Dog Research

COVID-19 Canine Scent Detection Study Launched in U.S.

The following is news from "Penn Today," published by the University of Pennsylvania, dated May 1, 2020.

Screen Shot 2020-05-27 at 2.10.58 PMA pilot training program utilizing scent detection dogs to discriminate between samples from COVID-19 positive and COVID-19 negative patients is the focus of a new research initiative at the School of Veterinary Medicine

With up to 300 million smell receptors—compared to six million in humans—dogs are uniquely positioned to aid in disease detection. This pioneering study—that will explore the sensitivity and specificity of scent—sets the stage for dogs to be a force multiplier in the mission to detect COVID-19, particularly among asymptomatic patients, or hospital or business environments where testing is most challenging. Preliminary screening of live humans by trained dogs could begin as early as July.

Penn Vet will initially begin the study with eight dogs to perform this precise detection work. Over the course of three weeks through a process called odor imprinting, the dogs will be exposed to COVID-19 positive saliva and urine samples in a laboratory setting. Once the dogs learn the odor, the investigators will document that the dogs can discriminate between COVID-19 positive and COVID-19 negative samples in a laboratory setting, establishing the platform for testing to determine if the dogs can identify COVID-19 infected people. The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center will be lending their expertise during the study as well.

“Scent detection dogs can accurately detect low concentrations of volatile organic compounds, otherwise known as VOCs, associated with various diseases such as ovarian cancer, bacterial infections, and nasal tumors. These VOCs are present in human blood, saliva, urine, or breath,” says Cynthia Otto, professor of Working Dog Sciences and Sports Medicine and director of Penn Vet’s Working Dog Center. “The potential impact of these dogs and their capacity to detect COVID-19 could be substantial. This study will harness the dog’s extraordinary ability to support the nation’s COVID-19 surveillance systems, with the goal of reducing community spread.”

Image: Penn Today


The Most Popular Dog Breed is...

Young-2293890_1920Carolina Mountain Dog is a bit biased, but we believe the most popular dog breed in America is the mixed breed! Any "mutt" is #1, as far as we're concerned, especially if he/she is adopted from an animal shelter or rescue organization.

Still, if you're interested in knowing the "official" results of the AKC's annual ranking of the most popular dog breeds, here are the top 10 for 2019:

  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. German Shepherd
  3. Golden Retriever
  4. French Bulldog
  5. Bulldog
  6. Poodle
  7. Beagle
  8. Rottweiler
  9. German Shorthaired Pointer
  10. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The list was released on May 1, 2020. To see the rest of the list, visit https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/dog-breeds/2020-popular-breeds-2019/

Image: Pixabay.com


Free Support from "Fear Free Happy Homes"

Screen Shot 2020-04-16 at 11.03.36 AMFounded in 2016, Fear Free provides online and in-person education to veterinary professionals, the pet professional community, and pet owners. Courses are developed and written by the most respected veterinary and pet experts in the world, including boarded veterinary behaviorists, boarded veterinary anesthesiologists, pain experts, boarded veterinary internists, veterinary technicians (behavior), experts in shelter medicine, animal training, grooming, boarding, and more.

"Fear Free Happy Homes" offers free membership to pet owners. Once you sign up, you can get free access to:

  • Videos with fun, easy-to-implement tips
  • Articles reviewed by board-certified veterinary behaviorists
  • Discounts on pet products & services
  • Downloadable handouts with games, tips & tricks
  • The Fear Free Certified® Professionals Directory

Check it out here: https://fearfreehappyhomes.com/


Financial Responsibility and Dogs

Screen Shot 2020-04-24 at 2.55.03 PMSadly, during challenging economic times, more pets are surrendered to animal shelters simply because their owners can no longer afford them. Dogs make wonderful family companions, but being a responsible dog owner also means recognizing the financial responsibility of owning a pet.

Intuit Turbo offers some helpful information about the costs of dog ownership. For example, the annual cost of owning a medium-sized dog is estimated to be almost $900. Veterinary care can add up -- especially when it's estimated that 1 in 3 pets require an emergency vet visit every year. And, here's a statistic that may shock you: 42 percent of millennials have been in debt for a pet.

In its financial guide, Intuit Turbo displays a table of common pet expenses and a pet adoption decision chart, along with detailing six tips to help pay for your pet. Check it out here: https://turbo.intuit.com/blog/financial-planning/pet-financial-responsibility-6172/

Image: Intuit Turbo


Participate in a "Dog Choices" Study

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Would you like to take advantage of being home and spending lots of time with your dog -- while contributing to dog research? Then participate in a "dog choices" study by the Horowitz Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College, Columbia University in New York.

Designed to understand dog choice-making, this study is a game you play with your dog, wherein you offer him or her 7 choices each day for 7 days. It uses materials, food, and spaces in and around your home: all the choices can be incorporated in an ordinary day with your dog and it should take less than 30 minutes per day.

If you are interested, you must complete an online form, as well as a spreadsheet, by Wednesday, May 20. Start by filling out the form linked here.


Is Grain-Free Food Safe for Your Dog?

Golden-retriever-puppy-2706672_1920Grain-free dog food is very popular: By 2017, it accounted for nearly half (44 percent) of the dog food market. Yet there have been concerns about grain-free food expressed by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) as recently as February 2019

The Doggypedia has published an authoritative article about grain-free food. It contains the following information:

  • What is a grain-free dog diet?
  • The growing popularity of grain-free diets
  • Connection to allergies
  • What is dilated cardiomyopathy(DCM)?
  • Genetic predisposition to DCM
  • DCM Signs
  • Why the FDA is investigating a grain-free dog diet
  • Is grain-free food safe for your dog?
  • What should dog owners do now?

Check out this free resource here: https://thedoggypedia.com/should-you-feed-your-dog-grain-free-dog-food/

Image: Pixabay.com

 


Results from a Pet Parenting Survey

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How good a pet parent are you? Porch.com surveyed over 1,000 people to learn whether men or women think their pets are more attached to them, how often couples argue over pet-related responsibilities, and how many people modify their homes for the sake of their furry family.

Here are some of the results:

  • Over half of women (54.7%) and men (52.4%) say they're "equally good" pet parents as their partners.
  • Women seem to be more confident pet parents: 44.2% of women said they were their pet's favorite parent, while only 35.8% of men said they were their pet's favorite parent.
  • 1 in 5 (20%) of pet parents said they get jealous when their pet pays their partner more attention.
  • Women were twice as likely as men to say they do more for their pet than their partner.
  • Couples who live with both cats and dogs were the most likely to share pet-related responsibilities equally.
  • 64% of respondents had added home features specifically for their pet(s).

Check out more results and information here: https://porch.com/resource/whos-better-pet-parent


Everything You Need to Know About CBD Oil for Dogs

Guest Post by Chele

Dog-4432830_1920Description: CBD oil has taken the health and wellness industry by storm. It’s natural that healthy-lifestyle loving people would want to share their new-found diet supplements with their pets. And so, CBD oil for dogs appeared.

What Is CBD Oil For Dogs?

CBD or Cannabidiol is a compound found in hemp - a type of cannabis plant. Being legal in 50 states in the US, hemp is unlike its sister compound, marijuana, and does not cause intoxication. CBD was extracted from hemp to create all-natural health products for humans initially, but now you can find CBD oil for dog products as well. There are many benefits that supplementing with CBD oil for dog products can bring to your best friend’s diet. Let’s take a look at what CBD oil is used for specifically.

Benefit 1: Anxiety 

CBD oil for anxiety is a well-known treatment among humans, and it’s no different among canines either. If your little furry friend is a shelter-dog and has a history of abuse (which causes anxiety), CBD oil is likely to be a great treatment. Likewise, if your dog gets stressed about car trips, going on trains, visits to the vet, or anything else - a CBD oil for dogs product is a good choice. It is a well-known fact that CBD oil for dogs supplements can help with general neurological health and emotional well-being. 

Benefit 2: Cancer

Wow, not holding back here, are we? Well, there are whispers that one of the CBD oil benefits is that it can help with the treatment of this serious disease. This is a MASSIVE claim, and definitely too serious for this article (please consult a veterinarian). We’re just reporting that ‘yes, indeed’, using CBD oil for dogs with cancer has been claimed as an option. 

Benefit 3: Immune System

The CBD origin came into the health industry because of its anti-inflammatory benefits and the ability to help stimulate the immune system. So, CBD oil for dogs is great for supporting, healthy heart, joint, and skin function. An all-round winner!

How To Administer CBD Oil For Dogs

Your fur-babies can get their dose of CBD in a variety of ways. There are capsules and droppers as standard, but some dogs might refuse to take the supplement in this way due to taste. Most pet shops stock CBD-infused treats, so you can feed your dog the supplement, like any other medicine. Lastly, there are topical options for CBD oil for dogs. If you’re looking to target their fur, skin, and joints, topical cream or oil might be the best option.

Doses Of CBD Oil For Dogs

Before you even let your pet near any CBD, please consult a qualified veterinarian. Supplying information about dosage sizes for your fur-baby is beyond this article. We’re just providing some general information here so you can kick-off on your own research hunt. Just as with all medicines and supplements, our preference is to start off at a low dosage and increase it slowly over-time.

Side Effects Of CBD Oil For Dogs

Unwanted side effects of all CBD oil products for dogs are rare, but they can occur. Your furry friend might experience dry mouth, vomiting, lethargy, depression, tremors, and lowered blood pressure. Some of these side effects might be initial teething problems as your dog adjusts to the supplement. If side effects continue, it would be advisable to take a SECOND visit to your veterinarian after the initial consultation and agreement with the supplementing.

Final Thoughts On CBD Oil For Dogs

Overall, the jury is still out on how powerful CBD actually is for health benefits - even in humans. Sure, studies suggest that it’s a great anti-oxidant for both humans and dogs - and helps as an anti-inflammatory tool in our bodies.

We’re interested to know, have you started CBD oil for dogs supplementation? And, if so, how’s it going? Has your pet enjoyed any of the positive effects that we’ve described here and none of the negative ones? Reply in the Comments section to let Carolina Mountain Dog know your experiences.

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Chele is a pet shop owner from Blackpool, UK. She writes a weekly newsletter for her online customers and is well-known and liked in the local community. There’s nothing that Chele likes more than going for walks along the Blackpool beach in winter with her dogs.

Image: Pixabay.com


Can a Dog Detect Covid-19?

Fuca-2491995_1920We dog lovers know just how special dogs are -- and we also know that they serve humanity in many noble ways.

Now, United Kingdom researchers are testing the idea that dogs can detect Covid-19. According to an article in Bloomberg's CITYLAB, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is forging ahead with the project with high hopes. Will it work? "There’s a good chance that it will," writes Feargus O'Sullivan. "Dogs are already widely used to detect the presence of cancers, bacterial superbugs and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s. Working with the charity Medical Detection Dogs, the LSHTM has previously carried out a successful training program that demonstrated dogs could detect malaria, creating a test that exceeded required World Health Organization standards."

The head of LSHTM's Department of Disease Control, James Logan, says “We know diseases have odors —  including respiratory diseases such as influenza — and that those odors are in fact quite distinct. There is a very, very good chance that Covid-19 has a specific odor, and if it does I am really confident that the dogs would be able to learn that smell and detect it.”

Read more about it here: https://www.citylab.com/life/2020/04/coronavirus-no-symptoms-dogs-smell-detect-covid-19-infection/609403/

Image: Pixabay.com


The Most Common Mixed-Breed Dog in the U.S. is...

Screen Shot 2020-02-21 at 1.44.17 PMEmbark, which claims to be the world's leading company in dog genetics, evaluated the DNA of more than 200,000 mixed-breed dogs across the country. According to Embark, "Each dog has a unique combination of breeds in its genetic makeup. When we looked across our data, there was one breed that stood out as the #1 result in a mixed-breed dog in every state."

That breed is the American Pit Bull Terrier, also known as the "pit bull."Embark also reported the second most common breed in mixed-breed dogs by state. In North Carolina and South Carolina, after the pit bull, the second most common breed is Labrador Retriever.

Nationwide, theses are the most common breeds in mixed-breed dogs in order:

  1. American Pit Bull Terrier
  2. German Shepherd
  3. Chow Chow
  4. Labrador Retriever
  5. Australian Cattle Dog
  6. Boxer
  7. American Staffordshire Terrier
  8. Chihuahua
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Siberian Husky

Here's a visual chart of the results: 
https://embarkvet.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Final-breed-map.jpg


Best Dog Breeds for Apartments

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In recent years, affordable housing has become a serious issue in the Asheville area. Homes are becoming increasingly out of reach for first-time buyers and the middle class in general. Apartment living is a legitimate alternative, and there are a considerable number of apartment buildings and complexes being developed and opened around Asheville. For the dog lover, however, the dilemma is not just finding a reasonably priced apartment, but securing a place to live that accepts dogs. Thankfully, more and more apartment developers are creating pet-friendly properties; still, breed and size restrictions are fairly common.

This article from TurboTenant is interesting because it identifies the dog traits best suited to apartment living, as well as 12 breeds that do well in apartments. Since many local dog owners adopt from shelters and rescues, keep in mind that, depending on the  your dog's mixed breed makeup, she may have some of the traits associated with particular breeds but not all of them. Check out the article here: https://www.turbotenant.com/blog/best-apartment-dogs/


Free Resource: "Fear Free Happy Homes"

Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 4.21.32 PMHere's a free resource every dog owner should know about: It's called "Fear Free Happy Homes," a website that focuses on keeping pets happy and safe in their homes. It contains some great information, including videos and articles, and you can sign up for free to gain access to information and pet product discounts. Articles on the website's blog include:

Check out this cool resource at: https://fearfreehappyhomes.com/


Be Part of the Dog Aging Project

Screen Shot 2019-11-15 at 3.42.25 PMInterested in learning how genes, lifestyle and environment influence a dog's aging? Then you might like to participate in the Dog Aging Project, a nationally-funded research project run by the University of Washington and Texas A&M University.

The Dog Aging Project brings together a community of people committed to giving dogs the happiest, longest lives possible. Expert veterinarians and scientists will team up with 10,000 dogs and their owners to identify factors critical to improving healthy lifespan.

Dogs and their owners are the heart of the Dog Aging Project. If you nominate your dog, you’ll have the opportunity to partner with the research team as a citizen scientist. They’ll ask you to fill out surveys about your dog’s health and life experience. They’ll provide you with a kit to sample your dog’s saliva for genetic testing. They may ask you to complete special activities with your dog and report back on their performance. The goal is to make the experience easy and fun for you and your dog. The researchers hope you’ll join their team as they work together to accelerate medical breakthroughs for dogs and humans.

For more information about this unique project, visit: https://dogagingproject.org/


Do Dogs Get Jealous?

Guest Post by Clara Lou

Leisure-1551708_1920Have you ever tried to pet another dog when you’re playing with your pooch? Your buddy will try to come between you and the other dog to whom you now gave attention. Initially, your buddy will try to push you or the other dog away, but your dog might also end up whining, biting, and attacking you or the other dog.

This kind of behavior suggests that dogs really get jealous when they are not the center of attention. But a more important question is whether the jealousy in dogs is the same as the jealousy we humans feel. Let’s find out.

Understanding Jealousy in Dogs

I believed that the jealousy in dogs is no different than it is in humans until I met a sled dog racer in Canada. He was making his Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies ready for a ride. They all looked cute, and when I maneuvered to pet them the sled dog rider warned me, “You pet one dog and you have to pet them all.” Further, he said, “They get jealous of each other if any one of them gets more of love, affection, food, or anything. They turn into green-eyed monsters.”

This incident made me look deeper into dogs’ jealous behavior.

What I Found

I am going to discuss two different experiments that helps us understand this behavior better. Friederike Range, of the University of Vienna, did an experiment to study jealousy . Two dogs were given the same task to perform, but one gets rewarded while the other does not. Both the dogs were taught a simple trick of ‘shaking hands’. A dog would extend her paw and put it into the person’s hand.

For the experiment, both the dogs with their respective persons in front of them were seated side by side and were instructed to perform handshakes. But only one dog received the treat as a reward -- the other didn’t. You would think the unrewarded dog would react to this unfair distribution of rewards by performing the same tasks and wouldn’t follow his master’s instructions. This is exactly what happened. The unrewarded dog stopped obeying his master’s command and also showed stress signs when his partner dog kept receiving treats.

Many people would believe that this is not jealousy exactly. It might well be the case that the dog who did not get the treats stopped obeying his master simply due to the fact that all unrewarded training tricks and commands tend to disappear because of the learning process which theorists call “extinction.” Very simply, a dog would not perform the task if he won’t get any rewards in return. Do you also think the same? But wait, you might want to read further.

To ensure that the interaction was important rather than the case of frustration and jealousy, a similar experiment was conducted. But this time it was a little bit different. This time the same task was performed on the two dogs with their respective masters in a separate room. Also, they were not being rewarded at all for obeying their master’s instruction of shaking hands.

Under this circumstance, both the dogs did not only present their paws for a longer time but also didn’t show any signs of frustration or annoyance. So, definitely, the motive to perform the trick was not to get a reward. It was jealousy that the other partner was getting rewards for the same task he was doing.

One More Experiment to Understand This Behavior Further

When human beings are involved in different social settings and situations, every aspect of the reward is closely considered to determine the jealousy. Dogs, however, do not see the situation under the same microscope. This can be understood from a similar experiment to the one previously discussed.

Now, again, two dogs sit side by side in front of their respective owners. Both the dogs are instructed to perform a “shake hand” task. This time, both the dogs get treats as rewards but the difference here is one dog gets a very desirable treat, a piece of chicken, and the other one gets a comparatively less desirable treat, a piece of bread.

The outcome was surprising. The response from both the dogs was not affected by the unfair share of rewards, unlike what a human might have done if he were in the place of dogs. Dogs are sensitive to fairness (whether they are being rewarded or not), but not to the equity (the quality of rewards).

The Bottom Line

It can be said that dogs get jealous when they think you have been unfair to them; whether it’s food, love, affection, attention, or anything. Other animals like primates also respond to primary and secondary emotions, but dogs only respond to secondary emotions. If you have any questions or want to share what you feel, please comment. Long may the canines live!

Clara Lou is a co-founder and the marketing head at PetLovesBest. She happens to be an active animal activist in her town who has done a few notable works for the welfare of animals, especially pets. She loves to enjoy writing about pets and animals.

Image: Pixabay.com


What Does a Dog's Tail Tell You?

Guest Post by Rachel Hudson

Happy-47816_1280Discover essential information about a dog's tail. Learn what it says about your pet and better understand what to do and how to react in certain situations!

Even though animals are unable to talk, it is possible to interpret their behaviors and thought-process through certain physical aspects. This applies to dogs and cats, but many people are wrong more often than not, making a straightforward assumption. For example, people misinterpret a dog wagging its tail as a sign of friendliness while it is also misunderstood for being happy. However, it is not always the case, since multiple meanings can be conveyed through dog tail signs.

Dog Tail Position and Meaning

A dog can communicate its feeling and thought-process through the position of its tail. There are four common positions.

1. Dog Tail Held High with Wagging

This is a sign of happiness, but it also includes a higher degree of alertness within the animal. Even though a dog in this state is showing cautious excitement, it also has a certain degree of dominance.

2. Dog Tail Held Still and High

This is a sign of dominance while the dog is also super-alert to its surroundings.

3. Dog Tail Between Legs and Pointing Down

This is a sign of submission from the animal, which may also have a fear of its current situation.

4. Dog Tail Held Straight

This is a sign that a pet is in a neutral state, and it is trying to take in as much information from its environment as possible.

One should remember that each breed of dog has its own nature, and tail signs differ from one animal to the other.  Some breeds have curly and stubby tails that may not be able to provide exaggerated expressions as tails in other breeds. Hence, it is important to look very carefully into these tails to understand animals. For example, Chinese Shar-peis or Chow Chows do have a curved rear that is quite high. Greyhounds and whippets have a significantly lower tail.

The 'height tail’ sign is used as an emotional meter. A pet is considered being in a relaxed state when the tail is kept at middle height. When held in a horizontal position, the dog is quite alert and attentive. If it goes up, it is an increasing sign that an animal is being agitated and one can expect a confrontation anytime soon. At the same time, an animal is showing signs of submission if the rear position goes lower. It is also an indication of fear.

However, scientists promise to soon invent an apparatus that will translate animal sounds into human language. It is a pet translator. So, gadgets and electronic reviews can help you in the future.

Additional Aspects of Tail Wagging

Just like there are numerous dialects of human language, different dialects also exist when it comes to a dog's tail. One should not make the mistake of taking certain positions as the reference for every breed. Once this awareness is achieved, it is possible to read more accurately about the feeling and behavior of each animal. Does a wagging tail mean a dog is happy? No, because position alone is not a reference to the pet’s state, as even the speed of wagging can give plenty of detail.

For example, slight wags can indicate the dog's desire to greet or say hello. Only broad wags can be taken as a friendly move, as it gives out signs that the animal will not threaten or challenge at that point. It is the closest movement that is associated with happiness, unlike the common perception. Even if there is wagging in the tail down position, it does not generally signify a happy animal.

A slow wag should not be taken as a sign of happiness. Instead, it is used to signify a neutral state of the animal. It could also denote signs of insecurity – especially when the rear end is not in an unusually high or low position. There are instances when tiny movements are made at high-speed. It is an indication that the animal is about to fight, run, or do something quite active. If the dog manages to hold the rear end quite high while bringing about vibrating action, it is a visible sign of threat intended to scare.

Subtle differences can be observed even with the direction of wagging. There are preferences to the direction in which tail wags. If this direction is on the right side, a pet is having positive thoughts about the situation, and the reverse is true when the wagging happens on the left side.

The Bottom Line

There is a lot more information hiding behind a dog. It is probably the place where the pet has its conversation. The emotional indicators given out by the rear end alone are so subtle, but they can give a massive insight into the animal's communication process. However, it takes a lot of experience to judge the animal accurately. It does not take long to pick up the cues and start assessing a dog well before a situation gets out of hand.

What are your thoughts about dog tails? Let us know in the comments!

Author's bio: Dutch origins. Animal rights advocate. Rachel H.moved to the US at 28 after getting her Teacher Certification in the Netherlands. She decided to move on and start a new life in Los Angeles and start to work on https://besttechexpert.guide. 

Image: Pixabay.com


Teaching Kids to Deal with the Death of a Pet

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Between one and five children experience the death of a close loved one before the age of 18. Losing a family pet may be the first time they experience death or even process the concept of what it means. This can make the initial conversation especially confusing for them, so it’s important to consider a few tips for helping them through the grieving process.

There’s no denying that losing a pet is one of the hardest experiences for any family. It is hard enough for adults to cope with the death of a beloved pet, but for children, losing a pet can be very traumatic. Insurance provider Bestow's free guide, "What to Do When a Family Pet Dies: Teaching Kids About Grief," is a comprehensive resource that could prove to be very helpful.

This guide includes a section on how to start the conversation, provides resources specifically designed for children to learn about pet loss, identifies specific questions that may be asked by your child or that you can ask, suggests ways to celebrate a pet's life, details signs that your child may be struggling with your pet's passing, and offers additional resources for parents.

Check it out here: https://hellobestow.com/blog/when-a-family-pet-dies/


How to be an Environmentally Responsible Dog Owner

Dog-2228595_1920Guest Post by Angie Hill

Are you looking for environmentally friendly ideas that you can use as a pet-loving dog owner? Whether you realize it or not, the choices you make as a dog owner have the potential to impact our environment. Dogs are still animals by nature and this means striking the right balance between being eco-friendly and serving the best interests of your four-legged friend. This post will help you learn how you can do your own good work for the environment while also giving your dog a happy, healthy life.

Walk More

Taking your dog for walks is a sure-fire way to keep him or her happy, healthy and content.

You can also use walking with your dog as a great excuse to skip driving to a store or to a friend’s house. Fewer carbon emissions mean you are doing something good for the environment, your own health and your dog’s too, so reach for the leash and take more walks!

Switch to Sustainable Pet Food

According to the American Pet Products Association, $30.32 billion was spent on pet food in 2018 in the U.S. The food you feed your dog should be balanced but protein-heavy. Regular dog food you buy will contain 20-40% protein. A lot of this protein comes from animal sources and just like humans who live on a meat-based diet, there’s a big ecological footprint left as a result.

You don’t have to turn your dog vegan, but if you want to be eco-friendlier you have two other options:

  •     Buy sustainable pet food
  •     Make your own

If you want to make your own food at home, here are some simple recipes to use: https://themotherhuddle.com/making-your-own-dog-food/

Two valuable dog food tips that can help to reduce your environmental impact are:

Less Processed: Typically, if food has gone through more processing, it has taken more energy to produce. Therefore, try to feed dogs food that is less processed.

Dry & Wet Food: It might not even have crossed your mind, but wet food is heavier due to having more water content - this means that there are higher emissions when wet food is transported, so dry food is better for the environment in this instance.

Your pet’s health comes first and you should consider this before you switch their diets. When deciding on what food to buy, consult your veterinarian before making a big change in your pet’s diet.

Choose Toys Wisely

A large number of toys on the market are made from plastic, and it can be hard to move away from them when you’re on the hunt for a new one for your dog. If you have a pet that is full of life and gets through toys, you will end up tossing them away all the time. Try to choose toys made from recyclable materials or natural fibers as this will have a positive effect, environmentally. You could also try one of these homemade brain games .

Buy Non-Toxic Shampoo

If your dog runs a mile at the mere mention of a bath you aren’t alone! But baths are a necessity, so when it comes to bath time, switch to using a natural, organic dog shampoo. Ensure it is non-toxic and is free from parabens and dyes, too, as this is better for the environment (no excess chemicals end up going down the drain and into the environment) and your dog’s coat and skin.

Your vet will be able to help you make the right choice of shampoo; many companies advertise their products as “all-natural” but they aren’t!

Use Biodegradable Waste Bags

Those little poop bags that often get used to pick up and dispose of a dog’s waste are part of the global plastic epidemic.  They require hundreds of years for them to biodegrade. Avoid this issue by opting to use only compostable bags which take three to six months to fully decompose.

Angie Hill Angie is a dog-loving, outdoor enthusiast who writes for WoofDog.org, a site that offers dog-centered health, food and behavior advice.

Image: Pixabay.com


Pet Ownership for Seniors

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There are lots of seniors in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, and for many of them, a pet provides essential companionship. Of course, dogs make great companions -- but it's important for seniors to choose the right type of dog that fits their lifestyle and needs.

The website "A Place for Mom" has published an infographic about pet ownership for seniors. It contains helpful information about pet benefits, choosing the right pet, best dog breeds, and things to consider before adopting a pet. You'll find it here: https://www.aplaceformom.com/resources/pets-for-seniors/#infographic 

In addition, "A Place for Mom" offers a comprehensive guide to pet ownership for seniors that includes a wealth of free information, available here: https://www.aplaceformom.com/resources/pets-for-seniors/


Is CBD Good for Dogs?

Screen Shot 2019-06-15 at 2.03.37 PMAs a dog owner, you likely have your ears to the ground for the latest and greatest ways to treat your dog, from actual treats and food to enrichment toys and doggie daycare. If your dog’s health suffers at all, however, you may be looking for more serious options to improve their quality of life and wellbeing.

One such option is CBD. Short for cannabidiol, CBD is a cannabis compound that provides health benefits without the high of marijuana. Many dog owners are increasingly turning to CBD to treat a variety of canine conditions, from anxiety to arthritis.

CBD is legal in all 50 states and it is becoming widely available in Western North Carolina, but the research around its effects on dogs is still developing. However, a growing number of veterinarians are recommending it to their clients. While the research is not yet definitive, many believe CBD offers several therapeutic benefits to dogs.

The CBD Awareness Project has created a comprehensive guide that will help you evaluate CBD for dogs. You'll find it here: https://www.cbdoil.org/cbd-oil-for-dogs/


Do Dogs Suffer from Depression?

Dogs-2195708_1920What do dog owners do if they think their pet might be depressed? Is it even possible for a dog to become depressed? The simple answer is yes, but you need to find out the why behind it and how you can fix it.

Why Do Dogs Suffer from Depression?

Dogs can become depressed, just as easily as their owners. This might shock you considering you are used to your tail-wagging friends jumping and licking on you the second you walk through the door. But what if he isn’t doing that all of the sudden? It may be depression. But why? Of course, if your dog's behavior changes, you need to talk to your vet. For now, here are a few reasons why dogs become depressed:

  • The absolute biggest reason a dog may find himself depressed is the loss of a pet owner or companion. Dogs become incredibly attached to their owner, so not having them anymore can cause separation anxiety and a great deal of trauma on a pet’s mind and behavior. They are also very connected to their companion, and a loss of a companion dog can bring them to a deep level of depression as well.
  • Dogs can also pick up on any grief that their owner is feeling. If you’re struggling with a traumatic event in your life and are grieving because of it, your dog may be able to sense these feelings and also feel them for themselves as well.
  • Moving to a new house can have a lot of impact on a dog that does not like change. This big change and not having his stuff in a usual location can bring on a bout of doggy depression.
  • Bringing a new baby or pet into his situation can also bring on depression in your dog as he begins to receive less and less attention. He will also feel a bit of jealousy over the new baby or other pet as they don’t feel like the prized possession any longer.
  • A big change in the routine of your dog’s life can cause depression, as well as stress and anxiety. Dogs tend to be routine creatures, so switching up his everyday life can be a huge hurdle for your dog to get over.
  • Did something happen to your pal that left him injured? Dogs, like humans, don’t like to be injured or have pain or discomfort from an injury. If your dog has had a recent injury that has left him in pain and hasn’t allowed him to do his normal routine, this can cause depression.

Symptoms of Doggy Depression

The symptoms of depression found in humans are generally the same as in dogs. Some of the symptoms you will notice in a dog that is suffering from depression include:

  • Being withdrawn. Dogs with depression will appear to be withdrawn, not wanting to engage in social or physical activities like they used to.
  • Decrease in energy. All of a sudden, your rambunctious buddy doesn’t want to go for a walk or play, right? It could be due to depression.
  • Change in eating habits. Big eater not eating? You might want to see if he is struggling with depression and has lost his appetite because of it.
  • Change in sleeping habits. Perhaps he is oversleeping obnoxiously or hardly getting any shut-eye. Both are common effects of depression.
  • Anxiety typically goes hand in hand with depression, so this isn’t a big shock.
  • Aggression. A once nice and gentle pup can turn to a more sporadic, howling mess if he is dealing with an ample amount of depression.
  • Excess whining. All dogs will whine here and there, but if you notice a big increase in the amount of whining or he is apparently whining for no reason at all, he may just be dealing with depression.

Treatment for Dog Depression

  1. You need to give your pet extra attention. Much like a human suffering from depression wants to have more love and affection shown to them, so does your dog. Make sure you are not giving into your dog while they are moping or whining, though. When you see them showing any sign of happiness, reward them with love and treats so they know that is the right behavior to show.
  2. Make sure you give your dog enough time for exercise. Without adequate time to play, going for walks, or doing any other special activities they enjoy, they won’t be able to conquer their feelings of depression.
  3. Consider doing some more activities that include other dogs. This might be a special class where dogs meet and greet, going to the dog park to get some exercise and communication, or just hanging out at a specified doggy daycare.
  4. If all else fails, you might want to consider a natural remedy such as CBD oil, which can be found in our FOMO bones. While CBD oil hasn’t been tested greatly, it has shown to reduce anxiety and depression levels in humans as well as dogs. Make sure you only buy dog products containing the right amount of CBD oil to prevent over-consumption.

Image: Pixabay

This post was provided by FOMOBONES, dog treats for anxiety. Visit their website at www.fomobones.com