13, from 12 to 3 PM, come on over to the Asheville Humane Society Adoption Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville. Have your doggie's portrait taken by one of Asheville's finest photographers who will be donating their services. Celebrity judges will choose twenty winning dogs to have their photos mounted in the theatre lobby during BARK! The Musical. All entrants receive a digital photo of their dogs via email.

The grand award winning dog will have his or her photo featured on a five foot BARK! poster at the theatre. The owner of the grand award winner will receive four tickets to opening night of BARK! and be named on the poster as well!

Cost to participate is $15 per dog. Your donation will benefit Animal Compassion Network, Asheville Humane Society, and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue equally.


What to Do if Your Dog Won't Eat

By the Editors of Exceptional Canine for Exceptional Canine

Dog Won’t Eat? Manage His Feeding Issues

Super-skinny models might have food issues. So do the majority of children under the age of 4. Then, there’s your brother who hasn’t tasted a carbohydrate since 2001. He definitely has issues. But what if your dog won’t eat?

Your dog might be finicky. Or perhaps he possesses the appetite of a lumberjack. Wherever the problems lie, take heart. You can help your dog eat a nutritionally sound diet -- without the aid of a high-priced doggie psychologist or canine chef.

What Your Dog Needs
Before we tackle idiosyncrasies, let’s step back and look at good dog nutrition. All dogs need a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates like those found in high-quality pet foods. Feed your dog according to its size, breed and stage of life.

Feeding the Dog That Won’t Eat
If your dog sniffs its bowl then rejects all but a few bites, analyze your dog’s behavior. Like kids, dogs will eat when they’re hungry. A few things could be happening:

  • Too many snacks Is your dog fed people food or extra dog treats that suppress his appetite? Feeding table scraps is a no-no, and too many treats can dull your dog’s appetite for the nutritious food he needs.

  • Illness Neither people nor canines eat if they’re ill. Make note of whether or not your dog is pooping regularly and playing normally. Recording such information in a notebook could help you and your vet determine a pattern and thus lead to a diagnosis. “Some dogs actually have a dental problem, and it’s painful to eat,” says Dr. Bruce Silverman of Village West Veterinary in Chicago. “These dogs need this problem addressed at the vet’s office before they can go back to their food dish and eat without discomfort.”

  • Overfeeding Your dog might be eating all it needs and leaving the rest alone. Check to make sure your portions are on target.
  • Yucky food Cheaper dog food brands might be made with low-quality ingredients that may not suit your dog’s palate -- or his body. Your dog might not like the taste or likely has difficulty digesting it. “Some dogs are just picky eaters because they don’t love the food in front of them,” says Silverman. “If you haven’t experimented with different-quality diets, perhaps it’s a good time to do so.”

Feeding the Dog With a Big Appetite
We know Irish Wolfhounds that can pack it away -- and Miniature Schnauzers that can keep up with them. If your dog seems truly hungry (you’ll know if he inhales supper in five minutes flat then begs you for more) there could be a reason:

  • Food quality Is your dog getting the right kind of nutrition to feel satiated?

  • Adequate portions Are you feeding your dog enough? If you’ve recently taken up cross-country skiing and your dog joins you in the adventure, he is burning more calories. Take a look at the feeding guidelines on the package or consult with your veterinarian.
  • Water Like people, dogs often eat when they’re actually thirsty. Make sure your dog’s water bowl is clean and contains fresh water at all times.

Silverman recommends training exercises with treats before mealtime (you can use the same kibble you use for food), both for dogs that won’t eat and dogs that overeat. “It gets dogs in the mood for eating, they respond better to the training exercises, and some of their appetite is satiated before they dive into the food dish,” he explains.

Photo: @iStockphoto.com/Jolka100


Free Fearful Dog Session-Asheville, Jan. 10

Be Brave

Pet Behavior Aid will hold a free information session, "Be Brave!," for owners of fearful dogs on Thursday, January 10, from 5:30 to 6:30  PM.

Topics include how to help your dog gain confidence, learning how to understand signs of anxiety and when to step in, how to prevent fear from becoming aggression, and fundamental techniques to help your "wallflower" blossom. The session will be held at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption and Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane (off Brevard and Pond Roads, behind Harmony Motors) in Asheville. Humans only, please.

For more information, visit www.petbehavioraid.org or call (828) 707-0644. This session is sponsored by Pet Behavior Aid, an organization dedicated to to increasing the retention of companion animals in their homes in Western North Carolina.

Photo credit: Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Stop Your Dog from Inappropriate Sniffing

By the Editors of Exceptional Canine for Exceptional Canine

Stop Inappropriate Dog-sniffing

You’re an oncologist in the year 2050, ready to call on a critical tool to determine whether or not your patient has cancer.

Sure, you could subject the individual to a battery of invasive and expensive tests, but it might be simpler to call upon your hospital’s team of German Shepherds to help sniff out an answer. That’s right: Scientists expect that canines will someday be able to detect prostate cancer from smelling a urine sample.

In fact, dogs may already have the capacity; we humans have only to figure out how to get them to identify what it is that they smell. Such remarkable feats can be traced to receptors in your dog’s nose, which is between 10,000 and 100,000 times keener than your own.

This is why your pet knows when you’ve had a bad day at work. She can literally smell the bitter hormone secretions on your body -- and can smell that mustard you had on your cheeseburger for lunch. But that’s not all.

Scientists are discovering new ways to put dogs’ powers of odor detection to work, often in uses that benefit their human companions. For instance, dogs have been trained to detect when their human friends are about to lapse into a diabetic coma, as well as when a person with a fainting disorder is about to faint.

A Nose for News
Your dog uses her sense of smell to understand the world around her. That’s why she can’t stop sniffing. Your jog in the park with your dog presents dozens of points of information indicating the physical and emotional well-being of your dog’s doggie pals, as well as the people who live with them. It tells her what flowers are about to sprout --even the types of pests nibbling on their delicate stems.

Stop Inappropriate Dog-sniffing
Although such an organ is downright miraculous, there are times when you might want to keep your dog from sniffing. After all, many of us have suffered embarrassment when our dog sniffed another person a bit too, um, personally. Or we’ve experienced that inquisitive nose ourselves.

You can help channel your dog’s sniffing in positive ways. Try these alternatives:

1.    Give your dog some exercise prior to any event so she’ll be tuckered out and her nose will be sated.

2.    If you’re expecting to meet a new person or be in a situation in which your dog is inclined to sniff, offer a diversion in the form of a treat or a hand-clap, or rein in her leash.

3.    Crate-train your dog so she’ll willingly stay out of the way during a social event. Learn how to crate-train here.

4.    Hide kibble in food-containing toys around your house and have your dog sniff out her dinner.

5.    Exceptional Canine’s resident trainer, Stacy Braslau-Schneck, recommends scattering your dog’s kibble in the backyard grass. Working to find the kibble exercises your dog’s nose, provides some physical exertion, and keeps your dog mentally engaged.

6.    Take nose-friendly walks, allowing your dog to take a leisurely sniff around the neighborhood.

7.    Offer new, interesting scents to help satiate that curious nose. If you’ve been to the beach or to a zoo, let your dog sniff your shoes or pant legs.

Your dog’s nose is an incredible tool, and you’ll likely find watching her use it just as interesting as she finds all the things she sniffs.

Photo: @iStockphoto.com/stone18


How About a New Year's Hike with Shelter Dogs?

RetrieverOne of the most popular Asheville Humane Society volunteer activities is the "Hiking Hounds" program. Two Sunday mornings each month, volunteers take shelter dogs on hikes as part of the enrichment programming. You'll spend a few hours in Bent Creek hiking the trails with dogs who will love you for it.

For January, the Hiking Hounds dates are Sunday, January 6 and Sunday, January 27. Start time is 9:30 AM for new hikers and 10 AM for repeat hikers.

New and repeat hikers alike are required to sign up in advance. For more information about Hiking Hounds and to apply, please e-mail ahshikinghounds@yahoo.com

Image courtesy of James Barker / FreeDigitalPhotos.net