General

Beware of Puppy Mills

Rottweiler-1785760_1920Sadly, North Carolina does not currently have a law that bans puppy mills or backyard breeders. While there are certainly responsible breeders in the state, puppies offered for sale at pet stores, through classifieds, at flea markets and by neighbors could be cause for concern. Many of the animals offered for sale through such means could have been raised in horrendous conditions. They could be medically or behaviorally unfit to be adopted. That's why, for most consumers, the better choice is to adopt a dog from your local animal shelter or humane society.

Here are some facts about puppy mills you should know from The Puppy Mill Project, a nonprofit organization:

A puppy mill is a breeding operation that breeds dogs for profit, prioritizing financial gain over the health or well-being of the dogs. If a breeding operation breeds for profit and sells to pet stores or to consumers over the Internet, it is not a responsible breeding facility. While puppy mills may vary in size and conditions, any breeding operation that places profit over the health or well-being of the dogs can be accurately described as a puppy mill. We will never use the term puppy mill, commercial breeder, or puppy farm to describe a responsible, reputable breeder.

If a pet store claims it buys only from "licensed breeders," this doesn’t mean anything more than that the breeders are licensed to sell to pet stores and that they meet the USDA’s minimal standards. The USDA’s standards for care of companion animals are extremely minimal, and these standards are not adequately enforced. Pet stores will often tout that their puppies only come from the best USDA-licensed facilities, yet the conditions in USDA compliant facilities are often far below what most people would consider acceptable for companion animals.

Pet stores are the primary sales outlet for commercially-bred puppies. Pet stores are necessary to sustain and perpetuate the puppy mill industry. It is imperative to cut off the end of the supply chain to decrease the number of puppy mills. Further, pet stores are complicit in consumer fraud. Pet stores often misrepresent the true origins of their puppies and mislead consumers into believing that they are purchasing a responsibly and humanely-bred puppy. Focusing our educational and advocacy efforts on pet stores is an extremely effective way to fight puppy mills.


Allergy-Proof Your Home... for You and Your Dog

Putz-bucket-1290940_1920Dogs are remarkably loyal to humans -- and they also are remarkably similar to humans in the conditions and diseases they share. Among those conditions is the allergic reaction, a common occurrence year round, but especially when trees and grasses send off pollen during the spring.

Keeping your home allergen-free is good for you and your dog, and a handy guide from Everlywell.com offers 18 easy ways to allergy-proof your home. The guide offers room-by-room suggestions and printable checklists as well as an allergy log. It also includes a special section about pets, who may unwittingly bring outside allergens into your home.

Get your free guide here: https://www.everlywell.com/blog/indoor-outdoor-allergies/how-to-allergy-proof-your-home/

Image: Pixabay.com


COVID-19 Facts and Myths Related to Dogs

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COVID-19 is still very much a threat to all of us. You probably have a lot of questions about how to keep you dog safe during this global pandemic. Cyberpet has put together a handy infographic with  the answers to twelve of the most common questions concerning pets and coronavirus. You'll find authoritative answers to questions including:

  1. Can pets catch coronavirus?
  2. Can my dog transmit coronavirus?
  3. How can I protect my dog if I am sick?
    ...and 9 more.

You'll find the infographic here: https://www.cyberpet.com/covid-19-and-pets/


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


Should You Travel with Your Dog Now?

Dog-916421_1920As states begin to open up for business during the pandemic, you may be wondering if it is safe to travel at all, much less with your dog. CitizenShipper.com has prepared a comprehensive guide about how to stay safe while traveling with pets. It provides pet safety travel tips and describes how pet transportation options have been affected by the ongoing crisis. In the guide, you'll find:

  • How to prepare your pet for travel
  • Pet travel by plane
  • Pet travel by car
  • Pet travel by train
  • Pet travel by ship
  • FAQ: Pet safety in a pandemic

 Check out this helpful free guide here: https://citizenshipper.com/blog/pet-travel-tips-during-covid19/

Image: Pixabay.com


What is Really Bad for Your Dog?

Pug-801826_1920Did you know that xylitol, a sweetener that may be found in such common items as candy, toothpaste and even peanut butter, is toxic to dogs? Or that grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs? Even milk and cheese can be harmful to adult dogs.

For a very comprehensive updated list of dog toxins reviewed by a veterinarian, check this out from BetterPet: https://betterpet.com/bad-foods-for-dogs/

This list contains 22 people foods that are bad for dogs as well as 29 toxins that are found around the house -- dangers in the bathroom, garage, utility room, laundry room and in other areas, as well as outside in your yard. Plus, as a bonus, you'll find a listing of healthy foods and superfoods that are the healthiest super snacks for your dog.

Want to keep your dog safe and healthy? Read the list!

Image: Pixabay.com


Will a Mask Freak Out Your Dog?

Face-5017365_1920Wearing a mask in public may become the new normal -- but have you considered what your dog may think of it?

Here's what the IAABC (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants) has to say about masks:

Many dogs get freaked out by people wearing something on their face. If your dog is nervous or reactive, help them cope with the sudden increase in "scary" people (including you!):

- Use positive reinforcement to show them that masks mean good things

- Wear your own mask for short periods indoors, let your dog see you put it on and take it off

- Keep your distance from strangers. You should be doing this anyway, but try to stay far enough away that your dog doesn't react.

Help them cope, like they're helping you cope!

For more, check out the IAABC's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/iaabcorg/posts/10159754816014126

Image: Pixabay.com


Free Guide: Keeping Your Dog Happy at Home

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WoofReport.com has published Your Essential Guide to Keeping Your Dog Happy at Home. This handy publication has "top tips for sheltering in place with your dog... and how to prep for what come's next."

The guide includes:

  • Tips to keep your dog happy and healthy
  • Fun activities to entertain and engage your dog
  • At-home activities just for dog lovers.

The guide is loaded with helpful information. Get your free guide here:

https://www.woofreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Woof-Report-Happy-Dogs-at-Home.pdf


How to Train Your Dog to Treasure Hunt for Truffles

Guest Post by Thomas Quarry

3370261961_d84b2498c9_cDescription: When you and your dog go on a treasure hunt to find natures gold, a.k.a. Truffles, they’re not going to find anything unless they have had adequate training. We explain how to train your puppy or dog to find truffles outside.

What can be more fun than you and your dog deciphering proverbial treasure hunt clues to reach truffle success? Truffle hunting is the ultimate treasure hunt where each piece of fungus can earn you a hefty sum of money. It’s unlike finding common mushrooms in your local woods -- these organisms are elusive and other truffle treasure hunters find it extremely difficult to locate these bad boys of the woods.

Truffles are notoriously difficult to acquire, especially because they live underground and you can’t find them in the same place twice. They survived by forming a relationship between tree root networks and plates have been used to hunt them for years. Truffle hunters have recently been switching from pigs to dogs because pigs are prone to eat the truffles, gobbling up potential hundreds of dollars’ worth of goods in one go! We suggest that one of the best treasure hunt ideas you can have is to train a dog instead. At least they’re not going to eat the prize like if they were on a prey treasure hunt.

Setting Tasks for Your Dog

You can train any dog to find nature’s treasure hunt clues, but the best dogs are those that love sniffing out the soil. Before you start, get your hands on some good quality truffle oil that is not synthetic and thus has the real stuff in it. Most truffle oil that you find in the shops isn’t actually made from truffles and the scent is artificially produced. It can help and can be used in training situations, but oil made from truffles or better yet shards of truffles make for a more realistic scent.

Make sure that you’ve got a number of treats armed at the ready. You will need to reward your dog for any good action that they complete. You will also want to get some cotton balls soaked with truffle oil which you can use in the training scenarios. We’re going to look at two of the most common methods and find out how you can apply them in the hunt game. It’s a game that’s worth winning as the prize is lucrative.

The “Puppy” Method

Step 1
Get your dog familiar with the scent of truffles by applying some oil to the puppy’s mother’s teats so they can familiarize themselves with it from a young age.

Step 2
When the dog gets older and can start to walk around constantly, soak a cotton ball with some truffle oil. You can then play fetch with your dog so they start to associate fetching for things that smell like truffles.

Step 3
Repeat steps until your puppy can bring the ball back to you without coaxing.

Step 4
You can begin to hide the soaked ball and reward your dog when they have found it.

Step 5
Repeat step four but hide the ball in difficult-to-reach places. You can try burying it in the soil to emulate natural truffle hunting conditions.

Step 6
After consecutive repetitions, go out into the forest where truffles might be and try to find some.

The “Find” Method

Step 1
Introduce the truffle to your dog so that they can familiarize themselves with the scent. If you can’t get a real truffle, then soak cotton balls in truffle oil instead. Introduce these cotton balls to them throughout your training.

Step 2
When the balls are introduced to your dog, ingrain the keyword “find” into their minds as they sniff around.

Step 3
Bury some truffle-infused balls to emulate real-life conditions. This is one of the best things the secret treasure hunter can do. You can then see if your dog will find the balls out in the field.

Step 4
Once the dog has successfully located the balls, reward them with a treat.

Step 5
Repeat, repeat and then repeat again. Repetition is key to your dog becoming a truffle master.

Treasure Hunt Truffles Today

Hopefully, now you know how to organize a treasure hunt with your best friend by your side. The truffle hunt can be one of the most exciting pastimes and it will be thoroughly rewarding when you find some of these wonderful fungi buried in the dirt. It isn’t easy to train your dog up properly but stick with it and you will reap the rewards in the long run. All the best!

What dog breeds do you think make the best truffle treasure hunters? Tell us in the comments section below.

Editor's Note: In case you don't think you can find truffles in the U.S., think again! Read this article on CNN and you'll be surprised.

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Thomas Quarry loves a good treasure hunt, even at his age. Just because you reach the age of 50, doesn’t mean you need to stop going out and looking for treasure! Everybody can do it and Thomas loves to write about the subject. His passion for finding lost treasure has led him to explore the correlation between data, new technology, and the finding of lost treasure and cities. When he’s not writing articles, he’s always mucking around with antique cars in his garage. A pet hobby he has is restoring them.

Image: Flickr.com


The Difference Between American and European Dogs

People-4070864_1920Dogs are dogs, right? Well, yes -- but their owners are different, and the differences are very obvious when you compare American and European dogs. So obvious, in fact, that Certified Trick Dog Instructor Sassafras Lowrey wrote all about it for The New York Times. Here are some of her observations.

  • When she visited England, France, Germany and the Netherlands, she noticed something quite different from America -- "dogs were everywhere: restaurants and buses and performance venues and countless other places. ...In Europe dogs tend to be welcome in most public spaces and they are calm, relaxed and quiet there. In the United States, however, pet dogs aren’t welcome in most public spaces, and often struggle in the public places where they are allowed."
  • Lowrey spoke to professional dog trainer Kama Brown, who observed that in Europe, “a person walking with a dog is not seen as an invitation to socialize. Whereas in America, moving across the street to avoid another owner and dog, or not allowing dogs to interact who are passing each other on a walk, can be seen as antisocial.”
  • Even the way we train dogs is different, writes Lowrey: "For example, shock collars, sometimes called e-collars or electronic collars, are banned in the United Kingdom, but they are legal in the United States."

All things for American dog owners to think about!

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


Blue Ridge Humane Offers Assistance with Pets

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.12.34 PMThe following information is reprinted from the828.com as a public service.

Blue Ridge Humane Society is helping pet owners facing hospitalization and financial troubles ensure their companions are cared for, by offering several community resources.

Pet Helpline: You can reach the BRHS Pet Helpline at 828-393-5832. Leave a message and a staffer will be in touch. You can call with concerns about keeping your pet, vet assistance, litter box problems, housing issues, dog training tips, stray neighborhood cats, suspected abuse/neglect, and other issues. You can also submit behavior questions online, and get help from the Training and Behavior Manager.

  • Re-Homing: For owners that have found themselves in the unfortunate situation of having to find a new home for their pet, the Humane Society urges them to try re-homing. This takes the load off the local animal shelter and keeps the animal out of a shelter environment, allowing limited resources to be used for other animals like stays or abuse cases. BRHS has partnered with Adopt-a-Pet.com to provide a courtesy re-homing listing for those who would like to find a loving home for a pet without surrendering them to an animal shelter. If you are considering adopting, check the Re-Homing listing as well as your local shelter.
  • Community Pet Food Assistance: Blue Ridge Humane Society has partnered with local food banks, helping them to supply  litter, pet food or treats to their clients. By making pet food more accessible, it is our hope that members of our community will no longer have to worry about feeding their furry family members. To find a list of participating banks, click here.

  • Emergency Vet Assistance: Though us not able to assist with existing medical bills, BRHS offers Emergency Veterinary Assistance in times of economic distress. It can provide medical vouchers to assist with emergency veterinary visits prior to your visit.  If you would like more information or to find out if you qualify, call 828-393-5832. You can find a listing of additional assistance groups online as well.

  • BRHS Lost and Found Pet Facebook Group: Join the BRHS Lost and Found Pet Facebook group. This group allows you to not only post if your pet is lost but also help reunite any pets you may find that have become separated from their families and keep pets in temporary loving home while waiting to be reunited with their owner.

  • Spay/Neuter Incentive Program: With support from the City of Hendersonville and with support and collaboration from Henderson County, Blue Ridge Humane Society is able to offer low cost spay-neuter as part of our Spay-Neuter Incentive Program or SNIP. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you cannot schedule an appointment at this time, but you can complete a request for an appointment on our website. The SNIP Coordinator will be in touch when normal scheduling resumes.  Pet owners must be residents of Henderson County in order to get their animals spayed or neutered through the program. SNIP. To learn more or submit an appointment click here.

If you don’t need any pet assistance, the Blue Ridge Humane Society is requesting you share this information with someone who might. You can also help by signing up to volunteer, or by making a donation online, or by calling 828-692-2639.


Information for Buncombe County Pet Owners

Screen Shot 2020-03-31 at 3.17.53 PMThis information is reprinted from AshevilleHumane.org as a public service.

In alignment with Buncombe County's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" declaration, related to COVID-19, effective Friday, March 27, 2020, Asheville Humane Society's Adoption Center and the Buncombe County Animal Shelter will be closed to the public through April 8, 2020, unless rescinded earlier or extended further by Buncombe County or the state of North Carolina.  
 
Be assured that we will have essential staff available to feed, clean, and provide enrichment for the animals currently in our care. While we continue our commitment to the people and animals of Buncombe County, we see the importance of limiting face-to-face interactions and complying with all aspects of this declaration. 
 
What does this mean for our community?

Adoptions:  

Wishing to adopt? Please view all available animals on the website. If you see an animal you are interested in, please email us at adoptions@ashevillehumane.org or call 828-761-2001 x312. We will give you all of the information that we have on that pet. If you want to adopt, we will note you as an Interested Party. Please note this will be on a first come, first served basis. Once operations resume, you will be able to come in and meet your new pet and make a final decision to adopt. 

If you would like to view our adoptable pets, click the links below:

Pet Surrender: 

Anyone considering surrendering pets should delay doing so, if possible. If this is not possible, please contact our Pet Retention Counselor at 828-761-2001 x316 for information and resources. 

Lost a Pet:

If you lost a pet, please continue to check our website here, as it is updated continuously with stray animal intakes. You can also call the Buncombe County Animal Shelter at 828-250-6430 to report your lost pet so that our staff can contact you if they come into our shelter. If your pet is microchipped, call the microchip company to report that your animal is lost and to ensure that your contact information is up to date. Finally, we recommend utilizing community based social media groups and pawboost.com. If you find your lost pet on our website, please contact the Buncombe County Animal Shelter so a staff member can help reunite you with your pet.  

Found a Stray:

If you found a stray animal, you can call the Buncombe County Animal Shelter at 828-250-6430 to report the found animal, so that should someone report their animal missing, we can facilitate their reunion. You can also utilize community based social media groups as well as pawboost.com. If you are able to provide temporary care for the animal, we ask that you please do so. If you are not able to care for the stray animal, please contact Animal Services for more information. 

Foster Program:

With the Adoption Center temporarily closing, Fostering will be an important "relief valve." We are going to continue to seek out foster homes as new animals enter the shelter. We encourage those interested in becoming an Emergency Foster fill out the Emergency Foster Application. Anyone interested in fostering in general should complete the traditional application. Our Foster Manager will remain an important resource to all active fosters and if specific assistance is needed, all fosters are encouraged to reach out using the appropriate contact information provided in their foster agreement. 

Volunteer Program:

All volunteers must stop reporting for their duties. With this new restriction, Hiking Hounds and Urban Tails Group Hikes will also not be able to continue until at least April 9.

AHS Thrift Store:

Thrift Store operations have paused and we will not be accepting donations or open to the public until after the Stay Home, Stay Safe order has been lifted.

Community Solutions - Pet Resources and Assistance:

All scheduled Affordable Pet Care Clinics, Behavior Days, Vaccine Clinics and other outreach events are cancelled. Other resources and services may still be available for Buncombe County residents experiencing financial hardship or other crisis. For more information or to request resources or assistance for your pet, please call the Safety Net Helpline at (828)-761-2008.

Animal Emergencies:

For emergencies, please contact Animal Services. 

  • City of Asheville 
    • To report animal abuse, neglect or cruelty in the City of Asheville, please call Animal Services at (828) 252-1110
  • Buncombe County
    • To report abuse, neglect or animal cruelty in Buncombe County, please call the Sheriff’s Office of Animal Services at (828) 250-6670. 

Coronavirus and Other Dogs

From WoofReport.com:

Dog-2273980_1280Petting Petiquette. 

With social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, you need to stay at least 6 feet away from others, but does the same apply for dogs? The Washington Post reporter Karin Brulliard answers the burning question: Can I still pet other people’s dogs? 

According to experts at the American Veterinary Medical Association, “based on available evidence, there’s little reason to avoid petting” because the virus survives best on smooth surfaces and not “porous materials, such as pet fur." Other experts cited advise “the most conservative approach would be to refrain from touching others’ dogs” since the dog owner may be infected but show no symptoms. (The Washington Post)

Image: Pixabay.com


Buncombe County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center Closed Until April 9

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News Bulletin from Asheville Humane Society

In alignment with Buncombe County's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" declaration, related to COVID-19, effective Friday, March 27, 2020, Asheville Humane Society's Adoption Center and the Buncombe County Animal Shelter will be closed to the public through April 8, 2020, unless rescinded earlier or extended further by Buncombe County or the state of North Carolina.  
 
Be assured that we will have essential staff available to feed, clean, and provide enrichment for the animals currently in our care. While we continue our commitment to the people and animals of Buncombe County, we see the importance of limiting face-to-face interactions and complying with all aspects of this declaration. 

For detailed information on what this means to the community, please visit: https://ashevillehumane.org/covid-19-updates

 

 


A Special Note Regarding Coronavirus

Carolina Mountain Dog will continue to publish dog-related news and articles as a public service as long as practical during the coronavirus crisis. However, please note that any public event scheduled for the next few months is subject to change. While the original date will be listed, please check with the organization responsible for the event to confirm the date. 

Thank you and stay safe.