General

Do You Live in an "Animal-Friendly" Community?

Shane-QBzYEojdNB8-unsplashThere are any number of ways to define "animal-friendly" -- among them, how a community views the relationship between humans and animals and whether or not the community believes in protecting the rights of animals. According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), public policy and, specifically, local ordinances can set apart any community as animal-friendly. Check out the five ordinance types suggested by HSUS below and see if your community has implemented any of them:

  1. Establish a funding mechanism for low-cost or free veterinary care and remove barriers for nonprofit clinics
  2. Remove barriers to pet-inclusive housing
  3. Prohibit lethal trapping or poisoning of wildlife
  4. Establish comprehensive, breed-neutral dangerous dog laws and eliminate breed-specific regulations
  5. Protect pets who live outdoors by strengthening care standards

The HSUS also cites five additional ordinances that "may seem to help, but can hurt." You can see which those are, as well as read more about the ordinance types above, here: https://humanepro.org/magazine/articles/creating-animal-friendly-communities

Photo by Shane on Unsplash


Testing Your Dog's DNA

Dog-2520857_1920One of the most popular dog breeds isn't a breed at all -- it's the mixed breed, sometimes affectionately known as a "mutt." The mixed breed is found throughout dogdom, very often available at animal shelters and rescue organizations. It turns out that mixed breed dogs are typically healthier than pure-bred dogs, so they are among the best dogs to own. Still, many dog owners would like to know the breeds that actually make up their dogs. This is the main reason dog DNA tests have flooded the market.

Testing your dog's DNA is likely to be the most accurate way to determine the breed mix. Yourdogadvisor.com has put together a helpful, comprehensive guide to DNA testing. It includes:

  • Why Do a Dog DNA Test?
  • How Dog DNA Test Work
  • The Best Dog DNA Tests - Our Thoughts
  • Reviews of four DNA test brands

You can access this free guide here: https://yourdogadvisor.com/best-dog-dna-test/

Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay


Taking Care of Your Senior Dog

As dogs age, they slow down, exhibit behavior more typical of seniors and sometimes develop health conditions -- just like Jairo-alzate-L-pkb93pBP8-unsplash humans. If you have a senior dog, you probably already deal with some of these issues. If so, you will want to read an excellent and informative article, "Preventive Care for Senior Dogs" from the Dog Aging Project.

This article offers comprehensive, authoritative answers to the following questions:

  • How often should I take my senior dog to the veterinarian?
  • What signs should I look for that would prompt me to take my aging dog to the veterinarian sooner than six months?
  • Once I get to the veterinarian's office, what should I discuss with my veterinarian? What information about my older dog is important to mention?
  • What does a veterinarian assess during my dog's physical exam?
  • What vaccinations should my senior dog receive?
  • What preventive medications should my senior dog take?
  • What diet and supplements should my senior dog take?
  • Is dental care important for my senior dog?

Read the entire article here: https://dogagingproject.org/preventive-care-senior-dogs/?

Photo by Jairo Alzate on Unsplash


National "Love Your Pet" Day - Feb. 20

Ryk-porras-kIqfIajglwY-unsplashYou love your dog every day, of course, but on Saturday, February 20, you can show even more love (if that's possible) because that day is designated National "Love Your Pet" Day!

To help you celebrate, here are "10 Ways to Love Your Dog" on Love Your Pet Day from DogTipper.com :

  1. Take an extra-long dog walk
  2. Spend time together at your pet's level
  3. Plan a trip together
  4. Take your dog to lunch
  5. Make a new pet toy
  6. Go shopping with your dog
  7. Teach a new trick
  8. Bake some homemade treats
  9. Learn pet massage
  10. Experience the moment.

More about each of these tips here: https://www.dogtipper.com/tip/2020/01/national-love-your-pet-day.html

Photo by Ryk Porras on Unsplash


Pros and Cons of Pet Insurance

Matthew-henry-2Ts5HnA67k8-unsplashIf you've taken your dog to the vet recently, you know that the cost of veterinary care can be substantial. Some pet owners might find it beneficial to purchase a pet insurance policy, especially if their pet has chronic health conditions or is older.

Money.com has put together a helpful guide to ten of the pet insurance providers they consider to be the best. The guide covers pet care (urgent vs. routine check-ups), Covid-19, important facts about pet insurance plans, pet insurance companies’ pros and cons, and detailed FAQs.

The guide is a must if you are considering pet insurance. You can find it here: https://money.com/best-pet-insurance/
 

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash


Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week - Feb. 7 - 14

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 1.24.20 PMFebruary 7 - 14 is designated "Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week." It's a time when all dog lovers should be advocating for dogs who are left chained and unattended, even during the harsh weather of winter. You've probably seen your share of chained dogs all around our area.

Dogs Deserve Better is a national nonprofit organization that concentrates on helping chained dogs. Here is some information from the Dogs Deserve Better website:

"Dogs Deserve Better, a national and award-winning nonprofit organization, is a voice for chained and penned, abused and neglected dogs. We rescue dogs of all breeds, all ages, all medical issues, and provide the love, medical care, socialization and training they need to be happy, healthy and loving companions. 

"In 2011, Dogs Deserve Better was able to purchase our current headquarters in Smithfield, Virginia.  The property was once the home of the Bad Newz Kennels, the dog-fighting compound owned by Michael Vick. Thanks to an outpouring of support from supporters and donors, we were able to purchase the property and transform it into the a fully functioning rehabilitation center for abused and neglected canines. Every year, we are able to assist more dogs in need and in 2015, we were able to make significant changes to the living space. The area, which comfortably housed 12 dogs, now supports 20 dogs, and even more when puppies arrive.

"In addition to our center in Smithfield, we have volunteers all across the country working to free dogs from life on a chain or living outside. Our National Rescue Coordinator helps individuals and rescues every day. Our DDB branch reps also serve as adoption/foster facilitators, fence builders, and advocates for our mission. It takes a village to be successful and show positive results - the DDB Village is growing in numbers and determination. Join us and help us continue to grow!"

Check out Dogs Deserve Better here: https://dogsdeservebetter.org/


Shelter Dog in the White House

Screen Shot 2020-11-17 at 12.54.47 PMRegardless of your political persuasion, as a dog lover you will likely be happy to learn that, after President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20, two German shepherds, Champ, 12 and Major, 2, will occupy the White House. According to MarketWatch, Major, "whom the Bidens adopted from the Delaware Humane Association in 2018 after fostering him for several months, will be the first rescue dog from an animal shelter to live in the White House."

The ASPCA is all for it. Matt Bershadker, ASPCA CEO and president, says, "We're thrilled the Bidens' dog Major will be the first shelter dog ever to call the White House his home. This is a wonderful opportunity for people to see how fostering and adopting animals saves lives, helps animal shelters, and brings love and joy to families."

Obviously rescue pets have taken the nation by the storm, especially during the pandemic -- they were named TIME magazine's "2020 Pet of the Year"!

Image: Stephanie Gomez/Delaware Humane Association, via Associated Press

 


Kitchen Safety for Your Dog (and Cat)

Screen Shot 2020-11-20 at 4.44.34 PMYou may not realize it, but your kitchen can be a dangerous place for your dog -- and cat.

That's why you'll want to take a look at this handy infographic: https://kitchencabinetkings.com/infographics/kitchen-safety-for-pets. In it you'll find some important information, including:

  • Dangers lurking in the kitchen for your dog, including toxic foods
  • How to safely keep your cat off of your kitchen counters
  • Helpful kitchen safety tips for all animals.

Check it out!


How Dogs Improve the Lives of Humans

Cassiano-psomas-EVjghVvLJTc-unsplashThere has been quite a bit of research done on the mental and physical health benefits of dogs to humans. With the increase in loneliness and depression associated with the pandemic, Greater Good Magazine thought it would be a good idea to remind us of why our dogs help us cope with life.

Here are four specific science-backed benefits of being a dog owner:

  1. Dogs stave off loneliness
  2. Dogs reduce stress and anxiety
  3. Dogs help us get along with others
  4. Dogs keep us healthier.

Each of these benefits is discussed in further detail, along with references to scientific studies to back them up. Read the article here: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/the_science_backed_benefits_of_being_a_dog_owner

Photo by Cassiano Psomas on Unsplash


Smart Ways to Save Money on Pet Costs

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A 2019 survey indicated a surprising fact... Nearly 25 percent of American pet owners found themselves in pet-related debt. That means it's more important than ever to manage costs related to owning a dog -- or any pet.

Mint.com has some smart advice for pet owners in a feature called "23 Ways to Save Money on Pet Costs." It has some great tips, many of them easy, to save you money, including:

  • Buy in bulk and store properly
  • Strategically plan your pet's vaccination schedule
  • Don't neglect dental care
  • Join pet store loyalty clubs.

These and lots more tips are included in the free article.


Best Joint Supplements for Your Dog

Guest Post by Jim Smith

Harrison-kugler-d2hWXEV8J-8-unsplashAre you looking for the best joint supplements for dogs?

Watching your once happy and lively dog in pain can be heartbreaking. Arthritis, joint, and hip issues have become increasingly common in senior dogs. Joint supplements can help reduce symptoms.

But are they safe to use?

In this blog post, we’ll go through everything you need to know about joint supplements for dogs and help you pick the best ones.

Let’s get started.

As with humans, when dogs start getting older, they develop certain health issues associated with old age. Joint pain and inflammation are becoming increasingly common in all breeds.

Why is that so?
One of the biggest reasons is that our dogs are getting fatter. Overweight and obese pets are more likely to develop hip and joint pain as the weight puts more pressure on your dog’s joints.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Joint Pain

Not sure if your pooch has joint pain?
Our furry friends won’t be able to tell us they’re in pain. Dogs are especially good at hiding their pain and won’t let you know they’re hurting unless it’s unbearable. In the wild, showing pain can be a sign of weakness. So, dogs are programmed to hide it.

Common signs of joint pain in dogs include:

  • Hesitation in climbing stairs
  • Not jumping up and down the furniture
  • Swollen joints
  • Joint stiffness
  • Standing up can be challenging
  • Overall bad temper
  • Low energy

If your dog is showing any of these signs, take him to the vet for a proper check-up and diagnosis.

Best Joint Supplements

Joint supplements can be a boon for dogs with limited mobility. They help alleviate most of the symptoms and bring back your happy-go-lucky pooch.

So, let’s take a look at some of the best joint supplements.

1. Cosequin Maximum Strength Joint Supplement Plus MSM

It comes in a yummy chicken flavor and is manufactured in the US using globally-sourced ingredients. Helps improve joint health and mobility.

2, Nutramax Dasuquin with MSM Soft Chews

These come in easy to chew tablets and helps support joint health. Decaffeinated green tea provides antioxidants.

3. Petlab Co. Joint Care Chews for Dogs

This helps improve joint mobility and improve blood flow to the joints, providing your dog with flexibility, strength, and comfort.

Here's the Deal: Common Joint Supplement Side Effects

While dog supplements for joints do help alleviate symptoms, they can have harmful side effects of their own, such as:

  • High doses cause excessive urination
  • Diabetes (in case of sugar-based supplements)
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Allergies
  • Bald spots
  • Constant licking
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Itchy skin
  • Gassiness

Some of these symptoms are easy to deal with, while others are more serious. So, it’s best to stick to natural supplements for your pooch. These are safe, effective, and easy to use. More on those in a moment.

A Note on Cheap Chinese Supplements

You’ll find several cheap supplements on the market when looking for the best joint supplements.

While these look like a great deal, they can end up making your pet extremely sick! The FDA is investigating 600+ pet deaths and 3600+ injuries linked to Chinese supplements. Products imported from overseas are not regulated by the FDA. This means that they aren’t legally obliged to disclosing where the products are sourced from. In fact, some supplements may be advertised as “Made in the US” but can be sourcing their ingredients from China and other countries.

Isn’t that terrifying?

That's why it is safer to stick to natural joint supplements for dogs.

Choosing Natural Joint Supplements

Natural supplements for dogs are safe, effective, and easy to use. They help reduce joint inflammation and the pain that comes with it.

And, they don’t have harmful side effects!

  1. CBD Oil for Dogs
    CBD Oil For Dogs finds its origin in the cannabis plant. CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties and helps treat chronic pain conditions like hip and joint dysplasia. It helps reduce pain and doesn’t have harmful side effects.

    CBD oil isn’t just great for hip and joint issues. It helps with a plethora of issues like anxiety, chronic pain, epilepsy, and helps improve a dog’s overall quality of life. You’ll find many CBD products online, most of them are low-quality. So, you should choose organic, natural, and lab-tested oil like Relievet’s CBD oil for dogs for effective results.

  2. Collagen
    Collagen is a type of protein found in cartilage, tendons, bones, ligaments, and joints. As your dog grows older, collagen production slows down, causing problems like mobility issues, joint and hip pain, weakened teeth, etc. You can boost your pet’s collagen production using collagen supplements.
  3. Turmeric
    Turmeric has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to treat a variety of issues. It’s safe to use with pets and helps reduce joint inflammation and pain. For the best results, choose organic Turmeric.

Did we answer all of your questions?

You’ll find several dog supplements for joints on the market, but not all of them are safe for your pooch. Some have serious side effects, while others are imported from questionable sources.

So, it is safe to stick to natural supplements when possible.

CBD oil for dogs is heavily researched scientifically proven to reduce joint pain--and it is safe to use. But, with the market saturated with CBD products, it’s important to choose the right one for your pooch.

Relievet’s CBD oil for dogs is natural, organic, and lab-tested to ensure quality.

Do you have any questions? We'll be happy to answer them if you visit https://www.relievet.com/.

Jim Smith has a passion for animals -- he lives with his cat and two dogs in San Diego. He has been writing about animals for the past 5 years, specializing in natural and alternative health.

Photo by Harrison Kugler on Unsplash


Your Dog at Work - Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Dog-2467149_1920If your employer allows dogs, is it a good idea to bring your dog to work with you?  Having dogs at work is something of a growing trend, with such major employers as Amazon, Google, Salesforce and Ticketmaster allowing it.

These days, you may have been spending a lot of time at home, so it could be tough for your dog to see you go off to work. Maybe you can take him or her with you!

According to PetPlace, "Companies that have tried experimenting with dog-friendly workplaces have reported positive feedback, stating that pets in the office allow them to get through long workdays happily, improving overall morale, employee attendance, and a better work-life balance."

Still, allowing dogs at work takes some preparation and getting used to. For example, employees must be asked if they have allergies or a fear of dogs. In addition, behavior and hygiene are two primary concerns. The employee who owns a dog must be confident the dog will react well to strangers and be able to acclimate to an office environment. Dogs must also be vaccinated and free of fleas, ticks and any contagious conditions. An evaluation period to see whether your dog can be a good canine citizen at work is a good idea. But imagine how cool it would be to work in a dog-friendly office!

Read more about the pros and cons of dogs at work here:
https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/bring-your-dog-to-work-pros-and-cons/

Image: Pixabay.com


Feel-Good Quotes About Dogs

Dog-2802031_1920
Here are some really great quotes about dogs:

The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.
– Anonymous

Happiness is a warm puppy.
– Charles M. Schulz

If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.
– Will Rogers

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
– Ben Williams

My fashion philosophy is, if you’re not covered in dog hair, your life is empty.
– Elayne Boosler

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
– Josh Billings

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
– Andy Rooney

Before you get a dog, you can’t quite imagine what living with one might be like; afterward, you can’t imagine living any other way.
– Caroline Knapp

If I could be half the person my dog is, I’d be twice the human I am.
– Charles Yu

To err is human – to forgive, canine.
– Unknown

You'll find plenty more here: https://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/just-for-fun/favorite-dog-quotes/?

Image: Pixabay.com


Adopting a Dog? You Need to Ask These 20 Questions

Dog-3435827_1920If you've decided to adopt a dog, congratulations! It's a wonderful thing to do and it will be exciting for you. In the excitement, though, you want to be sure you are making a smart choice and adopting a dog that's right for you and your family. One of the biggest reasons adopted dogs are surrendered is because the adopter didn't think carefully about what kind of dog was a good fit.

That's why you should find the list of 20 questions put together by YourDogAdvisor.com to be really helpful.

Some of the questions -- with the answers -- included in this list are:

How big is the dog going to get?

Was the dog handed in or is it a stray?

Has the dog's socialization skills been assessed?

What are the dog's energy levels?

Does the dog have any specific grooming requirements?

Check out all of the 20 questions and their answers here: https://yourdogadvisor.com/questions-to-ask-when-adopting-a-dog/


Dogs and Ice Cream

Christian-bowen-OYUzC-h1glg-unsplashWhen you're cooling off with some yummy ice cream, do you let your dog have a lick -- or even buy a kiddie size for your fur baby? Plenty of people do just that -- but this information from PetPlace.com is a good reminder that ice cream made for human consumption isn't always great for dogs.

According to PetPlace, the sugar, fat and lactose in ice cream make it an unhealthy treat for dogs. In addition, these common ice cream ingredients are downright dangerous for dogs:

  • chocolate
  • coffee
  • raisins
  • macadamia nuts
  • Xylitol

Here are some reasonable alternatives as cold doggie treats:

  • Unsweetened frozen yogurt blended with frozen fruit or peanut butter
  • Chicken or beef broth ice cubes

And don't overlook local ice cream shops that offer specially made doggie treats, including Asheville and Black Mountain locations of The Hop.

Photo by Christian Bowen on Unsplash


Travel with Your Dog in the Time of COVID-19

Land-2564197_1920If you've been thinking of venturing out on a trip with your dog, you've no doubt thought about the possible complications of travel because of COVID-19. That's why you may find a free guide from MillionMileSecrets.com valuable.

This handy guide offers comprehensive information about flying with your dog, including the latest regulations for traveling with pets on major airlines. You should be aware, for example, that virtually every major airline no longer accepts pets in cargo areas, but they do allow "carry-0n pets" if your pet fits in a carrier placed under your seat.

In addition, the guide covers alternatives to airline travel: Traveling with your pet by car, by ship and by train.

You'll find the guide here: https://millionmilesecrets.com/guides/travel-with-pets-covid-19/

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay


What to Do with Your Doggie Around Asheville

Dogs-4477058_1920
If you're like so many of the dog owners who are getting cabin fever and maybe a little bored with dog walking, take heart: The "Asheville Date Night Guide" has some cool ideas for what to do with your doggie in the Asheville area.

Among the suggestions listed are:

  • Dog play dates at French Broad Dog Park or Fletcher Dog Park
  • Dog-friendly hikes - 5 suggestions, including Bent Creek and Rattlesnake Lodge
  • Double dog dates - places where humans and dogs are allowed, such as the Battery Park Champagne Bar

Check out all the ideas in this helpful article here: https://ashevilledatenight.com/asheville-dates-for-your-dog/

Image by Jeff Chabot from Pixabay


How Old is Your Dog in Human Years... Really?

Harrison-kugler-d2hWXEV8J-8-unsplashMost dog owners have always done simple math to determine the age of their dog in "human years" -- multiply each dog year by 7 and you have the answer, right?

According to new scientific research, that may not be quite right. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) recently reported, "Dogs are much older than we think, and researchers devised a more accurate formula to calculate a dog's age based on the chemical changes in the DNA as organisms grow old."

Here's a new formula that, according to scientists, will be much more accurate than the 7 dog years = 1 human year we are all used to:

"The new formula, which applies to dogs older than one, says that a canine’s human age roughly equals 16 ln(dog age) + 31. (That’s the natural logarithm of the dog’s real age, multiplied by 16, with 31 added to the total.)"

If you can't figure that out, don't worry. The AAAS has created a handy calculator where you can just fill in your dog's age and find his or her age in human years. You'll find it half-way down on this page:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/11/here-s-better-way-convert-dog-years-human-years-scientists-say

Photo by Harrison Kugler on Unsplash


Free Pet Food - Hendersonville, Aug. 10

Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 10.55.15 AMBlue Ridge Humane Society will be offering a free pet food distribution for those in need or affected by COVID-19, on Monday, August 10, from 9 am-1 pm at the Blue Ridge Humane Society Adoption Center located at 88 Centipede Lane in Hendersonville, NC.

Cat and dog food will be distributed first come, first serve, as supplies last. Social distancing and protective measures will be taken by all staff and we ask the public to do the same during the drive-thru pick-up.  Additional resources and supplies will also be available.

If a pet owner is in need of food but unable to attend the pick-up, please call or text the BRHS helpline at (828) 393-5832.

Image: Blue Ridge Humane Society


Should You Adopt a Second Dog?

Dogs-189015_1920If you've owned your dog for awhile, you undoubtedly have developed a special bond. One reason your dog naturally bonds with you is because dogs are pack animals. Dogs are generally happier as part of a pack whether it's human or canine, but most dogs seem to welcome a canine companion. So the question is: Should you adopt a second dog?

Dr. Stephanie Borns-Weil, the veterinarian who heads the well-regarded Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic, believes that "dogs in general are happier with other dogs. It's hard on social creatures not to live with their co-species members." Still, getting a second dog should not be a hasty decision. “A dog might enjoy another dog initially,” she says. "But the two dogs may not display their full range of behaviors in that situation, and they have to make a quick decision based on initial impressions. We’re layering our own best judgment over that to create what is essentially an arranged marriage that may or may not work to best advantage.”

The Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine has some excellent, authoritative suggestions for how to add a second dog to your household in an informative article, "Would Your Dog be Happier with a Second Dog?" Read it here: https://www.tuftsyourdog.com/dogownership/would-your-dog-be-happier-with-a-second-dog/

Image by Manfred Antranias Zimmer from Pixabay