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April 2013

March 2013

How Much Do We Love Our Pets?

WomananddogYour love for your dog? Priceless.

But what we pay to take care of our dogs -- and how many dogs we own -- is enough to make you bark out loud. Here are some recent statistics about dog ownership from the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association National Pet Owners Survey:

  • Owners of all types of domestic pets in the U.S. spent over $50 billion last year.
  • Pet owners spent $19 billion on pet food last year.
  •  Pet owners spent $25 billion on vet care and animal medical supplies, and dogs visited their vets twice as often as men ages 18 - 45 visit their own doctors.
  • Pet owners spent $5 billion on holiday gifts for their pets.
  • 73 million households own at least one pet (about 63 percent of all American households), and 39 percent of households have one or more dogs, equaling a total of around 78 million dogs.
  • 42 percent of Americans let their dogs sleep with them.
  • Dog owners live up to three years longer than the average American.
  • About 1.4 million people take their dogs to work with them more than once a month.

Image courtesy of graur razvan ionut /

Youth Easter Party - Asheville, March 30

ScreenHunter_01 Mar. 20 17.21Asheville Humane Society is hosting a Youth Easter Party on Saturday, March 30 from 2 to 4 PM. Activities will include an Easter egg hunt, face painting, fancy nail painting, cupcake decorating, crafts, guessing games, puppy and kitten playtime, and a visit from the Easter Bunny. The cost is $10 per child (3 and under free), with proceeds to benefit the homeless animals of Buncombe County.

The Youth Easter Party will be held at the Adoption and Education Center, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads, behind Harmony Motors, near the WNC Farmers Market). For more information, visit

Trivia Night on April 6 Helps Animal Foster Program

ScreenHunter_02 Mar. 14 12.56Join fellow animal lovers and trivia enthusiasts on Saturday, April 6 for an exhilarating evening filled with laughter, love and good-natured competition! Tables comprised of 8 people will compete for cash prizes and the coveted title of Asheville Humane Society's Smartest Life-saving Team. The evening also includes tantalizing auction items, a wine grab bag, and more at the new Asheville Event Centre. 100% of proceeds raised will go to medicine, food, and supplies for the Humane Society's Foster Program.

Doors open at 6:30 PM at the Asheville Event Centre, 991 Sweeten Creek Road in Ashevillle, and the trivia competition begins promptly at 7:15 PM. Beer, wine and soda will be available for purchase, as well as a vegetarian dinner. Free popcorn for all!

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit:

Free Stop the Barking Session-Asheville, March 23

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, March 23 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). Humans only, please.

For more information, visit 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.

NC "In-District" Humane Lobby Day-April 5

ScreenHunter_01 Mar. 19 16.08The following information about NC In-District Humane Lobby Day to be held on Friday, April 5 is provided by the ASPCA:

In honor of Puppy Mill Awareness Day on April 5, be a voice for animals during North Carolina In-District Humane Lobby Day! In-district lobbying is the perfect way for you to get to know the animal advocates in your area and the lawmakers who represent you.

This is an opportunity to speak for animals in your very own home district. No need to drive to the state capitol in Raleigh! Most legislators are at home in their districts on Fridays.

Sound complicated? Its not! We will help you meet up with other animal advocates and talk with legislators in 5 simple steps. The hour you take out of your day on Friday, April 5, will help thousands of animals across the state.

North Carolina's animal advocates are organized, constructive and unstoppable. Let's show our legislators what we can do!

North Carolina In-District Humane Lobby Day

Step 1: Locate your state legislators' information by entering your residential address on the North Carolina General Assembly website: 
Make note of your district number.

Step 2: Email your House district number, your Senate district number and your name to grassroots@aspca.orgThis step needs to be done before MARCH 27.

Step 3: You will receive materials through email that are customized to your district which you should print and bring with you. You will also receive the names of all the animal advocates who responded in your district so you can coordinate your visits as a group.

Step 4: Designate one person to call and schedule the appointments with your legislators. This may be a meeting at a coffee shop, legislator's place of business or home office, or another public place. If they are not available for a meeting, that is okay. Dropping off materials or scheduling for another time is fine! The goal is for you to make contact.

Step 5: Enjoy your meeting! Legislators care about their constituents, and most of them love animals. Show the pictures and information in your packet and tell them why you think we need to stop puppy mills in North Carolina. The meeting will be quick, and you if are not comfortable speaking, designate one of your fellow animal advocates to do the talking.

Be sure to make note of legislators' questions or concerns. If you don't have the answers, just let us know and we will help you report back later.

Free Puppy Social-Asheville, March 23

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, March 23 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.

- 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 to make a reservation. For more information

Image: nixxphotography /

Free Fearful Dog Session-Asheville, March 20

Be Brave

Pet Behavior Aid will hold a free information session, "Be Brave!," for owners of fearful dogs on Wednesday, March 20, from 6 to 8 PM. The session will be held at Pet Harmony, 803 Fairview Street (off Hendersonville Road), Asheville. Humans only, please.

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. 

For more information, visit 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 /

$17 Adoptions at "St. Catrick's Day" - March 15, 16

ScreenHunter_01 Mar. 14 12.39Time to add a little leprechaun to the family? Feeling just a bit lucky?

Then head on over to celebrate "St. Catrick's Day" at the Asheville Humane Society Adoption Center! On Friday, March 15 and Saturday, March 16, every adult animal (dogs and cats) will be available for the low adoption fee of $17 each for 17 hours (10 AM to 7 PM on Friday and 10 AM to 6 PM on Saturday).

Check out all the great animals at, and then stop by Friday or Saturday to pick out the love of your life. The Adoption Center is located at 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville (off Brevard and Pond Roads, behind Harmony Motors Volkswagen/Audi.)

Image: Asheville Humane Society

Party for the Pets - Asheville, March 18

ScreenHunter_01 Feb. 21 10.16 ScreenHunter_02 Feb. 21 10.17BMW of Asheville and 131 Main in Biltmore Park are hosting a "Party for the Pets" on Monday, March 18 from 5 to 7:30 PM at 131 Main restaurant (next door to the Biltmore Grande cinema) in Biltmore Park.

For just $10 per person, guests will enjoy an appetizer bar, 1/2 price bottles of wine, special drinks, and music by classical guitarist Gerard Bajek.

The event benefits the homeless animals of Buncombe County with all proceeds going to Asheville Humane Society. For more information, call Joey at (828) 681-9902.

Free Housetraining Session-Leicester, March 14

ScreenHunter_02 May. 23 15.15Pet Behavior Aid is offering "Housetraining 101," a free one hour housetraining help session, on Thursday, March 14 from 6:30 - 7:30 PM. The session will be conducted at The TailGait Market, 328 New Leicester Highway, #142, Leicester.

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:, email, or call (828) 707-0644.

How to Prevent 5 Common Dog Illnesses

By Kim Boatman for The Dog Daily

How to Prevent 5 Common Dog Illnesses

A few simple steps on your part could mean more years of happy times with your dog. You are likely your dog’s primary health advocate, playing a critical role in your pet’s continued good health and long life.

Too often, illnesses and injuries that affect a dog’s health and even shorten its lifespan are easily preventable, say the experts. Yet it needn’t take great effort on your part to avoid these canine health problems. “That’s how most of life is,” says Dr. Tracy Dewhirst, a Knoxville, Tenn., veterinarian who writes regularly for The Knoxville News-Sentinel and Exceptional Canine. “We find ourselves in these predicaments sometimes when we could have easily done the right thing. Most of the common dog diseases can be avoided.”

Helping to Prevent Dog Illnesses

You can hopefully look forward to a number of years filled with games of fetch, rambles on the beach and other pleasures of dog companionship if you work to prevent these health problems, say Dewhirst and other veterinarians.

“Heartworm tops the list,” says Dr. Duffy Jones, owner of Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital in Atlanta. The heartworm is a parasite spread through the bite of mosquitoes. Heartworm disease, which affects the lungs and sometimes the heart, can be fatal if untreated. “Heartworm is such a devastating disease, and it can almost be totally prevented,” says Jones. Consistently administer a monthly preventative, such as Revolution, to protect your pooch, he advises. In the past, dog owners in cold-weather areas might not administer prevention during winter months. However, the disease is spreading, and it’s critical to treat your dog year-round. “Get the monthly Revolution and don’t worry about it,” he says.

GI Upset
Your dog’s upset tummy is likely preventable, according to Dr. Katy J. Nelson, a veterinarian who hosts a local pet show on a Washington, D.C., TV station. “Pets’ GI tracts are not equipped to handle all sorts of different protein and carbohydrate sources as ours are,” explains Nelson. “We routinely eat high-fat, high-protein or sugar-loaded foods, though they might not be the healthiest options. Our pets, however, are accustomed to a more controlled diet.” Even the smallest morsels of people food can lead to anything from diarrhea to pancreatitis in your dog. Limit your dog’s diet to canine food.


Nelson considers this debilitating illness to be the No. 1 preventable disease in veterinary medicine. “Obesity is the predisposing factor to this awful disease, and the way to avoid it is to keep your pets slim and trim,” she says. Practice portion control as you feed your dog, and provide regular exercise. Diabetes can lead to multiple health problems for your dog, such as heart and kidney problems. “Weight is a big thing that contributes to disease, and it’s one of the things that owners can directly have some control over,” advises Dewhirst.

Dental Disease

Your dog’s dental health has implications throughout its body, notes Nelson. “Dental disease has been linked to heart disease, kidney and liver disease and even some cancers,” she says. Brush your dog’s teeth regularly, and ask your veterinarian for advice if you’ve never done this before. Regular veterinary exams will let you know when your dog’s teeth need cleaning.

Injuries and Trauma

Too many emergency veterinary visits could be avoided, says Dewhirst. Make sure fencing is secure if your dog spends time outdoors, and use a restraint, such as a leash, on outings. Dewhirst sees many traumas caused by dogs being bitten by other animals or injured while chasing cars. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight will help prevent injuries, says Nelson. Don’t engage in bursts of activity (e.g., weekend warrior outings), but look for steady, frequent exercise opportunities.

Take practical steps to prevent illness, and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come, says Dewhirst. “Your dog will live into its geriatric years very healthy, mobile and happy.”

Kim Boatman is a journalist based in Northern California. She is also the managing editor of Boatman's work has appeared in The Miami Herald, the Detroit Free Press and the San Jose Mercury News. She is a lifelong lover of animals, and a frequent contributor to The Dog Daily

Run for the Paws - April 7, Fletcher, NC

ScreenHunter_01 Feb. 12 11.29Brother Wolf Animal Rescue will hold the 4th Annual Run for the Paws 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk on Sunday, April 7th at Fletcher Park in Fletcher, NC. The run/walk will begin at 1:30pm, with a free Wagging Wellness Fair for pets and people featuring awards, live music, and tasty food for purchase, going on from 1:30 to 4:30pm.

There will be plenty of events for the dogs too! In addition to doggie games and nail trims, furry attendees will get to check out all kinds of items at the pet vendor expo, showcasing the many goods and services available to pet parents in the Asheville area.

Registration is $25 through March 31, and $30 from April 1 through April 5. Fee includes entry, race t-shirt, and light refreshments. Packet pickup will be on Saturday, April 6th from 1-7pm at the Brother Wolf Animal Rescue ReTail Store, located at 38 Glendale Avenue in Asheville, just across the street from the Adoption Center.

More information is available here.

New Pet Bereavement Support Group

Man and dogA pet bereavement support group has been started by Four Seasons. The group will meet the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month beginning March 7, 2013 at:

Grace Lutheran Church, Educational Building, Room 221
1245 Sixth Avenue West (corner of Hwy 64 and Blythe Street)
Hendersonville, NC

There is no charge to attend these sessions but registration is requested. For more information, call Clarke Poole at 828-458-9391 or email:

In addition to this support group, the following Pet Honoring services are available from L. Leigh Meriweather, a local Ceremonial Honorist and Reiki Master Teacher:

  • Grief Healing sessions, using a combination of energy work, spritial counseling and animal communication to facilitate healing
  • Pet Honoring Ceremony Kits, so people and families can hold their own Pet Memorial
  • Customized Audio Pet Honoring Ceremony, customized for your pet
  • United Pet Honoring Ceremony, held a few times a year at no charge. The next Ceremony is June 9th to coincide with World Pet Day.

For more information about Leigh and her services, visit

Image courtesy of Vlado /

Coping with the Loss of a Dog

By Rose Springer for The Dog Daily

Coping With the Loss of a Dog

Dealing with the death of a dog is difficult for any owner -- no matter the age of your pet. Dr. Trisha Joyce of New York City Veterinary Specialists, and Dr. Wallace Sife, clinical psychologist and founder of the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB), offer advice on managing the end, grieving and moving on.

End-of-life Decision-making
While a small percentage of dogs may die peacefully at home at a very old age, most pet owners will at some point be faced with the decision to end their dog’s suffering with a medical intervention. “Sometimes it’s an uncomplicated decision -- say an animal stops making red blood cells,” says Joyce. “But just as often it’s a slow process, like cancer. The dog still has a good day every once in awhile.” In the latter situation, Joyce recommends the following:

  • Make a list of the things your dog enjoys, like chasing a ball or spending relaxed time with the family. Consider whether any of these activities are still an option.
  • Give yourself an objective measure -- a point at which you will let the pet go. For example, “Once my dog has not eaten for three days in a row, I will put him down.”
  • Seek guidance from your veterinarian and pet owners who have had to make that difficult decision. The APLB’s website offers chat rooms that address the topic.

“Owners will say to me ‘I can’t kill my dog,’ but that’s not what euthanizing is,” says Joyce. “I think of it as releasing the animal. It’s the last and most selfless decision we make for a pet we have cherished and cared for.”

Memorializing a Beloved Dog
Deciding how to mark a dog’s passing is a very personal decision. Some pet owners choose the formality of a proper funeral in a pet cemetery, while others cremate and scatter their pet’s ashes. Many veterinary hospitals offer to make a clay imprint of a dog’s paw as a keepsake.

Sife suggests making a contribution to an animal group in your pet’s name, planting a tree in its honor, volunteering with shelter animals, or setting up a memorial on the APLB’s website. “We’ll light a candle for the dog each year on the anniversary of its death,” he says.

Coping in the Aftermath
Everyone deals with loss differently, though dog owners can expect to go through the same stages of grief as anyone who’s experienced the loss of a loved one. Sife suggests reading one of the many books on the topic, including his own, The Loss of a Pet. “The pain is unavoidable, but a book can help to normalize the experience,” he says.

Most important may simply be allowing yourself to grieve. “It can be hard because society doesn’t allow public grieving as much with pets. People feel less comfortable saying ‘I’m going to take a day off of work because I just put my dog to sleep,’ but it’s legitimate,” says Joyce. She adds that some of her clients have found support groups for people who find they need more comfort than they are getting from friends.

Adopting a New Companion
While a pet can never be replaced, at some point many dog lovers may want to bring home a new pet. Sife advises against getting a look-alike. “That may be a way of refusing to accept the loss,” he says. Joyce also advises waiting until the raw part has passed.

Both Joyce and Sife recommend adopting a shelter dog from a local shelter. Saving the life of a dog without a home can be one more way to honor the memory of a best friend that’s passed.

Rose Springer is a New York City-based freelance writer and frequent contributor to The Dog Daily. She has been writing about pets for a decade.

Free Leash Training Session-Asheville, March 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, March 2 from 1 to 2:30 PM. It will be held at Patton Avenue Pet Company, 1388 Patton Avenue, Asheville.

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, email, or call (828) 707-0644.

Image: Quinn Dombrowski, Flickr

Protect Our Puppies

ScreenHunter_01 Feb. 14 12.32Protect Our Puppies is a coalition of animal working groups working against the cruelty associated with puppy mills in North Carolina.

Unfortunately, North Carolina is a puppy mill state. What is a puppy mill? It is a large-scale dog breeder operation that cares more about profits than the dog's welfare. Dogs live in dirty wire cages, frequently with no access to food, water or vet care. Protect Our Puppies is working to be sure that North Carolina laws reflect our values and rid North Carolina of puppy mills.

To support Protect Our Puppies, you can sign their petition. You can also make a donation through North Carolina Voters for Animal Welfare.

For more information, visit: