Diabetic Alert Dogs

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Behavior and dog training specialist Milard Roper is making a contribution to the medical world. Our loyal and furry friends are more than just lovable companions, they can actually help save your life. Diabetes is one of many conditions which is now being assisted by specially trained dogs. “A Diabetic alert dog is specially trained to detect low levels of glucose in the blood. The dog then alerts the person to check their sugar and adjust it to the appropriate level. I will train the dog to give a specific alert, which may include giving paw, barking, or licking the affected person. This will be the dog’s way of letting you know that your sugar is low. These types of service dogs can be especially important when the family is sleeping. The dog will sleep by the bed of a diabetic, sniffing throughout the night to detect low levels of blood glucose and offer a medical alert when a problem occurs.”

To learn more about diabetic alert dogs or more about Milard’s other work please visit Sniffandsit.com

Laugh with your pet, laugh with you vet

Local Paper Studio : Lighthearted Eye Charts For Dogs, Cats, and Laughts – 99.9% Fun, 100% Recycled Paper, $1 of Each Sale Donated to BestFriends.org  | Designed by Stephanie Siegel

© 2011 Local Paper Studio

Printed With Love And Care For The Environment And You. This pledge appears on all of Local Paper Studio’s projects (in the tiniest of type) and summarizes their belief in community, sustainability and giving back.

LPS’s main goal is to give you fun ways to share a little joy with your family and friends—the people local to you. 100% recycled papers are used for all of their projects and they work exclusively with eco-friendly printers located in the U.S.A.; most are just a short drive from the studio which is located just North of Manhattan along the Hudson River. Reuse of materials is an important part of their creative process. Local Paper Studio encourage people to repurpose or recycle their packaging, and they love to reuse found paper whenever possible. Lastly, the studio believe in giving back, which is why a portion of all of their sales are donated to the charity mentioned with each project.

Local Paper Studio’s online store launched New Year’s Eve 2012, so they are just getting started. Then, feel free to email them any comments or feedback you may have by using the “Contact Us” section of their website or by emailing hello@localpaperstudio.com.

© 2011 Local Paper Studio

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Three friendly-dog bars in New York City

Can I get a side of Beneful and a water bowl, please?

 

 

If you’ve ever wandered around the Big Apple, then you know that all that walking can leave you and your pooch parched. Luckily, there are plenty of dog-friendly bars that you can step into and rest those weary paws.

Check out these three pro-pooch bars that will get your dog’s tail wagging and wet your whistle at the same time.

1. South 4th Bar & Café – 90 South 4th Street, 718-218-7478 (map) - This dog-friendly bar is located on the south side of Williamsburg. With its inviting interior, this hometown bar features a movie night on Tuesdays for you and your pooch.

2. Fetch– 1649 Third Avenue, 212-289-2700 (map) – Just hearing this popular bar and grill’s name will clue you into how much they love dogs. The bar has even teamed up with Animal Haven, a no-kill animal shelter, adoption center and sanctuary, by featuring photos of adoptable pets and a mobile adoption van. The wall of the bar also features the prized pooches of the patrons that frequent Fetch.

3. The Growler – 55 Stone Street, 917-409-0251 (map) -  With a dog as it’s mascot, there is no question that this popular new gastropub is dog-friendly. Dogs are welcome on the patio, where they’ll be offered dog treats and a drink from a communal water bowl.

It’s good to see that New Yorker’s are keeping their doors open to our four-legged friends, despite the health department’s recent adoption of a letter grade system for bar and restaurants last year, according to the NYTimes.

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Dogs and Gardens

Train dogs to enjoy your garden without destroying it

I was visiting a friend recently who wanted help with her garden. While we were strolling around her yard, the family’s springer spaniel came bounding out of the house, ran through her perennial border and dived into a bed of azaleas. Moments later, he emerged with a tennis ball in his mouth and then, with tail wagging, dropped it at my feet.

“Oh, Digger, leave us alone!” my friend pleaded. My friend wanted help redesigning her garden so it would be “dog-proof.” Digger was running through all of her gardens, and she wanted plants that could withstand his constant trampling. She went on to remark that the plants in my gardens look fine, even though I have two active dogs; she wanted to include those kinds of plants in her gardens.I found it amusing that she actually thought my gardens were planted expressly to withstand dogs running through them. I explained that my dogs stay on the paths and walkways just like everyone else. I teach my dogs that running through garden beds is not allowed. My dogs are with me out in the garden daily. As they make their rounds searching for furry interlopers, they seldom if ever enter the garden beds — but that wasn’t always the case.Here are tips that may help keep your best friend from ravaging your rhododendrons. Late fall is a good time to start training, when gardens are not in active growth and less damage can be done while your dog is learning.

Leash training: Start by keeping your dog on a leash when you walk around your yard. When Rover makes a transgression by walking into a bed or someplace you don’t want him to go, give a mild but firm tug on the leash, say “Out!” and continue walking nonchalantly. When he steps out of the bed, say “Good boy” rather calmly, but just once, as you continue on your way. Commit to the leash training until your dog grasps the idea and consistently stays out of your beds and on your walkways, paths or grassy areas. He must have places that are OK for him to walk, and understand where those places are.
Be consistent: Don’t allow your four-legged friend to enter your garden beds one day but scold him the next. Dogs thrive on consistency, and if you stick to your guns, he will learn much quicker.

Age matters: Keep your dog’s age in mind. Puppies need more frequent reminders, but also more gentle ones. While they are more apt to make mistakes, seemingly forgetting their lessons from one day to the next, young dogs also learn patterns quickly. Be patient with older dogs, too, but trust me: Old dogs can learn new tricks.

Off-leash training: Once your dog is consistently avoiding stepping into your beds while on a leash, walk around with him off-leash (assuming, of course, you have a secure yard and he won’t go bolting into the street). If he enters into a bed, firmly say, “Out!” and point to where he is allowed to walk. Once he looks at you and sees where you point, continue walking, nonchalantly. If he steps out of the bed, say “Good boy” calmly as his feet touch the surface he is allowed to walk on. Continue walking nonchalantly. If he doesn’t leave the bed, walk over to him, take hold of his collar and guide him out of the bed. When he is at the edge of the bed, say “Out!” As soon as he steps onto the area that is OK for him to walk, say “Good boy” again, and continue walking.

With a little time and some patience, you can enjoy your garden and your four-legged friend at the same time.

By Sean Conway, Tribune Media Services “Sean Conway’s Cultivating Life” (Artisan Books) describes 125 projects for backyard living. His website is cultivatinglife.com.

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Inside the science of how dogs think

Sit! Shake! Quit barking! Get off the couch! Go find your toy!

Ever wonder what your dog is thinking as it gazes at you while you are barking commands? Duke University’s Canine Cognition Center in Durham, North Carolina, is one of the few labs in the country focused on how dogs think.

“We’re excited about describing the psychology of our dogs,” says professor Brian Hare, the lab’s director. “Different dogs solve different problems differently. And what we want to understand is: What is it that either makes dogs remarkable as a species or what is it that constrains the ability of dogs to solve problems? To test the dogs’ ability, Hare and a team of graduate students put dogs through a variety of games similar to those you might play with young children.

“We don’t want to look at cute pet tricks. What we want to know is, what does the dog understand about its world?” Hare said. Hare has been analyzing our four-legged friends for about 15 years. He says dogs have figured out how to read human behavior and human gestures better than any other species has, even chimpanzees. “The way they think about their world is that people are superimportant and they can solve almost any problem if they rely on people,” says Hare.

Children start relying on adults’ gestures when they’re about a year old. That’s about the same age that dogs start to recognize and rely on humans, too, Hare says. When both I and Hare tried to direct Hare’s dog Tazzie to a cup that had a treat in it, Tazzie took his master’s cue and went toward the cup. I was a stranger to Tazzie, so the dog didn’t rely on my information. “He’s grown up with me,” says Hare. “We do lots of stuff together. He’s never met you before, so he’s saying, look, if they’re both telling me where to go, I’m going to trust the guy who I’m with all the time.” According to Hare, this proves dogs are complex social animals who understand they have different relationships with different people.

“They really narrow in and pay attention to you and they want to know what it is about the world that you can help them with,” he says. Researchers at Duke are studying dogs to better understand their limitations. If they can identify why dogs make mistakes, they believe they can help them improve. That could mean making dogs better at working with people with disabilities or better at working with the military.

“They are a very different species and they think about the world differently than we do. And we need to figure out what are the constraints on how they solve problems, how is it that they think differently from us. And I think that we’re going to be able to have a much, even richer relationship with dogs than we already do if we figure all that out,” says Hare.

The professor says even though domestication has made dogs smarter, they are not perfect. Still, they’re so smart, he says, that they can understand the principle of connectivity. “They know they’re connected on a leash and [dogs reason] ‘Well, now I have to listen, because if I don’t do what you say you can stop me. Where if I’m … not on a leash, well, yeah, I know the command but I don’t have to listen to you now,’” explains Hare. And just like children, dogs also understand that if you turn your back, they can misbehave, especially after their owners have told them not to do something. “Your dog takes the food you just told it not to take, and you’re really upset because your dog disobeyed you, and you think that your dog is not obedient. Well, no, no, no, your dog was obedient but it realized that it could get away with it,” says Hare.

At the end of the day, dogs may rely on humans, but they also use their skills to manipulate their owners and the world they live in. And even though dog owners like to think they’re in command, the professor says it may actually be Fido who is really in charge. By By Randi Kaye, AC360 CNN Correspondent

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Dog grooming can be fun if you really love dogs

At HomeDoggy.com, we love your dog

Every so often we get a call from someone saying that they think they would like to be a groomer, and do we teach. The answer is no. So, how does one become a groomer?

Very long ago, most groomers were people who bred and showed their own dogs. To support this very expensive hobby, they groomed pets, working at their home kennel, a pet shop that sold puppies or, believe it or not, even in department stores. One of the most famous people in all of dogs was a professional handler and then an all-breed judge who groomed with her mother at Macy’s in New York City. She was over 6 feet tall and could show a dog like no one else and was the first to win Westminster Kennel Club at Madison Square Garden three times!

Eventually a grooming school opened in New York, but most often people learned by doing an apprenticeship under someone already in the field. As with most arts, this was and still is the very best way.

Now, however, there are grooming schools all over. Ones you go to and work, others that you take online and then go for a hands-on period and so on. Some large pet store chains will send you away for about a month to learn how to do a poodle, cocker, schnauzer, mixed-breed and clip down. Then you return to the store to practice on customers’ dogs. These are the places that are never booked up, can always get you in that day even if it’s Saturday and are usually the highest priced. Very often, your dog never gets the same groomer twice, usually because they are no longer there.

Many people think grooming is a fun job because you get to play with dogs all day. On the contrary, it is extremely hard work both mentally and physically. You are part stylist, part animal behaviorist and part veterinarian. In fact, your groomer usually knows your pet better than your vet simply because they see them more often. We can’t treat them but are often the first to notice a problem. If your groomer (or vet) is a breeder, then you are very lucky indeed.

It can be fun, or funny too, if you really love dogs. John was once clipping a poodle and when he picked up her tail to clip it, out came a puppy which she delivered on his table. I was once clipping down a cocker and after removing a big piece of chicken wire got my thumb got caught in a fish hook!

Think of it like washing your car. You know where every little scrape, scratch, ding, dent or rust spot is. And so it is with your dog. A good groomer spots ear mites starting, eye problems, tender areas, sub-luxating patella, parasites (especially tapeworm) and tumors just to mention a few. Someone truly experienced can tell you things about your dog that you may never notice. They can tell you if something needs immediate attention or should just be mentioned at your dog’s next vet visit.

So how does one find a good groomer? Well, not by calling everyone listed and asking price. You do not always get what you pay for. There is an old joke: What is a master groomer? Anyone with $100 and a poodle! There is no standardized testing for the industry as there are for other professions. Referrals are good, but your first question should always be about experience. Do not be fooled by flashy websites or big ads. And visit them. Ask your friends. If it’s a dog that lives outside and gets clipped down once a year, you can go almost anywhere or even do it yourself. But if your dog truly is a family member and you want the best, then pretend that it is your hair and find a salon that way.

I was recently in New York for an AKC meeting, and one of my regulars went somewhere else. The next month when he came in his nails had not been clipped, the hair had not been removed from his ears, his belly had not been clipped, and the hair between his foot pads had not been cleaned out — every shortcut a groomer can take.

We book only the number of dogs that we can do our best work on in a day. And that number varies according to the type of dogs coming in. Pricing can also be tricky. We never guarantee a price over the phone because inevitably the 20-pound dog all brushed out arrives at the shop weighing 50 pounds and is a solid mat.

As we both breed and show, we know every trim. We do not even own a grooming book, as we see all the breeds all the time at shows. And show trims should only be done by someone actively involved in the sport. You can always spot a bad pet grooming job at a dog show — usually leaving the ring without a ribbon!

As always, please spay or neuter your pet for their own good health and always pick up after your dog. [ Source: Robert A. Schroll, owner of The Kennel Shop | November 2011 ]

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Dogboarding

Pretty cool video with dogs

Rod Leite is a professional groomer and owner of HomeDoggy, in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York – and mobile in Greater New York area. Rod Leite loves skateboarding, surfing, and dogs. But wait! Dogboarding?

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Making the perfect puppy love connection

Getting a dog? Consider these factors to make sure you’re a match

There are plenty of cliche things that people say about dogs: that they’re man’s best friend, that they love you unconditionally and that behind those cold noses, there are warm hearts. But while dog owners might feel a bit silly about repeating those old chestnuts, they’ll also admit they’re absolutely true. Before you get a dog, doing a bit of background research is important, but keep in mind that you also have a valuable resource right in your community – the local animal shelter. Shelter dogs are often the ones that are “invisible” – out of the public eye and therefore, out of mind as well. Best Friends Animal Society has created the “Invisible Dogs” campaign to call attention to the hundreds of thousands of very real, but unseen dogs hoping to be adopted from U.S. animal shelters, any of which might be right for your home. Whether your household has one person or 10, a dog can fit right in, but not every dog fits with every home. At shelters across the country, the pet experts on the staff can help match you with an adoptable dog, based on your lifestyle and the dog’s personality and traits. Because you can meet shelter dogs before bringing them home, it’s easier to make the perfect puppy love connection.

When you’re ready to start looking for the right dog for you, consider these tips from Best Friends Animal Society and InvisibleDogs.org:

* Be honest about your lifestyle. Everyone has a different schedule, and dogs have schedules of their own. If you’re away from home a lot, consider dogs that have lower energy levels and minimal exercise demands. However, if you love to go for a run in the morning and a long stroll every evening, you might be a good match for a dog that has a bit more of a get-up-and-go demeanor.

* How much maintenance? Some dogs have wash-and-wear coats that don’t require grooming other than a nice bath every so often. Others will need to be combed and still others will need haircuts to keep their coat in check, or to be more comfortable in the summer heat. Opt for a dog with a coat that matches the level of dedication you’re ready to put into grooming, keeping in mind that it’s not too much of a hassle for any dog. Also remember that you’ll need to care for his toenails and teeth to keep him feeling his best.

* Find a personality match. Some dog owners like their pups to be right on their lap as much as possible, while others prefer a companion who is a little more independent. While breed can have some effect on this, it also largely depends on the individual dog. Meeting a dog at a shelter will let you spend a little time together to see if you’re a good combination.

Big or small, shaggy or sleek, the dog that’s right for you is out there waiting. With a bit of forethought and a few one-on-one meetings with available dogs, you’ll be well prepared to find the dog that will be the companion of a lifetime. And when you do, it won’t be long before you’re telling everyone that your dog really is your best friend. To learn more about helping adoptable dogs, go to www.invisibledogs.org.

 

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8 Things Your Pet Shouldn’t Eat

Foods and drinks, from avocado to alcohol, that can make your dog, car, or bird sick.

Don’t Feed These to Fido

You may share your backyard and even your bed, but it’s probably best to avoid sharing a meal with man’s best friend, or any other pet for that matter. Listed here, from most (1) to least (8) dangerous, are common foods and drinks that make pets sick. If you think your dog, cat, or bird has consumed one of these items and you are concerned, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435).

1. Chocolate

Why: Stimulates the nervous system and the heart.
Poisonous to: All species, but dogs are most likely to eat dangerous quantities.
Possible effects of poisoning: Vomiting, increased thirst, restlessness, agitation, increased or irregular heartbeat, increased body temperature, tremors, seizures.

2. Grapes, Raisins


Why:
 Damage the kidneys.
Poisonous to: Dogs, cats.
Possible effects of poisoning: Increased thirst, increased urination, lethargy, vomiting.

3. Garlic, Onions

Why: Damage red blood cells, causing anemia.
Poisonous to: Cats, dogs.
Possible effects of poisoning: Vomiting, red-colored urine, weakness, anemia.

4. Xylitol

(Found in sugarless gum)

Why: Causes increased insulin secretion, resulting in lower blood sugar levels.
Poisonous to: Dogs.
Possible effects of poisoning: Vomiting, lethargy, lack of coordination, seizures, jaundice, diarrhea.

5. Alcohol Drinks

Why: Depress the nervous system.
Poisonous to: All species.
Possible effects of poisoning: Vomiting, disorientation, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of coordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma, seizures.

6. Raw Yeast, Bread Dough

Why: Forms gas in the digestive track; fermentation of yeast causes alcohol poisoning.
Poisonous to: All species, but only dogs typically ingest it.
Possible effects of poisoning: Distention of abdomen, vomiting, disorientation, diarrhea, lethargy, lack of coordination, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma, seizures.

7. Macadamia Nuts

Why: Cause muscle and nervous-system problems.
Poisonous to: Dogs.
Possible effects of poisoning: Vomiting, lethargy, weakness, increased body temperature, tremors.

8. Avocados

Why: Contain persin, which damages the heart muscle.
Poisonous to: Most species―birds are especially sensitive.
Possible effects of poisoning: Vomiting, diarrhea (in dogs), lethargy, difficulty breathing (in birds and rodents).

[ Source: Real Simple magazine / november 2011 ]

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