novadog Fall 2015
T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E T O C A N I N E - I N S P I R E D L I V I N G I N T H E D C M E T R O A R E A
Weighing down Fido Dogs struggle as owners fail to recognize pet obesity
Also Inside: Canine Cancer: What Does it Really Mean? Destination: Frederick NOVADog Guide to Urban Hikes
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PUBLISHER’S NOTE T H E S C E N E A gl i m ps e i n to the l i fe of No rth e rn V i rg i n i a d o g s
Cage-free daycare, boarding, grooming and more. Five great locations in Northern Virginia. Visit www.adogsdayout.com. Winners receive a NOVADog Northern Virginia. And I couldMagazine not agree more. Fall lights up our amazing partcertifi of thecate from A Dog’s Day Out. limited-edition T-shirt and a gift
BROUGHT TO YOUthe BYuniversal consensus is that fall is the grandest of seasons in t seems as though
world. This issue we packed in dozens of ways for you to celebrate the fall months as well as provided many fun tips and treats. First 2 locations that 1 you can enjoy an urban hike through DC and off at any of a dozen are pet-friendly. The hike was one of my favorites if only to explore in a way I hadn’t done in awhile. I have been packing up and heading to a lesser-discovered natural areas to hike about, this time I did the exact opposite and headed to the most densely populated area I could find and it provided surprising results. This fall our family also celebrates our anniversary of our newest additions, Boppity and Alice, our rescue bunnies. They have been thriving and enjoying life in our house. They get alongPRIZE so well with Maggie and enjoy play time with the kids so much we can’t believe it’s Pack only been a year that they have been with us. We are looking forward to many more. And of course the entire world has gone pumpkin crazy. Since pumpkin has so many wonderful health benefits for dogs we thought we would highlight those as well. Inside you will find some great tips on how to work some yummy fiber-rich pumpkin into your pooch’s diet. Cheers to Fall – hope to see you at one of our upcoming events or hikes!
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flickr.com/photos/novadog 4. MINNIE loved by Scott & Laura in Fairfax
5. GRETEL loved by Bev novadogmagazine.com/blog in Springfield
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We’re Environmentally Friendly. The pages of NOVADog are printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based inks. Please help us make a difference by recycling your copy or pass this issue along to a fellow dog lover. NOVADog Magazine is committed to creating and fostering an active and supportive community for local dogs and their owners to share, learn, interact, and engage. Our mission is three-fold: • Educate—Provide training and canine health-care tips to help dogs live long and fulfilling lives. • Inspire—Publish insightful stories about local heroes and organizations that are doing good in our community. • Collaborate—Help local animal welfare organizations to save and enrich the lives of homeless and abused animals. Northern Virginia Dog Magazine © 2015 is published quarterly by 343 Media, LLC. Limited complimentary copies are distributed throughout the DC Metro area and are available in select locations. One- and two-year subscriptions are available. Visit www.novadogmagazine.com/subscribe for more information. Send change of address information to P.O. Box 239, Mount Vernon, VA 22121, 703-887-8387. NOVADog Magazine neither endorses or opposes any charity, welfare organization, product, or service, dog-related or otherwise. As an independent publisher and media organization, we report on news and events happening in our local area. Events are used as an outlet to reach new readers interested in all aspects of dog ownership. We encourage all readers to make their own decisions as to which products and services to use, organizations to support, and events to attend.
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contents Fall 2015
N O R T H E R N V I R G I N I A D O G : T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E T O C A N I N E - I N S P I R E D L I V I N G I N T H E D C M E T R O A R E A
12 W eighing Down Fido
Dogs struggle as owners fail to recognize pet obesity By Kelly Pike
18 C anine Cancer: What Does It Really Mean?
Learn How One Local Dog Is Fighting to Beat This Diease By Jillanne Kirby
12 D E PA RT M E N T S
1 PUBLISHER’S NOTE 4 THE SOURCE
News, information, and products
24 CANINE CALENDAR
6 HEALTH WISE
Fall Tips on Dog Health
10 THE SCENE
22 GET SOCIAL
A glimpse into the lives of Northern Virginia dogs
26 HIT THE TRAIL
Hiking With Your Dog
28 WAGS TO RICHES
Adoption success stories
11 EXPERT ADVISE Getting Social at Dog Day Care
Read Koupers’ adoption success story on page 28. www.novadogmagazine.com
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Ne ws , i n fo rm a ti on, and pr oduct s
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THE SOURCE Pk
Pet Tech Who wouldn’t love to “treat” their dog to a cookie from your desk at work? A new gadget lets you do just that. Visit the Techlicious guide to Pet Tech to find out how. www.sterlingparkvet.com
4 Northern Virginia Dog
| Fall 2015
FIND it: www.techlicious.com/guide/dog-cat-pettechnology-health-fun-products/
Eat right. Exercise. Spend time with those you love.
Pet Sits | Puppy Play | Dog Walks www.alexandriapetcare.com
Muddy Dog Prints Are No Match for This Rug After groaning over the expense and inconvenience of employing a professional rug cleaner for so long, Jeneva Bell decided to invent a product that would eliminate the frustration. The Ruggable® 2-Piece Rug System features a custom rug pad that creates a solid base for any of its covers, so rugs can easily be picked up and tossed into the washing macine. The waterresistant cover firmly attaches to the rug pad to prevent bunching or separating. As simple as bed sheets on a mattress, it is purposefully designed to be repeatedly removed, washed, and reapplied—perfect for pet owners, college students, parents and any one else who doesn’t want to deal with expensive rug cleaning costs. From small accent rugs to large area rugs, Ruggable is offered in a variety of different designs, including striped, chevron, fretwork, floral, and shag. Pricing for the affordable 2-piece sets starts at $79.99.
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H E A L T H W I S E
Ad v i ce an d i n fo rm ati o n o n c a n i n e h e a l th i s s u e s
The Vet’s Call on Dogs and Fall By Eri c M . C r y a n , D .V.M.
he cool crisp mornings are perfect for longer walks with our furry friends as the hot, humid summer gives way to Fall, my favorite time of the year. School is back in session, football is starting, pumpkin patches are opening, and the weather is perfect for spending more time outside. As we enjoy the season with our canines, there are things to consider to keep everyone in the family healthy and happy. Cooler temperatures can mean more traveling and socializing for our furkids. Northern Virginia offers wonderful trails, scenic parks, and national forests to enjoy. In addition, there are many local dog parks where dogs can romp, play, and make new friends. It is important to discuss with your veterinarian your dog’s lifestyle so he or she can make an informed recommendation on appropriate vaccines. Rabies is present in the local wildlife so it is critical and required by law to keep your
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dog’s rabies vaccine current. When I see a Bichon in Ballston my vaccine recommendation may be different than my recommendation for a Golden Retriever who lives in Great Falls and spends a lot of time outside. Dogs who board or go to dog parks should receive a bordatella vaccine and potentially a canine influenza
in addition to the rabies and distemper core vaccines. Similarly dogs hiking, camping, or spending a lot of time outdoors should talk to their veterinarian about the leptospirosis and lyme vaccinations. The physical and psychological benefits of canine companionship are apparent to the average dog owner, and now recent medical studies indicate additional potential benefits. People with dogs may have lower blood pressure, less anxiety, and a lower incidence of allergies and asthma. That being said, everyone’s immune system is different and this season has specific allergy triggers for people and dogs alike. Things like ragweed, other pollens, and mold spores, in particular from damp areas outside, can trigger itchy eyes and sneezing in people. Dogs can manifest these symptoms as well in addition to red or swollen paws, ears, or skin. A common allergic stimulation in dogs in the fall remains external parasites, so make sure
to keep your pooch on monthly flea and tick preventatives. Supplements with Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to benefit many allergic skin conditions so consider these if your dog suffers from allergies. Your veterinarian can also prescribe antihistamines and additional medications especially if the redness and swelling leads to a secondary infection. My guide dog dropout, Bliss, suffers from skin allergies so I can relate to the itchy dogs I see this time of year. Fall holidays also pose unique challenges for dog owners. In addition to the normal traveling woes some hounds experience, Halloween presents its own set of problems. Many dogs are understandably stressed when strange people in costumes are repeatedly ringing the doorbell. Finding a quiet place for your canine companion to retreat to can be the key to reducing stress in a nervous dog. Make sure to secure holiday food and candy where pets and kids cannot access them. Dogs can ingest toxic levels of theobromine after getting into chocolate. In addition, too many treats or fatty foods during the holidays can trigger pancreatitis in dogs which can be extremely serious. Fall provides unique opportunities for great local experiences with our canine companions. It is important to take these precautions this time of year to keep our dogs healthy and maximize this fantastic time of the year. ND Dr. Eric Cryan is the owner and chief veterinarian of NoVa Mobile Vet and provides veterinary care throughout northern Virginia. www.novamobilevet.com 1-866-946-PETS(7387).
Peanut Butter and Pumpkin Dog Treats Prep 15 min. Cook 40 min. Ingredients 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 2 eggs 1/2 cup canned pumpkin 2 tablespoons peanut butter 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Whisk together the flour, eggs, pumpkin, peanut butter, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add water as needed to help make the dough workable, but the dough should be dry and stiff. Roll the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick roll. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces or use your favorite cookie cutter. Bake in preheated oven until hard, about 40 minutes. Recipe courtesy of Allrecipes.com
Fall into fun
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D o g f r ie n d ly s p a c e s in N or t her n Vi r gi ni a and beyond
Courtesy of Visit Frederick
Discover Dog-Friendly Frederick, Maryland!
Douglas Via Photography
by Cha r issa H ip p , Visit F re d e ri c k
rederick, Maryland, is the perfect driveable, dog-friendly destination for your next getaway. Located approximately one hour from Northern Virginia, hip and historic Frederick has a hometown feel with national appeal. Known for its nationally-acclaimed dining hotspots, parks, and unique shopping opportunities, this is one great American Main Street you don’t want to miss. The best part is, you can bring your canine friend along for the adventure! Downtown Frederick welcomes well-behaved, leashed pets at more than 50 specialty shops, boutiques, antique shops, restaurants, and galleries. Most are easily identifiable with decals prominently displayed in the windows and water bowls out front. In fact, some business owners are known to keep dog treats on hand for four-legged patrons. All dogfriendly businesses are designated as such with a pawprint symbol on the Downtown Frederick Partnership website at www.downtownfrederick.org. Be sure to stop by Paws in the City at 15 South Carroll Street.
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There you’ll find a wide variety of dog treats, toys, and pet supplies.
Dine With Your Faithful Friend While you and your canine friend are enjoying the unique shops in downtown Frederick, you’re bound to work up an appetite! Downtown Frederick is known as a culinary hot spot where you can dine on fresh, local foods prepared by critically-acclaimed chefs like Bryan Voltaggio, who put Frederick’s culinary scene on the map nationally when he appeared on Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. Fortunately, many downtown restaurants have patio dining and welcome you and your pooch for a meal, a snack, or some local beer, wine and spirits.
Enjoy the Fresh Air Frederick has no shortage of parks – from national parks to state parks to dog parks and municipal parks – there are plenty of places to take
Photos this page:Douglas Via Photography
your dog for some great outdoor fun and recreation. Carroll Creek Park is a 1.3-mile linear park that runs through the center of downtown Frederick. It hosts festivals, live music, and is a great place for a stroll. Want to enjoy the outdoors and immerse yourself in American history? Learn about the July 1864 Civil War Battle of Monocacy. A system of trails throughout the park provides a great opportunity for you and your dog to commune with nature and follow in soldiers’ footsteps. Leashed pets are welcome in the park and on trails, but not in park buildings. At the opposite end of Frederick is Gambrill State Park, a beautiful mountain park located on the ridge of the Catoctin Mountains in Frederick County. The most popular feature at Gambrill is its 16 miles of trails, several with amazing views of Frederick and beyond. Licensed and leashed pets are allowed in the day use, camping, trail, and picnic areas at Gambrill. If your dog enjoys getting out on the open road and riding shotgun, head north from Frederick on the Journey through Hallowed Ground National Scenic Byway. You’ll find more parks like Catoctin Mountain Park and Cunningham Falls State Park, with trails leading to Maryland’s largest cascading waterfall and beautiful scenic landscapes dotted with wineries and orchards. Only 20 minutes away from Downtown Frederick, northern Frederick County is a quiet, peaceful escape from the bustling downtown scene. One of the most popular activities is the driving tour of three historic, wooden covered bridges.
Unwind and Stay for Awhile If you can make your trip to Frederick an overnight one, you’ll find a wide variety of accommodations to choose from. Several hotels in both Frederick and northern Frederick County allow pets. Another fun option is a pet-friendly luxury log cabin nestled in northern Frederick County at Ole Mink Farm Recreational Resort. Luxury cabins with one to four bedrooms offer amenities like heating and air conditioning, WiFi, cable television, fireplaces, and those are just the human amenities! For your pup, there’s a dog playground complete with a fire hydrant and a bathing station. The Country Store onsite also carries dog toys and treats as well as other pet supplies. ND Plan your visit to dog-friendly Frederick at www.visitfrederick.org. The Frederick Visitor Center, located at 151 S. East Street, is a great first stop and welcomes you and your pet daily from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM. www.novadogmagazine.com
THE SCENE BROUGHT TO YOU BY
A gl i m ps e i n to the l i fe of No rth e rn V i rg i n i a d o g s
Cage-free daycare, boarding, grooming and more. Five great locations in Northern Virginia. Visit www.adogsdayout.com. Winners receive a NOVADog Magazine limited-edition T-shirt and a gift certificate from A Dog’s Day Out.
winner 1. MAESON & TRIXIE loved by Michael & Sharon in Burke
2. MELCHI loved by Cary in Reston
3. TWINKOLS loved by Alyssa in Chesterfield
4. LUPITA loved by Kinnunen & Michael in Alexandria
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5. TIA loved by Susan in Springfield
Submit your dog’s photo on our home-page, and see the slide show of all submitted dog photos at www.novadogmagazine.com
An s w e rs to y ou r be h a v i o r a n d tra i n i n g q u e s ti o n s
What New Dog Parents Should Know About Dog Day Care I have a new puppy that I would like to socialize. I want to take her QUESTION to a dog day care while I am at work, but I am a little nervous about leaving her. Is there anything I should do to prepare her? And what questions should I ask as a new doggie mom when I visit a facility? Dear New Puppy Owner, To prepare your puppy for dog daycare, you want to make sure your dog is comfortable in off-leash play situations. If your pup has never been in an off-leash play situation, take her to one of the area’s dog parks (if your pup has had all of their vaccinations) and let her explore and meet new dogs. It’s important during these first few offleash play sessions that you monitor your dog closely to maintain a safe and positive environment. Watch your pup’s body language, is her tail tucked between her legs while she runs to hide, or is she confidently frolicking about the area? If she’s shy, you might need to sit on the ground with her in your lap as other pups come up to her, ensuring she feels safe and secure. Some dogs don’t become social butterflies overnight it might take a few sessions before they’ve worked up the confidence to break out of your lap and into play; just be patient. Of course, once you know your pup enjoys off-leash play, it’s important to find the right fit to keep your dog happy and healthy at daycare. Here are the key questions to ask when researching dog daycare and speaking with your local facility: Is there an evaluation? Dog daycares often have an evaluation for new dogs to determine whether they’re a good fit for the facility and that they’ll feel comfortable in daycare. You’ll also feel better knowing all dogs at the facility can interact positively with other dogs. Who performs the evaluation? Especially with open play dog daycares, you’ll want the team member performing the evaluation to be trained and tested on dog behavior and certified to evaluate your dog. Whereas a ANSWER
new team member may be comfortable in the playrooms when partnered with another playroom attendant, they won’t necessarily be equipped to evaluate whether your dog is comfortable around other dogs and a good fit for daycare. Do the employees receive training? Training should be standardized, so all team members receive the same comprehensive training. Training should focus on dog behavior, positive reinforcement leadership techniques, and proactive playroom management to alleviate tense situations between dogs. Also ask about pet first aid and CPR certification. The more team members certified in pet first aid and CPR, the more likely someone with a certification will be in the building at any given time. How much playtime will my dog receive? Playtime can vary widely from daycare to daycare. Some dog daycares have a full 10 hours of open play. Others will provide your dog with a few hours of playtime throughout the day and they’ll spend most of the day in their crate. Naptime is important, and some dogs don’t want or need much playtime, so always consider hours of playtime in relation to the cost for a day of play. How do I know my dog will be safe in the playroom? If the daycare is an open play facility, it’s important to know that they separate dogs by size and temperament to alleviate bullying and keep all dogs safe during open play. They may also separate dogs into different rooms based on play style so there is no line of sight between large and small dogs. Some facilities will allow toys during open play whereas others may consider toys and treats possessions that start arguments. Do you have an emergency evacua-
tion plan? Every dog daycare should have a complete evacuation plan. If a team member doesn’t know about it, the plan becomes useless. What are your cleaning standards? Are there standards for cleaning the facility on a regular basis? Does the team follow these? Ask the team how they handle a canine cough outbreak, for example. Being in a social environment increases the potential for these illnesses, so understanding that the team can handle these outbreaks is important. Are there specific vaccination requirements? Knowing the facility requires up-to-date vaccinations such as rabies, bordetella, and distemper, will also minimize any concerns that your dog will pick up these diseases while you’re away. Can the daycare meet my dog’s needs? If your dog has special needs for any reason, such as regular medication with lunch, does the facility have a system to handle these? It’s important that special needs are communicated in writing to the whole team. If you’ve looked at dog daycares near your home and aren’t sure whether they meet your needs, consider whether there is a facility close to work. Ask your co-workers if they bring their dog to daycare or what their experience has been with dog daycare. They may be able to make positive recommendations to curb your anxiety about this new routine. ND This article was brought to you by Dogtopia of Alexandria. Franchised by Jeff and Sandy Lutton in 2007, Dogtopia Alexandria offers dog daycare, boarding and spa, a self-service dog wash, and a boutique. They recently held a grand re-opening to celebrate an expansion to service more dogs and their families. www.novadogmagazine.com
12 Northern Virginia Dog
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Weighing Down Fido By Kelly Pike
Dogs struggle as owners fail to recognize pet obesity
n every dog owner’s life there’s a moment where she knows she’s made a terrible mistake. Whether it’s that trip to the emergency vet when the dog eats a box of raisins or the time the back gate was left open forcing a neighborhood wide dog hunt, things go wrong. But sometimes dog owners don’t realize their actions have caused harm. This is especially true when it comes to pet obesity. More than 35 percent of dogs in the U.S. are overweight and another 18 percent are obese, defined as greater than 30 percent normal or ideal body weight, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). It’s a figure supported by local veterinarians, who say it’s the most commonly diagnosed disease in their practices. “I would say 40 or 50 percent of my patients are overweight,” says Dr. Ken Melberger, DVM, an associate veterinarian at Leesburg Veterinary Hospital. “It’s a huge problem.” www.novadogmagazine.com
Pudgy Overweight and obese dogs are at risk of many health problems. The extra strain on joints can lead to osteoarthritis, cruciate ligament injury and hip dysplasia—huge quality of life issues. One study showed as many as 25 percent of overweight dogs had serious joint complications, notes Dr. Jennifer Moulton, DDS, owner of Cherished Companion Mobile Veterinary Services in Reston, VA. “Arthritis is the main thing I worry about,” says Melberger. “But there are a variety of other problems if other factors are in place.” Overweight dogs are at risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory disease, pancreatitis, kidney disease, heat stroke and many forms of cancer, including bladder and mammary tumors. They are more likely to have trouble with anesthesia due to difficulty breathing and have a harder time giving birth. They are gassier than slimmer dogs, are more susceptible to infection and are prone to skin issues due to excess skin folds that rub or have reduced circulation, Moulton says. Worst of all, an overweight dog’s life expectancy can be cut short by at least two years.
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Very thin: 2%
More than half of all dogs in the U.S. are overweight or obese
Source: Association for Pet Obesity Prevention
An Unnoticed Problem With the stakes so high, it seems like dog owners would be working hard to slim their pets down, but many are in denial. The APOP study found 95 percent of owners of overweight dogs believe their pet is a normal weight. APOP calls it the “fat pet gap.” “People have a hard time recognizing weight gain as it happens,” notes Moulton. “People don’t necessarily have good ways to know.” Part of the problem is that different breeds have different physiques. Grey-
hounds have slim waists making them hard to compare to pugs. Meanwhile, the public has distorted ideas about how pets should look. “There is a perception issue,” says Melberger. “When most people picture a pug in their minds, the typical picture is an overweight dog.” Common wisdom says a dog at an ideal weight should have an obvious waist with ribs that are easily felt but not seen. One easy way to test this is to feel around the chest area. If you can feel the rib area, the
dog probably isn’t too overweight. If you can pinch an inch or more of fat or have trouble feeling the rib cage, you have a problem, says Moulton. She also recommends looking at a standing dog’s gluteal fat pads—the dog equivalent of love handles—below where the waist should taper. If that area starts bulging out, the dog could be too heavy.
The Causes Dogs are gaining weight for many of the same reasons as people: sedentary lifestyles and too much food. “Over feeding is a big part of it,” says Melberger. “People don’t
Falling into the ‘Fat Pet Gap’ An astounding 95 percent of dog owners don’t know that their dog is overweight. It’s an easy mistake to make. It even happened to my beagle mix Lola. The problem began when my first child was introduced to table food. Not content to simply eat the food I gave her, she generously showered a smorgasbord of bread, pasta, and chicken nuggets over the side of her high chair tray and onto the floor where Lola lay eagerly below. Exhausted by parenthood, I gladly let Lola clean off the floor, viewing it as a symbiotic relationship like the pilot fish that hang around sharks eating their leftovers. Lola got a snack. There was less to pick up off the floor. Everyone wins! Except not everyone was winning. Lola was gaining weight—and fast. Her annual checkup revealed that her formerly 35-pound frame was now closing in on 40 pounds—a 14 percent weight increase in less than a year. I hadn’t even noticed. That’s not to say it wasn’t noticeable to others. In a cringe worthy moment soon after Lola’s vet appointment, a visitor to my home asked if Lola was pregnant. Clearly, Lola was falling into the “fat pet gap.” Fortunately, Lola’s problem was corrected easily through diet—she was already enjoying two walks a day. First, we reduced her serving size of kibble to account for all the inevitable snacks courtesy of the baby. Second, we stopped eyeballing her food servings and started using a measuring cup. At her next vet visit, she was back to her proper size—and no one else has asked when her puppies are due.
Help us LICK LONELINESS You and your cat, dog or rabbit are needed to join other Fairfax Pets on Wheels, Inc. volunteers who make a difference in the community by visiting residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Visit: www.fpow.org or Call: 703-324-5406 www.novadogmagazine.com
realize it or admit it. There is a lot of finger pointing. They blame a spouse or grandmother or a kid in a high chair tossing it on the floor.” Veterinarians specifically point the finger at treats, with owners frequently rewarding dogs with treats instead of affection or play time. Meanwhile today’s dogs don’t have to compete for food as much as they used to, believes Moulton, and the food they get is higher in calories. There are other factors. Like people, dogs’ metabolic rates decline as they get older, making it easier to gain weight. Dogs between the ages of 5 and 12 are most likely to be overweight, says Moulton, and a mature dog may need 20 to 40 percent fewer calories than a young dog. Female dogs are especially susceptible to being overweight as are certain breeds including: Retrievers, Rottweilers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands, St. Bernards, Cairn Terriers, West Highland and Scottish Terriers, Shetland Sheepdogs, Basset Hounds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Dachshunds, Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, Labradors and Schnauzers. Some cases may be a
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result of thyroid or other undetected health problems.
Eating Less and Moving More Both diet and exercise are equally important when helping dogs shed excess weight, but from a real-world perspective it’s easiest to address food, says Melberger. An easy place to start is cutting back on treats, trying to give smaller treats each time instead of eliminating them all together. “Treats are usually about the attention,” he says. “If you just give less treats each time you can make a reduction without taking away attention.” He also discourages giving dogs human food, which contains far more calories than dog food. When it comes to dog food, Melberger suggests dog owners round down to the nearest convenient size when taking portion recommendations from dog food packages. If a package says feed 7/8th of a cup, measure ¾ instead. Then track the dog’s weight to see if it’s the right amount. Ideally a dog on a diet should lose one to two percent of its body weight a week. That means a 50-pound dog could comfortably
lose a half to a whole pound weekly. Pushing weight loss too fast can be dangerous and dog owners should consult their veterinarians before putting a dog less than one year old on a diet, says Moulton. She recommends starting by cutting back food by 15 to 25 percent. Prescription food is available and the FDA recently approved a new prescription drug to help dogs lose weight, but those tend to be last resorts. As for exercise, a study in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Associates found that less active dogs have less active owners, meaning dog owners can help their dogs shed a few pounds while also helping their own health by taking their dogs for more walks. Owners just need to start slowly with pet exercise, working their way up and paying attention to how the pet responds, says Melberger. “Are they stiff and store? Slowing down in the middle? Wanting to stop and go home? Gauge your pet’s response,” he says. Many pet owners report omega fish oils help reduce joint pain, making it more comfortable for a dog to exercise, says Moulton.
Tracking Fido’s Fitness
As more dogs are labeled overweight, owners need to pay more attention to their dog’s size and take it seriously if the veterinarian says a dog needs to lose a few pounds. Ignoring the warning could be a fatal mistake. “The bottom line and sum total of all of this is you can lose at least two years of your dog’s life and life during that time could be compromised on quality,” says Moulton. “I’d love to see my patients have two extra years of life.” ND Kelly Pike is a freelance writer in Annandale, Va. She does her best work when her Beagle mix, Lola, is snoring away next to her. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wonder how much exercise your dog gets when you’re away from the house? Following on the heels of the Fitbit craze, companies have developed wearable technologies and apps to track dogs’ activity, sleep patterns, and even vital signs to help owners monitor their dogs from afar. This information can be used to determine if a dog is getting enough rest and exercise—and in some cases predict if a pet is under the weather. Many of these devices attach to a dog’s existing collar and interface with an app that allows owners to monitor their dogs with a smartphone or other device. Here are a few: FitBark. A bone-shaped sensor that monitors a dog’s daily activity and sleep, sending alerts via Bluetooth when a dog is resting more than normal or has reached activity goal for the day. Its app also compares your dog’s activity with other dogs of a similar age, size, and breed. ($99) WonderWoof. Similar to the FitBark except it’s shaped like a bow tie. It tracks analytics to ensure the dog is getting the proper activity for its size, breed, and age. The WonderWoof app also serves as a social network for dogs. ($95) The Whistle Activity Monitor. Measures a dog’s activity and rest and tracks daily goals and progress. It syncs with both Bluetooth and Wifi to compare your dog to similar dogs, monitor long-term health trends, and notify you of changes. Notes and pictures can be shared with other dog owners through its social network. ($99) Tractive Motion. Monitors a dog’s activity 24 hour a day, syncing the data to a smart phone. Owners can set goals, track daily and monthly activity, and understand the influence of outside factors like temperature and daylight on a pet’s behavior. ($99.99) Voyce Health Monitor. A dog collar that measures resting heart rate, resting respiratory rate, activity, calories burned, distance traveled, and quality of rest. It comes in multiple sizes and is WiFi enabled. ($199 plus $9.50 a month subscription)
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Canine Cancer: What Does It Really Mean? Learn How One Local Dog is Fighting This Diease By Jillanne Kirby
ere in Northern Virginia, our dogs are valued members of the family who are pampered with doggie daycares, dog spas, and an abundance of glorious dog parks. Part of caring for our pets is staying educated on diseases, vaccines, and screenings that
may save their lives. Canine cancer is a disease that affects 1 in 3 dogs. Of those diagnosed, 50% will die from the disease. These are startling statistics for any dog owner, but before you make a panicked call to your vet, read on to learn the facts.
As with cancer in humans, the warning signs and treatment options are different depending on the type of cancer, age of the dog, and stage of the cancer. However, canine cancer is more prevalent in dogs over the age of 10 and in some breeds such as Boxers, flat-coated retrievers, Bernese Mountain dogs, and Golden Retrievers, where as much as 75% of the breed will be diagnosed with
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cancer. Catching cancer early is key which makes knowing the warning signs all the more important. Some of the warning signs include sores that do not heal, weight loss, loss of appetite, bleeding or discharge from any body opening, offensive odor, difficulty eating or swallowing, hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina, persistent lameness or stiffness, difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecation. In
Raisin, who was diagnosed 18 months ago with anal sac mass adenocarcinoma, has undergone numerous treatments in order to keep her disease under control.
cases of Hemangioscaroma, a vascular cancer, there are little to no signs. As dog owners, we know our dog’s habits and personalities, so if your dog seems to be off, it’s not a bad idea to take them in to the vet for a screening. With medical advances, there is even a comprehensive health panel from Veterinary Diagnostics Institute (VDI) called IncaSe that can be used as a routine screening for general health to detect occult disease. If you suspect cancer, but do not want to do a biopsy, which can be pricy and invasive, there is now a canine cancer panel from VDI that can be used to confirm if cancer is present.
In dogs, the chemotherapy is in smaller dosages and not intended to cure the dog, only to prolong life, which makes it easier for the dogs to tolerate without noticeable side effects.
A Local Dog’s Fight Against Cancer In the case of one local dog, Raisin, the swift action of her owners saved her life. Danielle, Raisin’s mom, noticed she was drinking a lot of water, more than usual. Raisin had issues with yeast infections in the past due to her physiological make up. Assuming it was another yeast infection and they took Raisin in to her vet thinking she would just get some antibiotics and everything would
on nd nti a Me ADog V NO
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be fine. When the vet went to take her temperature during the visit, she noticed a small lump next to Raisin’s rectum. It was quickly diagnosed as an anal sac mass adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer common in female dogs Raisin’s age. Treatment was started immediately. Raisin went in for outpatient surgery within a few weeks of diagnosis to remove the mass. Luckily in Raisin’s case, the vet was able to remove the entire tumor without evidential spread, but Raisin still had to do chemotherapy treatments to ensure
the best case of success. It is important to understand that chemotherapy treatment in dogs is different than human treatment.
Treating Canine Cancer In dogs, the chemotherapy is in smaller dosages and not intended to cure the dog, only to prolong life, which makes it easier for the dogs to tolerate without noticeable side effects. The only apparent effects the chemotherapy had on Raisin were tiredness after the injections, but when the oral doses were administered, she was com-
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pletely normal. Fortunately for her owners, FETCH-a-Cure, a Richmond-based pet cancer awareness organization provided financial assistance to help cover the cost of Raisin’s medical care. Raisin did not exhibit any negative symptoms of cancer and seemed to feel just fine except for being a little rickety with age - she turned 12 this summer. Unfortunately, the oncologist found that the chemotherapy did not make a meaningful change in slowing the spread of her cancer. Although a tumor has not grown back in the area where it was originally found, after six months of various rounds of injectable and oral chemotherapy, a fast growing cancer mass was found in one of Raisin’s lymph nodes. At this point, one shorter round of chemotherapy was attempted to address the lymph node mass, but it proved unsuccessful. Over the course of 18 months, Raisin’s treatments included: Mitoxantrone, one shot every three weeks for a total of 15 weeks, Carboplatin, one shot every three weeks for a total of 15 weeks, Melphalan an oral chemotherapy, given daily. The Melphelan itself was not effective, but a therapeutic dose of Piroxicam, an antiinflammatory drug, not only slowed the cancer down, it alleviated pain related to arthritis. Raisin acted like she was years younger as a result. Several months after the lymph node mass was found, the oncologist discovered that the mass had not grown a significant amount, and therefore, prognosis for a longer span of life without symptoms seemed promising. This past September marked 18-months since Raisin was diagnosed with terminal
cancer. She has not had cancer-specific treatment since November 2014. When she was first diagnosed, her prognosis ranged from 6 months at times to 18 months free of symptoms (time frames are only rough estimates). In June, Raisin’s owners discontinued use of Piroxicam, as a build-up of the drug in Raisin’s system began to cause gastrointestinal issues. This was a hard choice to make, as it may have been the reason for the slowing growth of the lymph nose mass, and it also eased her discomfort related to arthritis. Although she has been experiencing some gastrointestinal issues, which may indicate that the end for her is near, she still romps and plays, loves walks, eats like a pack horse, cuddles, and seems to be enjoying her life as it is.
Learning More For more information on Canine Cancer visit National Cancer’s website at wearethecure.org. The National Canine Cancer Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health issue and increasing survival rates in dogs through education, outreach and research. Based in Phoenix, AZ the NCCF has volunteer chapters across the country including here locally in Washington DC. Other organizations with information include the Morris Animal Foundation, the AKC Canine Health Foundation, and locally, FETCH A Cure based out of Richmond, Virginia. ND Jill Kirby is a local volunteer for the DC Chapter of the National Canine Cancer Foundation. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband and adorable German Shorthaired puppy, Jack.
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Getting Social With novadog We recently celebrated National Mutt Day and National Dog Day. Here’s a sampling from our dog loving fans. Don’t forget to share your favorite picture—your pooch may end up in the next issue! Amanda J. He’s my whole world. He gets me through the tough days and the good days
Angela D. Not only does Sadie bring joy to my everyday, she gets me out of my comfort zone doing things I never would without her.
Terry P. My old girl is 12 1/2 and still full of love for life, even though she is wobbly when she walks, she still wants to get up and go as far as she can!
Karen E. I work from home and he’s the best coworker! He’s a big love bug.
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Theresa S. Faith Jenn R. My little rescue mutt who just turned 4.
Ilisa S. Miss Macy Moo. We just lost her [in July]. She was 14 years old.
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CANINE CALENDAR Special thanks to our calendar sponsor Fur-Get Me Not. www.furgetmenot.com
OCTOBER October 14 6:35-9:00 PM – Wines for Canines and Felines Enjoy hundreds of wines, food, a silent auction, and prizes at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Washington, DC. This is the perfect event for lovers of pets and wines! Tickets are $75 and benefits the Montgomery County Humane Society.
October 17 12:00-4:00 PM - PetOberfest Enjoy free family and pet friendly activities at Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge including: pet-oriented exhibitors, pet rescues, pet photo booth, pet parade and contests, children’s entertainment, store discounts, prizes, and much more. Pet photo booth donations will benefit the Prince William SPC. All pets in attendance must be leashed. For event and exhibitor information, visit www. sptcpetoberfest.com.
October 17 1:00-4:00 PM - Chesapeake Dock Diving Dogs Demonstration World Champion dogs from the Chesapeake Dock Diving Dog Club will demonstrate their amazing leaps and jumps! There will also be adoptable dogs, great activities and informational tables. http://petmac.org/arl/events/
24 Northern Virginia Dog
11-2:00 PM - Caring Hands Animal Hospital Howl o-ween Walk to the Rescue Registration is $20 (kids are free) and includes a t-shirt and goodie bag. Money raises will go towards animal welfare goups.
1:00-5:00 PM - Barktoberfest Oktoberfest goes to the dogs when the Washington Animal Rescue League presents its second annual Barktoberfest! VIP Ticket $50. General Admission: $35. Non-Drinkiing Guests $10. donate.warl. org/barktoberfest2015
October 24 7:30-11:00 PM – A Party for Paws This year’s gala is something new – it’s all about gathering with fellow pet lovers, showing off your dog, dancing, and helping homeless animals! The evening will include a photo booth, a doggie dress-up parade, a silent auction, dancing, food, and drinks. Dress up your dog, and bring a mask, or pick one up at the party. Masks are optional, but a lot of fun! http://www. mchumane.org/event/party-for-paws/
October 24 9:30-12:00 PM - The 2nd Annual Howl-oWeen Walk supporting Homeward Trails and Doorways. Bring your dogs and your entire family in costume to walk, trick-or-treat at local businesses, enjoy food, music, a costume contest and more. The walk raises money and awareness for human and animal victims of domestic violence. $30 for adults. $20 kids 12 and under. Dogs are free!
| Fall 2015
October 25 10:00 AM - Dog Jog 5k & Dog Walk for Webberpack Animal Adoption & Getaway (WAAAG) at Barrel Oak Winery, Delphane, VA. $25 per person. Kids 8 and under and dogs are free. http://www.waaag.org/ Events/
Octorber 27 6:00-7:30 PM - Fairmont Howl-o-ween Trick or Treat Have a “howling” good time at this special, seasonal yappy hour, featuring a canine costume contest. There will also be adoptable dogs from Washington Animal Rescue League.
October 30 8:00-5:00 PM – Halloween Party and Costume Contest at TheDog Eaze Inn Bring your furry ghost or goblin in for a fun filled, bone chilling pawty. Regular daycare fees apply. http://www.dogeazeinn.com/
October 31 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM - Golden Retriever Rescue, Education and Training (GREEAT) 3K Walk. Grab your sneakers and your dog and head over to Weber’s Pet Supermarket in Fairfax. $25 per person after October 18th.
NOVEMBER November 1 2:00-4:00 PM – Dog Days in Vienna Bark if you love Vienna! The Town of Vienna Parks and Recreation cordially invites all animal lovers and dog owners to support a pet-friendly event. This event is free for those interested in playing with their leashed dogs on the Town Green. There will be an “off leash” fenced in area with obstacles and toys for the dogs to play with as well. Enjoy pet friendly exhibitors. Stop by the Parks & Recreation table - free dog bandanas or bone bag holder disposals for the first 35 dogs!
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November 7 11:00-4:00 PM – Home 4 the Holidays Home 4 the Holidays is an outdoor festival in Reston, VA that attracts an average of 3,000 targeted visitors, bringing together local businesses, animal rescue groups, and pet owners for an exciting day of interactive activities, demonstrations, exhibitions and animals galore. http://www.home4theholidaysdc.org.
November 7 9:00-12:00 PM - Electronic Recyling to Benefit Fauquier SPCA Bring your old computers, cell phones, and electronic equipment to Waterloo Station Shopping Center in Warrenton, VA to be recyled.
November 7 6:00-11:00 PM PawCasso This elegant evening featuring the art of local artists in a live auction, a spectacular silent auction, food, drink, dancing and live music by the Smithsonian Jazz Quintet. The best part? You can get all dressed up and bring your doggie date! http://www.pawcassoart.org/
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Sunday, December 20:Embassy Row Hotel (11am-3pm)* *Featuring Puppies and Pancakes Brunch! Stay after the holiday photos and bring your four-legged family member to a delicious brunch in the Station Kitchen. $20 donation includes a printed photo in magnet frame and digital copy ND
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For more events check out our Canine Calendar online at: www.novadogmagazine.com
HIT THE TRAIL L o c a l wa l k s t o e n j o y
NOVADog Guide to Urban Hikes By Angela Meyers
his issue we are focusing on an urban hike as a fun, interesting, and actionpacked alternative to a traditional nature hike. As the fall temperatures cool down the city streets, this hike takes you through 9 miles of NW DC, past many dog-friendly locations ranging from dog parks to eateries, retail locations, gardens, parks, and more. It travels through Brookland, Shaw, Columbia Heights, and Adams Morgan. Be prepared, this hike is long, unsheltered from the elements, and contains typical urban “hazards” such as occasional broken glass and things dogs might want to nibble on. But the volume of off-thebeaten track sights and hidden gems on this loop are well-worth the effort of seeking them out. Sunday proves to be a great day for this hike, as many of the locations featured additional special events. Weekends are also highly recommended as some of the sights listed are only open on weekends. This hike is intended for you to choose which stops to make to create the perfect experience for yourself. If you choose to stop at all locations, plan for at least an 8-10 hour day. This hikes starts at (1) Rock Creek Cemetery. It’s a historic cemetery with many century-old gravestones, statures some of which feature historical figures. The grounds are open daily from 8:00 AM-6:00 PM. The entrance gate is at Buchanan Street. Continue south on Rock Creek Church Road NW for .3 miles and you’ll encounter a large gate on your left. Passing through the security gate, you will find (2) President Lincoln’s Cottage. The cottage itself isn’t pet-friendly, but traversing through the grounds with your pet is permitted. The area is secure and restricted, but the loop around Lincoln’s cottage along with the nearby surrounding buildings is quite a lovely sight. Exit through the same gate to continue south onto Rock Creek Church Road NW. After continuing south, turn right onto Park Place NW. At the corner of Park and Kenyon, 1.1 miles later, you’ll discover a bustling,
Did you hike it? Please stop by our Facebook page to leave some of your own feedback, www.facebook.com/novadog.
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mini oasis, (3) Wangari Gardens. Created to honor Professor Wangari Maathai, an environmentalist and social justice peace activist who empowered others to plant more than 47 million trees, this 2.7 acre park includes both public and private gardens. The outer gardens are public domain, cared for and cultivated collectively by anyone stopping by. All are encouraged to make a contribution to the gardens and to also reap their rewards, harvesting fruit, vegetables, or herbs. The private gardens are within the inner fences and privately maintained. Check their website for famous Sunday Open houses with yoga, classes, and demonstrations. Next stop is (4) Meridian Pint a short .7 miles away. Leave the gardens heading east on Kenyon for four blocks, then turn right onto 11th Street for two blocks. Meridian Pint is on a short strip in a revived area covered with restaurants with great outdoor seating. Visit
anytime with tolerable temperatures and enjoy a great seat outdoors with your pooch. There is also a dog park directly across the street. The bar is fun, serving dozens of local and regional craft brews as well as a great selection of foods, complete with outdoor water bowls for Fido. Head east on Park for a quick few blocks and you will encounter the famous (5) Sticky Fingers Bakery. Grab a great seat outside and enjoy a delectable treat with a warm coffee on a brisk fall morning. After leaving the bakery, turn left onto 14th Street SW for two blocks, then a Right onto Columbia and a left onto 15th and after about four blocks you’ll know you are in the right place, (6) Meridian Hill Park, especially on a Sunday when you hear the rhythmic thumping beat of the drum circles. This very popular park is enjoyed by many people and pets and has a fun lively vibe. Plan to linger and enjoy
the music, architecture, and people. This halfway point is a great time for a little doggie treat. Stop in at the adorable (7) FurGet Me Not Dog Wash and boutique for a treat or a toy to take with you to the next stop: (8) Shaw Dog Park! Shaw Dog Park is one happening place, with separate small dog and big dog play areas. There are so many friendly faces in this park, you’ll find yourself stopping to chat for a long while if you give yourself enough time. If you find the next park, (9) Crispus Attucks Park, you get a gold star. Tucked away between a few alleys, this tiny park feels like a backyard. From inside the park the rooftops create a castle-like feel, the grounds are wellmaintained and of course since no one knows it’s there, it’s a secluded little paradise! As you head down the final stretch you can choose to enjoy the calmness of the (10) Prospect Hill and (11) Glenwood Cemeteries, located beside each other. Century-old statues, memorials, inscriptions ,and history provide a most interesting backdrop. Another can’t miss sight is on the grounds of Catholic University. The (12) Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral is the largest Roman Catholic church in the United States and North America as well as one of the ten largest churches in the world. While you can’t go inside with your dog, it’s an amazing sight from outside. If you find yourself thirsty again, you are in luck as (13) Brookland Pint, the sister location of Meridian Pint, is only a few steps away. Also very dog-friendly, you can enjoy a pint outside on the patio with your pooch by your side. And the final stop provides an opportunity to explore the rich history of (14) Fort Trotten Park and to take some time to reflect on your great hike. The park is one of the sites of the Defenses of Washington fort tour. ND
1. Rock Creek Cemetery 201 Allison St NW Washington, DC 20011 http://www.rockcreekparish. org/cemetery
7. Fur-Get Me Not 1722 Florida Avenue Northwest Washington, DC 20009 www.furgetmenot.com
2. President Lincoln’s Cottage 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW Washington, DC 20011 http://lincolncottage.org
8. Shaw Dog Park 1673 11th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20001 www.shawdogs.org
3. Wangari Gardens Intersection of Kenyon Street, Irving Street, and Park Place NW Washington, DC 20010 https://wangarigardens. wordpress.com/ 4. Meridian Pint 3400 11th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20010 http://meridianpint.com/ 5. Sticky Fingers Bakery 1370 Park Road Northwest Washington, DC 20010 www.stickyfingersbakery.com 6. Meridian Hill Park 2400 15th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20008 http://www.nps.gov/mehi/ index.htm
9. Crispus Attucks Park 63 U Street Washington, DC 20001 http://crispusattucksparkdc. org/
13. Brookland Pint 716 Monroe Street, NE Washington, DC 20017 Brooklandpint.com 14. Fort Trotten Fort Totten Drive NE Washington, DC 20011
Parking: Choose one of the streets between Rock Creek Cemetery and Fort Trotten. Crittenden and Buchanan had ample parking.
10. Prospect Hill Cemetery 2201 North Capitol Street, NE Washington, DC 200021103 http://www.prospecthillcemetery.org 11. The Glenwood Cemetery 2219 Lincoln Road NE Washington, DC 20002 http://www.theglenwoodcemetery.com 12. Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception 400 Michigan Ave NE Washington, DC 20017 http://www.nationalshrine. com
WAGS TO RICHES Adoption success stories
Kouper loved by Nikki in Elkridge, MD
Adopted in: February 2014 from Basset Rescue of Old Dominion (BROOD) How did he get his name: He was originally Copper and
there was already another Copper so they changed it to Kouper.
You picked him because: I fell in love with his picture on BROOD’s website. He looked so handsome and so “proud.” I’ve always been a Basset Hound girl. I had a female, Samantha, prior to Kouper. She passed away about four and a half years before I decided to adopt another dog. I specifically went with BROOD because I had done volunteer work for them. It had been more than a few years since I had been involved with BROOD, but I knew that when I was ready to adopt a dog again, I would go to them. Favorite activity or outing: Kouper is a great walking dog and I enjoy our walks. He also has his own Facebook page where I share his experiences, from the everyday stuff like him eating kibble to his unique experiences like going on hikes, learning to swim, and his first beach experience. (You can find him on Facebook at Super Kouper and Instagram at Super_Kouper.) My MOST favorite activity with Kouper is volunteering for BROOD doing community events. Kouper is a terrific AmBassador for BROOD and what an amazing breed Bassets are. Favorite Treat/snack: Kouper absolutely loves bully sticks. He only gets bullies from Best Bully Sticks and they have to be made in the USA. You love him because: I love Kouper for so many reasons.
I know he loves me more than anything and that is an amazing feeling. Every dog owner who treats their dog as part of the family understands that feeling. He will welcome me home like he hasn’t seen me in forever after a full day of work or even a trip to the mailbox. His joy in my return home always makes me smile. Kouper has this sense of pride and whenever I see him walking proudly or sitting proudly, my heart is warmed. Although Kouper is not a snuggler and needs his space when he sleeps, he always keeps his watchful eye on me. In his own way, he makes sure I am safe. Kouper has a very special personality and somehow, when people meet him, they can feel it. ND
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