novadog Spring 2011
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
Mother-to-be Kelly Pike with her Puggle Lola
Also Inside: When Pups Get Portly Annual Take Your Dog to Work Day Food Allergies & Dogs
Digital Edition Sponsored by: Beckyâ€™s Pet Care Inc.
Preparing your dog for the new addition
YOUR premiere dog wash location... • Waist-high Jacuzzi tubs
• Professional Grooming • Retail (to include all
• Wi-Fi • Educational Work-
shops to include Pet First Aid
• Bark ‘N Bubbles Bark-
• Dog Training • Host Doggie Birthday
• “Bark” Lounge
• Charity Dog Washes • And much more...
ery to include fresh oven baked all natural treats
4 Convenient Locations! Ashburn
20604 Gordon Park Square #170 Ashburn, VA 20147 703/729-3161
Since 1998, All Friends Pet Care’s reliable, professional pet sitters have been providing in-home pet sitting, midday dog walks, and overnight stays to pets big and small—contact us today to find out how we can make YOUR best friend our best customer! Bonded • Insured • References
We offer several different time packages to fit your needs AND your budget! Voted BEST in Washingtonian Magazine
11725 Lee Highway #A-17A Fairfax, VA 22030 703/352-WASH (9274) Leesburg
545 East Market Street Suite F Leesburg, VA 20176 703/777-6269
795 Center Street 1A & B Herndon, VA 20171 703/437-WASH (9274)
Club Bubble s! to get
More Baths For Your Cas h!
Learn M ore
www.barknbubblesdogwash.com Mention this ad and receive
10% off any bathing package offer expires June 30, 2011
Franchise Opportunities Available Bark ‘N Bubbles opening in your area soon!
703/716-PETS • 703/960-PETS (7387)
SERVING ALL OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA
Mention that you are a friend of NOVADog Magazine and get $25 off your first booking with All Friends Pet Care. (first-time clients only)
www.allfriendspetcare.com CONTACT US TODAY!
contents Spring 2011
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
Baby Bump Preparing your dog for your family’s new addition By Kelly Pike
Working Like a Dog Take your dog to work day celebrates that special dog-human partnership
By Elissa Matulis Myers
D E PA RT M E N T S
3 PUBLISHER’S NOTE 4 THE SOURCE
News, information, and products
Advice and information on canine health issues
12 EXPERT ADVICE
Mom-to-be Kelly Pike and her Puggle Lola are both preparing for the big day. Photograph by Lee Anderson, www.photolee.com. To schedule your own session with Lee, call 703.765.8833.
Dog-friendly spaces in Northern Virginia and beyond
23 D.I.Y DOG
Inspired projects for the resourceful dog owner
Happenings we’ve sniffed out
Don’t bite the messenger—the mail carrier conundrum
24 CANINE CALENDAR
13 THE SCENE
A glimpse into the life of Northern Virginia dogs
On the cover:
14 EXPERT ADVICE
28 WAGS TO RICHES
Adoption success stories
Building canine confidence
15 PETCENTRIC PEOPLE Hanging with DC Metro’s dog-crazy crowd
Find a pet service provider—see the directory on page 25.
novadog 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
ALWAYS THERE PET CARE LLC Serving The Area Since 1994 Licensed • Bonded • Insured
Over 6,000 Square Feet Cage-Free Boarding & Day Care 24 Hr. Supervision 5 Indoor Play Rooms Outdoor PottyYard Spacious Outdoor Play Area Separate Puppy & Geriatric Areas “Kitty Condo” Cat Boarding
PUBLISHER Janelle Welch email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS Robin Burkett, Sabrina Hicks, Ines de Pablo, Marlene Hendrickson, Kathleen M. Phillips DVM, Sandra Mejias, Nick White, Elissa Matulis Myers Kelly Pike, Keri Putonen, Lee Anderson, Ingrid King ADVERTISING For rates and information, please contact: Angela Meyers Vice President, Advertising p: 703.887.8387 f: 815.301.8304 firstname.lastname@example.org
Obedience & Behavioral Training Pet Transportation In Home Pet Care In Home Pet Exercising Open 7 Days/Week
130 W. Jefferson St., Falls Church
BeckysPetCare.com Voted Best By:
• Washingtonian Magazine • Northern Virginia Magazine
MARKETING ASSISTANT email@example.com DISTRIBUTION H.D. Services, Inc. 571.435.2161
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—Training and canine health care tips to help dogs live long and fulfilling lives. • Inspire—Insightful stories about local heroes and organizations that are doing good in our community. • Collaborate—Helping local animal welfare organizations to save and enrich the lives of homeless and abused animals.
Northern Virginia Dog Magazine © 2011 is published quarterly by 2hounds Productions, 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 the NOVADog web site for more information. Send change of address information to firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 30072, Alexandria, VA 22310, 703.850.6963. 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.
703.822.0933 Licensed • Bonded • insured
Mention NOVADog & get $20 off your first service!
Professional doggy walks in Northern Virginia since 1998
2 Northern Virginia Dog
| Spring 2011
w w w.nov adogm agaz ine.com w w w.nov adogm agaz ine.com /b l og Winner: 2009 & 2010 Award of Distinction
others have my admiration. They give completely of themselves. Steadily forging ahead into a sleepless night, to comfort a sick or scared child. Moms are tough when they have to be, and supportive when needed. My own life has been mostly filled with “fur” babies, but I have so many friends that balance the duties of motherhood, with that of caring for the beloved family dog. In honor of Mother’s Day, mom-to-be Kelly Pike gives us some tips on page 18, to prepare your dog for the new addition. Bringing home a new baby is one of life’s happiest moments—It can also be a happy time for your dog if you spend some time preparing him for the new arrival. We’d love to hear from other expectant (and seasoned)
mothers. If you have additional tips to share, please post them on our Facebook page. Some dogs are lucky enough to go to work with their owners everyday, but for most dogs going to the office happens just once a year. On June 24, thousands of businesses will roll out the red carpet for four-legged friends of their employees, to celebrate National Take Your Dog to Work Day (TYDTWD). For one glorious day, dogs will curl up under desks—and in comfy nooks— rejoicing in a day spent sleeping at the office. On page 21, Elissa Myers gives us some advice on how to make TYDTWD a success at your company. Have you signed up for Wooftastic Wednesday yet? You will receive a deeply discounted, local doggie deal by e-mail
every Wednesday. We have featured some wonderful businesses and offered great deals. To sign up, visit http:// wooftastic.bbdon.com. You may notice throughout this issue, we have included little barcode squares called Quick Response codes. The codes present a way to quickly link to a web site when scanned by your smart phone. If you would like to find out more about QR codes and how to use them, visit www.novadogmagazine.com/ QRcodes. We hope you enjoy this issue, and as always, we welcome any feedback and suggestions.
Janelle Welch, Publisher email@example.com
Bev Hollis Photography
A Salute to Motherhood
connect with us: facebook.com/novadog twitter.com/2_hounds flickr.com/photos/novadog novadogmagazine.com/blog
Visit us on the web at www.novadogmagazine.com or scan the QR code above
N ew s , i nfo rm ati on , a n d p ro d u c ts
Dog Food Safety
Doggone Cute Local artist Melissa Gilkey of Doggone Tags, creates these adorable, mixed-metal tags from her home in Linden, VA. Does Fido need some bling? Melissa will work with you on a custom piece, or you can choose from a variety of designs online, at her Etsy store web site. The tag shapes are cut out of sheet metal, then heated, stamped, and pounded. Each is approximately 1” in diameter and will come with a split ring for hanging on your pet’s collar. “The Gracie tag is made of nickel, copper, and sterling silver and is my most popular tag,” says Melissa. “My tags also work well for wine glasses, luggage, books, and key rings to remind you of your pup wherever your day takes you!” The handmade tags can be stamped with your dog or cat’s name, woof, meow, best dog, best cat—the possibilities are endless. Melissa will stamp your phone number on the back at no charge, and she also offers free shipping of your order within the United States. Prices start at $15. ND FIND it: www.doggonetags.etsy.com
We are more aware than ever of the food we feed to our pets— and are more vigilant about checking ingredients and labels. Make sure to do your research and purchase a premium brand that you trust. If you do suspect that your pet’s food is making him sick, what should you do? Local residents can report complaints in Virginia, DC, and Maryland to the Regional Consumer Complaint Coordinator at 410.779.5713. Consumers often transfer dry pet food into other containers for easier handling. If possible, save the original packaging, which contains important information to identify the variety of pet food, the manufacturing plant, and the production date. Write down a description of the problem with the product, (such as off color or strange odor). If you think your pet has become sick or injured as a result of consuming a pet food product make sure to provide information about your pet including: • Species, age, weight, breed, pregnant, spayed/neutered • Previous health status of pet and any pre-existing conditions • Whether you give your pet any other foods, treats, dietary supplements, or drugs • How much of the product your pet normally consumes • How much of the product was consumed from the package • How much of the product you still have • Symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy. For more information, or to file a complaint electronically, visit www.fda.gov. ND
Your neighborhood team of animal care professionals providing in-your-home pet sitting and dog walking services
www.alexandriapetcare.com We’d love to welcome you into our family of clients! Celebrating 8 years serving Alexandria zip codes 22301, 22302, 22303, 22304, 22305, 22306, 22307, 22308, 22309, 22314
Bonded 4 Northern Virginia Dog
| Spring 2011
New Client Discount
wagging for safety
Quality, Affordable Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Services
In 2009, Loudoun County reported 201 cases of Lyme disease, representing approximately
of the cases reported in Virginia that year. Visit www.loudoun.
gov/Default.aspx?tabid=726 for some great information on how to combat these little buggers.
Sniffing out the blooms, gets us all wagging, although some with a sneeze. Here are a few spring safety tips: • Trees, grasses, flowers, weeds, and molds can cause canine skin infections, itching, and sneezing. Look out for paw licking, body rubbing, excessive scratching, rashes, flaky coats, eye discharge, and other signs of doggy allergies. • Ticks are born and spreading, so perform daily tick checks. • Keep pets away from where fertilizers and insecticides are applied. • Avoid flowering ground cover, where bees, wasps, and other stinging bugs are back for the chase. ND Wagging for safety is sponsored by Wag’N Enterprises, LLC. Ines de Pablo, president & CEO, has an extensive background in emergency management, EMS, and risk mitigation, and is a certified Pet Tech Pet First Aid Instructor. To learn more, visit www.wagn4u.com or call 703.787.9246.
Fixing Freddie: A True Story About a Boy, a Mom, and a Very Very Bad Beagle by Paula Munier
Adopt a pet from a 501c3 Non-Profit rescue group and receive 10% off your first service for that pet.* *Restrictions apply, call for details.
Pet Sitting from $12 per visit! Dog Walking from $200 per month! For information call 703.738.6832 or visit
We Give Rewards Buy 10 bags of dog food get 11th bag FREE Buy 10 half lb bags of treats get 11th bag FREE
Book Review By Ingrid King
“We didn’t need a dog. We had a perfectly nice dog, a big, lovable, huggable shaggy black mutt from the pound we called Shakespeare. And a cat, a beautiful tabby named Isis.” That’s how this story of single mother Paula Munier, her youngest son Mikey, and a six-month-old Beagle puppy named Freddie begins. When Munier purchases her first home, Mikey reminds her of her promise to get a puppy. “You promised—the two words in the English language most likely to bring a single mother to her knees. We didn’t need a dog. We certainly didn’t need a Beagle. And we most certainly didn’t need Freddie.” ND
QUICK link: read more online Read the rest of Ingrid’s review on the NOVADog Blog visit www.novadogmagazine.com/freddie.
Daily Dog Walking Daily Pet Sitting Overnight Pet Sitting House Sitting Pet Taxi Alternating Lights Mail Retrieval
California Natural • EVO • Merrick Solid Gold • Innova • Blue/Holistic Natural Planet Organics (Made in the USA)
toys • leashes • collars • birthday cakes • gifts • cards magnets • clothes and much more!
Bring your pets to visit us for a free treat!
Historic Occoquan 305 Mill Street Open 7 days a week. Serving Northern Virginia for 14 years!
H E A L T H W I S E
A d v i ce an d i n fo rm ati on o n c a n i n e h e a l th i s s u e s
When Pups Get Portly “America’s Veterinarian” Dr. Marty Becker says PETCO’s new Certified Nutrition Program can help By Ma rl e n e He n d ri c k s o n
Treats should represent no more than 10 percent of your dog’s total daily caloric intake. Break treats in half to spread them out more during the day. And use treat toys, like Kongs and Busy Buddies, to make your dogs work for their prize.
ust as First Lady Michelle Obama is leading initiatives to address child obesity, Dr. Marty Becker—well-known and loved as “America’s Veterinarian”—is helping to lead the charge against the nation’s escalating rate of pet obesity. Nearly half of all American dogs are overweight or obese, according to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). Plus, half of people with overweight pets believe their furry companions are at their optimum weight. As Dr. Becker points out, “Dogs will happily dig their own graves by eating too much. Very few of them have that internal regulator that tells them to stop eating when they’ve had enough.” And unlike people, who also can rely on sheer vanity to inspire shedding a few pounds, “There is no bikini season for dogs. They never see a shot of their hairy derrieres in the mirror and say to themselves, ‘I’ve got to lay off the Scooby snacks!’” So it is up to pet parents to help their dogs get healthy and live longer, more gratifying lives, says Dr. Becker. Thankfully, there are many resources that can fuel their efforts. Among them is the new PETCO Certified Nutrition™ program recently rolled out by PETCO stores nationwide. The company has worked closely with veterinarians to
Building Lifelong Relationships ★ Day Care with Our Pet Guests!
SUMMERTIME at the Inn! Enroll your dog in our new weekly dog camps! • Carnival Week • Wet and Wild Week • Spirit Week • Wide World of Sports Week • Red, White and Blue Week
6 Northern Virginia Dog
| Spring 2011
www.dogeazeinn.com Conveniently located near I-95: 13907 Telegraph Road Woodbridge VA 22192 Small Business of the Year 2009
UNSURE IF YOUR POOCH IS PUDGY?
“Making a crappy situation better!”
It’s always a good idea to check with your dog’s veterinarian, says Dr. Becker. But a quick at-home assessment consists of three common checks.
When you put your hands on your dog’s sides, you should be able to feel his ribs and only a light layer of fat.
When you look at your dog from the side, you should be able to discern a tucked abdomen—“somewhat like a wasp,” Dr. Becker explains.
3 When your dog is standing and you’re looking down at him
from above, you should be able see an indentation at his waist.
develop the program, Dr. Becker says, and that has helped make it a valuable and credible resource. “It’s impossible for the average pet owner to weed through all the ads and competing claims to decide what to put in their pet’s bowl,” suggests Dr. Becker. “The packaging, the shelf position, the headlines, they’re all designed to get you to buy. What you really need is someone who has gone through training, someone who really knows nutrition.”
Professional pet waste removal service
703-880-5214 Serving the Northern Virginia Area Residential & Commercial
10% of all your payments go to the ASPCA® or rescue league/shelter of your choice!
Free Food Consultations As part of its nutrition program, PETCO is offering free on-site nutritional consultations. Based on various factors, including your dog’s age, predominant breed, activity level, overall health, and more, the trained consultant will help you make smart food decisions for your pet. The PETCO Certified Nutrition™ program features three categories of food: Essential, Advanced, and Natural Nutrition. PETCO stores and its website offer a simple checklist that addresses the attributes of each category. Dr. Becker reccomends that you talk to a consultant and check out the information. But, to offer brief examples, Dr. Becker explains the categories as follows: Foods in the Essential category provide the basics as far as general good nutrition and healthy ingredients. Advanced foods might be a consideration for a dog in physical competition. Foods in the Natural category might be best for a dog with skin or coat problems. According to PETCO, vendors must complete the program’s verification process to confirm that the pet food they produce meets all of the checklist items and standards for Essential, Advanced, or Natural Nutrition. There are many rewards that come with helping your dog live well and at a healthy weight, Dr. Becker says. You’re helping your dog avoid diabetes, joint problems, and other conditions that affect your pup’s quality of life. You’re also avoiding the expenses that come with treating those conditions. But here’s the ultimate payoff: “Your beloved companion will live up to 15 percent longer,” which translates to up to two years, says Dr. Becker, “And your dog will lead a happier more active life.” For more about the PETCO Certified Nutrition™ program, go to www.petco.com/petco_page_pc_certifiedchart.aspx. For more helpful hints from Dr. Becker, go to www.petconnection.com. ND
20,000* Satisfied Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Customers Plus a few human ones too!
VISIT our site to learn more and find a professional, reliable, and insured pet sitter.
Pet Sitters N E T W O R K
novapetsitters.com * estimate based on 2010 survey
H E A LT H W I S E
A d v i ce an d i n fo rm ati on o n c a n i n e h e a l th i s s u e s
Itch and Scratch, Bite and Lick! Food Allergies in Dogs: Common Questions and Answers by Kath leen M . P h illip s , D V M
f your dog can’t stop scratching, shaking his head, and chewing his paws, your veterinarian may want to investigate the possibility of food allergies. While only 10 percent of itchy dogs have food allergies, they can appear at any time, so dog owners should be aware of the symptoms and implications of this condition If your dog is diagnoseed with food allergies, you and your veterinarian have a good chance of managing the condition through dietary changes. But success depends on careful adherence to the veterinarian’s guidance and the cooperation of all family members. What are food allergies? Food allergies result from the body’s immune system inappropriately recognizing and targeting the proteins or carbohydrates that make up the pet’s diet. The resulting inflammation causes itchy ears, faces, feet, bottoms, bellies, and sometimes gastrointestinal signs like flatulence, diarrhea, or frequent bowel movements. The intense itch
and skin inflammation can lead to secondary bacterial or yeast infections, which only add to the patient’s discomfort and can make a diagnosis more difficult. Most people suspect that a change to a new food has triggered the allergic response; generally, the opposite is true. It takes time for the body to develop this type of reaction, and the usual cause is a diet the pet has been eating for years. How does my veterinarian diagnose a food allergy? This diagnosis requires excluding other common causes of itch, including atopy (an inhalant or environmental allergy), flea allergy, and sarcoptic mange. Also, managing any concurrent skin or ear infections is critical to the pet’s comfort and improvement. Your veterinarian will take a detailed history, noting all previous and current diets, treats, and other food items. Supplements and medications are also important, as they can contain
Pampering pups like royalty
flavorings that might cause symptoms. Unlike atopy, food allergies tend to cause symptoms year-round. Also, antihistamines and cortisone-like medications do not work with enough consistency to control itch in these dogs. Certain breeds, like Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, and German Shepherds, tend to have a higher incidence of food allergies. The breed predisposition can vary from region to region and breeder to breeder. Blood or skin tests are not effective for diagnosing food allergies in dogs, so your veterinarian will recommend an elimination diet trial. How do we perform an elimination diet trial? This involves feeding your pet a hypoallergenic diet containing either novel protein and carbohydrate sources or feeding a hydrolyzed diet where proteins and carbohydrates are broken down into such small pieces that the immune
Top Notch Care For Your Pet Peace Of Mind For You Professional Dog Walkers Serving Loudoun County
Mobile Grooming Sit. Stay. We Come To You! All grooms completed in our specially designed mobile grooming salon.
“Kate who? I’m the princess here.”
live. love. play. daycare boarding • spa
$10 OFF your first service
when you mention
Licensed • Bonded • Insured
6 convienent NoVa locations dogdaycare.com
www.BellyRubsNSuds.com • 571.295.5516 8 Northern Virginia Dog
| Spring 2011
Any Breed, Any Age, Any Size.
“Offleash K9 helped us train our young dog in an amazingly short period of time. First, he made sure that our dog understood what was expected of her. Then he made sure that we understood how to continue training her. He was available via e-mail to answer questions about the training as they came up. I was particularly impressed with how gently he trained our dog. There were no harsh tones, just calm, quiet commands. Compared to friends who paid for group classes, we got far more for our money in a shorter period of time. In my opinion, our friends wasted their money!” —Sonny and Elvira, Reston, VA
We guarantee 100% Obedience 100% Off-Leash!
mention this ad to receive
$50 off Basic Obedience Package!
★★★★★ Highest rated dog training business in DC, Virginia, and Maryland
www.offleashk9training.com 888-413-0896 | Serving all of Northern Virginia
H E A LT H W I S E
A d v i ce an d i n fo rm ati on o n c a n i n e h e a l th i s s u e s
system is not stimulated. The diet is chosen based on the patient’s dietary history and pet and owner preferences. Most of these diets are only available from a veterinarian; sometimes, home-cooked diets are recommended. No other treats, flavored medications, or foods are allowed during the eight to 12 week trial. In fact, nothing other than the diet should cross the pet’s lips. This can be challenging, and all family members and friends need to follow the rules in order for this test to be effective. Even oral heartworm preventatives, because of their flavoring, can cause symptoms in allergic dogs, so your veterinarian will recommend using a topical preventative during this phase. I changed my pet’s food. Does this eliminate food allergy as a possibility? Unfortunately, most pet foods available from your average grocery or pet store contain similar ingredients and flavorings. For example, a majority of basic adult diets contain a mixture of ingredients like beef, dairy products, chicken, corn, wheat, lamb, and fish. Changing to a different brand will probably result in exposure to the same ingredients. The most common food allergens, or molecules that trigger an allergic response, in dogs are beef, dairy products, and wheat.
Those three ingredients account for up to 68 percent of canine food allergies. If my pet has a food allergy, will all of his symptoms resolve while on the elimination diet? Ideally, yes. Unfortunately, many dogs have multiple allergies and may only show a partial response to the elimination diet. For example, a pet with a concurrent flea allergy, food allergy, and atopy may still be itchy while on an elimination diet. However, certain areas of the pet’s body, like the ears, may be less itchy during the trial. It is very important to monitor your pet carefully for any areas of improvement and have your veterinarian examine your pet before finishing the prescribed diet. When patients do not improve on the initial diet, your veterinarian may opt for a second trial with a different protein and carbohydrate combination. If the second diet does not improve the patient’s symptoms, your veterinarian can more confidently rule out food allergies. In addition, all pets suspected of food or environmental allergies must stay on a flea preventative throughout the testing and, ideally, year-round. As mentioned above, fleas can cause tremendous discomfort and itch in susceptible patients.
What is the next step if the trial appears to help? If the pet’s symptoms improve on the hypoallergenic diet, the next step is a food challenge. The owner feeds the original diet for up to seven days and monitors the pet for a return of symptoms. Most patients will start scratching within a week if the original diet contains the allergen. The elimination diet is re-introduced until the symptoms resolve. At the conclusion of the food challenge, your veterinarian will work with you to develop an appropriate long-term diet based on the results. What happens if the elimination diet does not help? As long as concurrent skin or ear infections are not complicating the clinical picture, patients that continue to itch after one or two elimination diet trials are usually suffering from canine atopic dermatitis caused by an allergen found in the environment, like dust mites or pollen. Those patients require skin or blood tests for a definitive diagnosis and lifelong management of symptoms. Kathleen M. Phillips, DVM, is an associate veterinarian at Springfield Animal Hospital in Springfield, VA. Please direct any comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and visit Springfield Animal Hospital online at www.springfieldah.com.
Specialists in Natural Pet Foods and Supplies
n Ashburn n Rockville n Herndon/Reston
703.724.4319 www.wholepetcentral.com 10 Northern Virginia Dog
| Spring 2011
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
3/16/11 3:09 PM
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
Don’t Bite the Messenger B y Sa n d ra M e j i as
When the mailman approaches my house and then when the mail is actually being put into our mail slot, my dogs go crazyyyy and bark and jump at the door very ferociously. Why do dogs feel the specific need to protect the house when the mailman comes? QUESTION
Sandy Mejias began her dog training career at the age of 12, showing Irish Terriers in obedience and conformation. In 1975 she and her husband Carlos, opened the Olde Towne School for Dogs in Alexandria,VA. Thousands of dogs have been successfully trained over the years and the school continues to create successful, happy dog and owner teams. To schedule a free evaluation with a trainer, visit www.otsfd.com.
12 Northern Virginia Dog
The question regardANSWER ing dogs and their age-old feud with the mail carrier was brought to our attention years ago when the U.S. Postal Service asked my husband Carlos and I to do the dog training and handling in an educational film. The postal service hoped the film would help decrease the number of dog bites inflicted on their carriers yearly. The opening scene of the film shows Carlos in a tunic with a leather pouch over his shoulder and a large pack of dogs chasing him through rugged terrain. The voice over reminds the viewer that since ancient times dogs and those who deliver messages have had their differences.
The Enemy? Many dogs view mail carriers as the enemy, an intruder on their property | Spring 2011
bringing strange smelling, useless objects in a large, scary looking bag. Why does your dog go crazy when the mail arrives? There are many triggers that cause a chain reaction as the mail carrier approaches. Your dog is alerted by certain consistent sounds—other dog’s barking or perhaps the clinking of a gate or mailbox down the street. His anxiety increases as the “intruder” comes closer. By the time the mail is actually placed in the box or through the door, the dog has launched into a full blown scene that usually includes barking, lunging, hitting the door, and, if the mail comes through a slot, ripping it to pieces. There is a great deal of frustration involved in mail delivery for some dogs, as it is a daily repetitive intrusion over which the dog has no control. The solutions to this problem vary according to how much time and inclination you have to correct it. The best solution is to not let the behavior develop in the first place. If you are fortunate to have a young dog that has not developed problems with the mail carrier, it is helpful to condition the dog to the arrival of the mail in a pleasant fashion. Don’t worry, you can teach your dog to like the mail man and still warn you of a stranger’s approach. Dogs can discriminate— some clients report to me that their dog is difficult around delivery people with the exception of the pizza man. The mail carrier brings nothing of apparent value to the dog but the pizza guy—that’s another story. Even
if you don’t let your dog have any pizza, he smells it and sees your obvious enjoyment of it, this makes “pizza guy” the good guy in many dog’s eyes. Bringing your young dog away from your property to meet the mail carrier and having him offer the dog a treat will go a long way in making the mail carrier one of the good guys. Allowing your dog to walk along with the mail carrier as he delivers the mail to your home, followed by another treat, will also help your dog further appreciate the upside of mail delivery. Repeating this routine a few times a month will usually do the trick. Take care to recondition a young dog as he matures, particularly if he has very protective tendencies or if your carrier changes frequently.
Alternative Solutions Many dog owners already have a problem with mail delivery and because they work during the time delivery occurs they need other solutions. Some of the simplest include an outside basket or holder for mail, as some dogs can’t get past mail being pushed directly into their territory and will always destroy it. For dogs that are very aggressive or loud not just with mail delivery but with new people coming on their property, I recommend obedience training. You can then apply the techniques learned to the problem. A good reliable “down” or “stay” under any circumstances goes a long way in curbing aggression and takes the decision away from the dog regarding who is allowed on the property. Most mail carriers are happy when owners take the time to condition their dog appropriately. “Don’t bite the messenger” should be the motto for all civilized canines in hopes of ending this ancient feud. ND
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
Frying Pan Farm Park’s
Where every dog is an A student Agility-non-competitive Dog Obedience-all levels Registration starts June 25
To register or for information, call Frying Pan Farm Park
GO DOG U!
Conveniently located at 2709 West Ox Road in Herndon, just off the Fairfax County Parkway and close to the Dulles Toll Road.
1. LUMSAM loved by Jiraphon in Alexandria
703-324-8563. TTY 703-803-3354
2. CASH loved by Malee in Arlington
3. BUCKY loved by Jane in Falls Church
4. AUTUMN & ROCKET loved by
Teresa in Burke
5. DAISY loved by Gail & Bob in Washington, DC
6. ANNIE loved by Suzanne in Arlington
7. BELLA loved by Giedre in Alexandria
8. ASHER loved by Jen & Tyrone in Manassas
9. FRANCESCA loved by Lauren & Nemo
Hey, where’s my dog? If you submitted a photo, and don’t see it here, check out the NOVADog slide show! Click on “submit your photos” from our homepage: 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
Building Canine Confidence B y N i c k W h i te
If you have a highly confident and wellsocialized dog, the rest is easy.
My rescue dog gets very fearful when a loud truck or motorcycle drives by on our daily walks. She is also very fearful when we have company come over to our house. What sort of things can I do to try and correct this behavior? QUESTION
When providing conANSWER sultations for new dog owners, one of the main topics I discuss is confidence building. This is one of the single most important steps in the training process. If you have a highly confident and well-socialized dog, the rest is easy. There are numerous drills that can help fearful or timid dogs gain confidence.
Nick White, a former US Marine and US Secret Service, is the owner of Off-Leash K9 Training. Visit the indoor training facility in Woodbridge, VA, or on the web at www.offleashk9training.com. To schedule a consultation, call 888.413.0896.
14 Northern Virginia Dog
Start exposing your dog to as many noises as possible, such as the vacuum cleaner, blender, hair dryer, and any other noisy devices you have around your house. You should aim to expose him to as many noises as possible by the time he reaches 5 months old. Be sure to make it a positive experience for your dog with verbal and physical praise, and treats. A favorite toy is a great distraction. This process is referred to as “flooding,” which means you find a noise | Spring 2011
your dog is afraid of and you “flood” him with that noise repeatedly everyday. Just make sure you are using this experience in a positive way. Fear of noises or things is a completely unrealistic fear that dogs have, just like in humans. By making your dog deal with it he’ll realize, “I’m not being hurt, I don’t feel any pain, and I am getting praised for this.” After a short while, that unrealistic fear will go away and your dog will soon realize that it is not a big deal. Never comfort your dog when he is afraid of something. All that does is reinforce the behavior of fear. Comfort is simply another word for praise. So when you break it down, you are literally praising your dog for being afraid of something. Never reward your dog for his fear reaction—no soothing or hugging your dog. The most effective method is to ignore him as you carry out your tasks.
Another important step for confidence building in your dog is to introduce as many objects, surfaces, textures, and elevations as possible. We train many dogs that are afraid to get up on new objects. This is a direct result of under exposure to new objects at a young age. To prevent this, start putting your dog on as many different things as possible. Set him on chairs, picnic tables, grass, asphalt, dog beds, staircases, wood, concrete, Tupperware containers, tree stumps, park benches, and anything else you can possibly find. The key is (on the lower objects) to praise them while they are on the new surface, and then let your dog get down by himself. You are taking away his unrealistic fear by teaching him “I got up here and was praised, I got off on my own, and I’m fine!” What if you expose your dog to an object that he is afraid of? Treat it the same way as the noises; flood him with that object in a fun/positive manner.
Engaging Games One of the most important steps to raising a confident dog is playing tug with your dog. Make the game fun, engaging, and exciting. You should get into it as much as your dog does—if not more! The dog should always win; it is a great way to boost confidence. Finally, socialize and start the training process when your dog is young. Have people he meets give him a treat. By doing so, he starts to associate people with positive things and becomes eager to meet people, not fearful of them. Training gives your dog a job to do, which is good for his confidence and overall happiness. If you follow all of these principles, you are on your way to having a very happy and confident dog! ND
H a n g i n g wi th DC Me tro ’s d o g -c ra z y c ro wd
You are Your Dog’s Safety Net By El i s sa M a t u lis M y er s
ood dog owners choose healthy food, ensure that their dogs get lots of exercise, and establish a good relationship with a reliable veterinarian. But too few pet owners “effectively prepare themselves and their dogs for emergencies that can impact pet health and safety,” says Ines de Pablo, owner of Wag ’N Enterprises, in Herndon, VA. An interest in criminology led Ines from her home in Switzerland to the United States, where she earned her master’s degree in emergency management. She worked in the field, but it was the Hurricane Katrina disaster that set her on fire. “I was devastated watching videos of animals being left behind as owners were rescued from the flooding. I watched an 80-year old woman fight to bring her service dog along when rescuers wanted to evacuate her. She was blind, and they forced her to evacuate,” Ines says. “Despite laws that permit service dogs to accompany their owners everywhere, the rescue crew refused. I saw a need to elevate awareness of how to care for pets in an emergency. Federal law was challenged since the woman was blind and the dog was a guide dog not a pet.” There was a need to change the government’s evacuation policies to accommodate service animals and pet owners. The PETS Act of 2006 gave Ines the boost to start Wag ’N and empower pet owners to get ready for disasters and include their pets in the preparedness stage. In 2006, Ines founded the Emergency Management Network, an online resource that provides facts you about caring for pets during an emergency. As she explored the issue, she realized that there were some fairly simple supplies that could make a life-or-death difference, and founded her company, Wag ’N Enterprises, to
make life-saving tools available to dog owners. Her first “product” was the Wag ’N Pet Evacuation Kit, a sturdy backpack pre-packed with a first aid kit, collapsible water and feed bowls, a water dispenser, enough dehydrated dog food to last three days, a leash and collar, a whistle, a “comfort toy,” and the Wag ’N Pet Passport— a wonderfully thorough veterinary records booklet. In addition to gear and supplies, Wag ’N offers training on how to prepare for and cope with emergencies that impact pet health and safety. Classes for dog owners include Pet First Aid, Caring for Your Senior Pet-izen™, Dental Care, and Pawsitively Wag ’N It: K9 Safety 4 Kids™. Wag ’N hosts Rescue 3 first responder classes including swiftwater and rope rescue courses. Their flagship activity is the Wag ’N O2 Fur Life Program® that arranges pet oxygen mask donation and sponsorship for emergency departments. “Wag ’N was able to donate 12 pet oxygen mask kits to the DC Fire Department in 2009,” says Ines. “Pets in the nation’s capital deserve no less than their neighbors in Fairfax, Arlington and Loudoun County, whose fire departments are already equipped with them. We aim to place another 55 kits in Montgomery County by October of 2011.” Since 2008, the ‘Wag’n O2 Fur Life®’ Program has provided over 1,550 pet kits to over 650 fire and rescue departments. “You are your dog’s 911,” says Ines. And Ines is the “Clara Barton” of the pet population. ND Elissa Myers is a writer in Northern Virginia with a passion for dogs. She lives in Springfield with her tireless Black Lab Indi and writes a daily column, Fairfax Dog Friendly Places, for the on-line Examiner.
Ines de P ablo, Gyp sy and May day Dog of her own? Two—Gypsy and Mayday. Favorite read: Veterinary Disaster Response by Wayne Wingfield and Sally Palmer, an essential guide to disaster training, preparation, planning, and recovery. Most rewarding moment? Every time a pet is rescued we rejoice. An 80-pound family Pit Bull was rescued from a house fire in Roanoke, VA this January by firefighters using a pet oxygen mask. Saddest moment? Watching an 80-year old woman fight to bring her service dog along when rescuers wanted to evacuate her during Katrina.
Join the pack. Stay informed.
www.novadogmagazine.com/subscribe BARK BUCKS! $5 off! Enter coupon code NOVAD8 at checkout www.novadogmagazine.com
D og -fri en d l y s p a c e s i n No rth e rn V i rg i n i a a n d b e y o n d
Rosa, a 3-year-old Golden Retriever enjoys a breeze off the Potomac with owners Mike and Shelly Reilly.
Potomac Canine Cruise lets Fido try his sea legs By Ke l l y P ike
irst things first. On this cruise, the front of the boat is not the bow— it’s the bow-wow. And the stern? That’s the woof-woof. This explanation is one of the first signs you’re not in for an ordinary boat trip. That and the 25 to 30 dogs on board with their owners. Welcome to the Potomac Riverboat Company’s Canine Cruise—one of the few area water attractions where dogs are celebrated as welcome guests. Each summer the company opens up one of its party boats to dogs and their owners on Thursday nights so that everyone can enjoy the fresh sea breeze, a welcome break from Washington’s humid summers. The cruise departs the Alexandria City marina and begins by traveling south down the Potomac and under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge to Jones Point and its light house. The boat then turns around and heads north towards the Mirant Power Plant. You’ll see National Harbor in Maryland in the distance and beautiful views of
16 Northern Virginia Dog
| Spring 2011
the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol. Finally the boat heads back to the dock in Old Town Alexandria. The 40-minute trip is narrated by the captain, a dog lover and ham who mixes historical commentary with announcements for his canine passengers, typically a blend of pseudo howling and barking that makes dogs perk their ears and people smile. He also takes the time to visit with each dog on board, offering a treat and a few pets while chatting with owners. During the cruise I was on, dogs looked content. Some sprawled on the floor while their owners sat on cushioned benches chatting up other dog owners. Other dogs joined their people on the cushions, the better to take in the breezes coming in from the river. More good news: Just because your dog doesn’t like to go in the water, doesn’t mean he won’t be delighted to ride on the water. Depending on the night, the cruise takes place on either the Admiral Tilp, a two-level party boat, or a single-level
IF YOU GO: Potomac Riverboat Company’s Canine Cruise runs June through August. The cruise sets sail from the Alexandria City Marina in Old Town Alexandria Thursday nights at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Each 40-minute boat ride is $15 for adults and $9 for children 2-11. Dogs ride free with their owners and must be leashed. Reservations are suggested, and space is limited. You can buy tickets at the City Marina booth at Cameron and Union Streets (near the Torpedo Factory) or online at potomacriverboatco.com. Street parking and parking decks are nearby. Refreshments are sold on board. After the cruise, be sure and stop at the Snack Shak (next to The Chart House) on the waterfront dock to pick up some yummy fresh-baked treats for your dog from Barkley Square Dog Bakery. The Snack Shak sells people treats too!
boat. Both are canopied to protect from the elements. Either way, you should have a comfortable ride as the company limits the number of passengers on the boat to avoid overcrowding, says owner Charlotte Hall, who has been offering the cruise for
CANINE CONNECTIONS: A Bichon and Dachshund make friends aboard the cruise.
Mention NOVADog for $10 off
a number of years. She recommends reservations. The boat is also available for private canine charter, including birthday parties for dogs and fundraisers for animal shelters and rescue groups. Two cruises are offered on Thursday nights, at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. It’s a sight when the two cruise groups meet. Imagine a boat full of dogs of all sizes pulling into a port while an equally large group of dogs waits patiently on the dock to meet them and board—some of them wearing sailor hats or suits. It’s doggone cute. Your night in Old Town doesn’t have to end when you disembark. The city offers many parks and dog-friendly shops and restaurants. If you come early, you can even take in the Yappy Hour held nearby in the courtyard of the Hotel Monaco on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Now that’s a night on the town with your pup! ND Kelly Pike is a freelance writer in Annandale, VA. When she’s not busy writing about business and finance, she and her husband enjoy jaunty walks with their Puggle Lola.
Pet Care Professionals n n n n
Pet Sitting Dog Walking In-Home Pet Boarding Excercise and Play Dates
Licensed, Bonded, Insured
“When you can’t be there give them...The Next Best Thing!” Make Your Reservation Today!
Photos by Robin Burkett of Paw Prints Photography. To view more of her work visit www.pawprintsphotography.com.
u B y Bab mp Preparing your dog for your family’s new addition By Kelly Pike
Mom-to-be Kelly Pike and her Puggle Lola are both preparing for the big day. Photography by Lee Anderson. To view more of his work or schedule a photo session, visit www.photolee.com.
18 Northern Virginia Dog
| Spring 2011
our dog has been your fur baby for years. He’s got a prime spot on your bed, first dibs on your lap, and all your love. Until the day you bring home a baby, that is. Suddenly a crying baby needs your constant care and attention—leaving your dog a distant second. While mellow mutts may adjust well to the changes a new addition to the pack brings, a more high-strung pup may get one whiff of the new smells, sounds, and routine changes and express his displeasure. Some of these pets end up in shelters when their families can’t cope with the resulting behavioral problems. It doesn’t have to be that way. With some thoughtful preparation, a planned introduction to the baby, and some training, you can
help your dog accept—and even embrace— your new addition.
Preparation Jessica MacNair, of Falls Church, had heard horror stories about dogs and babies and was afraid how her Fox Terrier/Whippet mix Chip would react when she brought home her infant son. Already needy and clingy, Chip had taken years to adjust when she adopted Indiana, a Beagle/Australian Cattle mix. To help her prepare Chip and Indiana, MacNair took the free Baby-Ready Pets class offered by the Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA). Designed to help parents desensitize their dogs to the sights, smells, and sounds of a new baby, the class gave MacNair tips and techniques for preventing jealousy. “I thought I knew a lot going in,” says Mac-
Nair, who is now the mother of 16-month-old son Liam, “but my husband and I learned a lot and still use the techniques today.” For instance, McNair never places Liam below the dogs. If Liam is in his car seat carrier, MacNair places it on the coffee table, reinforcing the household’s hierarchy: People at the top, dogs at the bottom. It’s important to start working with your dog as soon as you find out a baby is on the way, says Rebecca Yoo, manager of adoptions at the AWLA, and a Baby-Ready Pets instructor. “Behavior won’t change overnight, especially if it’s been going on a long time,” she says. “If the dog jumps on guests or is fearful of kids, those behaviors take awhile to train.” It begins with basic manners and obedience. That means no mouthing or jumping. Commands like “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “down” will give you better control of the situation. One of the most valuable commands you can teach your dog is “settle,” which orders a dog to go to a place and be calm, says Anne Davis, owner of Rudy’s Friends Dog Training in Vienna, VA. Davis has been teaching “Raising Non-Aggressive Family Dogs with Babies” in both group and private settings for years. Davis advises placing a dog bed in the baby’s room and teaching the dog to lay there and relax while mom is feeding the baby. Not only will it prevent the dog from interfering with feeding time, having his own designated space will make him feel like he’s a welcome part of the family. To do that, go to the baby’s room. Sit in the rocking chair while holding a doll and talking to it. Have your dog go to his bed. Every time he does, give him a treat. If you want him to stay in bed for a while, give him something special to chew on that he gets only in that place. If he gets up, take away the chew. “Make it a positive association for the dog,” says Davis. “You want him to think of going to his bed as a good thing.” The same goes for crying. While some dogs are merely curious when an infant cries, others will get upset or bark or even mistake it for the sound of prey. That’s why experts recommend playing recordings of infants crying before the baby comes. Start with a low volume and casually give the dog a treat. Over time, work your way up to loud cries, giving treats along the way. You can find recordings of infants crying
WARNING! For most dogs, professional training is optional. For others, it isn’t. If your dog has issues with aggression or biting, get help before your baby arrives. The one-onone attention of working with a trainer can help change your dog’s behavior—although you should never leave a child alone with a dog, no matter how well behaved the dog is.
Each year Americans are bitten by dogs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children ages five through nine are most likely to be bitten and are more likely to need medical attention as a result of bites.
on YouTube or you can get a CD of crying if you take the AWLA’s free baby preparation course. “I was very concerned that the baby would be up all night crying and the dogs would start barking too,” says MacNair, who desensitized
“It’s important to start working with your dog as soon as you find out a baby is on the way.” —Rebecca Yoo Baby-Ready Pets instructor Chip and Indiana with a CD from the AWLA. “It helped the dogs acclimate very quickly.” If your dog gets anxious around bicycles or other wheeled vehicles, experts recommend breaking your dog of this fear before the baby comes. The best way: Face up to the odd looks from the neighbors and practice walking your dog with an empty stroller to desensitize him, says Choo of the American Society for the Pre-
vention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Also use the opportunity to work on leash skills if the dog is pulling or having other problems. That’s exactly what Kate Kalish, of Oak Hill, VA, did when she was expecting last April. Kalish adored her Miniature Schnauzer, Baxter, but worried how he’d handle daily walks with a stroller—he was terrified of wheels and would bark and then freeze up when he encountered one. With the help of trainer Davis, Kalish was able to help Baxter overcome his fear of wheels and fine tune his basic obedience. “It worked out really well,” says Kalish, now the mother of 10-month-old Lily. “We used all positive reinforcement and did our homework, and it made walking Baxter with the stroller so much nicer. He’s come a long way.”
The Introduction You can also set a positive tone by carefully planning how you introduce your dog to your baby. Begin by placing something your newborn wore, such as a hat or blanket, around the dog’s food bowl, says Davis. This helps the dog associate the scent of the baby with one of his favorite things—dinner. When it comes time to bring home baby, ask a friend or neighbor to take the dog for a walk to help tire him out. While the dog is out, the baby should be placed in her crib with mom in a nearby chair. Bring the dog in on his leash and let him greet mom and then settle in his dog bed. Reward the dog when he’s calm www.novadogmagazine.com
New! K9 Nose Work Class Learn about the new dog sport, K9 Nose Work FUN! Mentally Stimulating & Physically Challenging Private In-Home Training as well as Small Group Classes
Call now to receive a $25 discount on 7 sessions! Coupon redeemable for private training only.
and then let him sniff the baby or lick her toes. Whatever the dog does, make sure you keep the interaction positive and avoid reprimanding the dog. “Dogs can make negative associations just as easily as a positive association,” says Davis. “If you fuss when dog sees the baby, the dog will wonder what’s wrong with baby and think ‘maybe I don’t like this kid too much.’ Everything should be happy and fun and positive.” As your child grows and starts to toddle after the dog, continue to keep associations happy for the dog, helping him prepare for inevitable ear, tail, and paw touching. No matter how well your dog gets along with the baby, always supervise your dog when he’s with your child, paying careful attention to his body language. A dog will give off plenty of warning signals if he’s uncomfortable with the situation. Bringing home a baby is one of life’s happiest events. Taking the time to train your dog and prepare him for the arrival can help ease the transition from a happy threesome to a cozy foursome. Many of people’s happiest childhood memories begin with a well-loved family dog. ND Kelly Pike is a freelance writer in Annandale, VA. When she’s not busy writing about business and finance, she and her husband enjoy jaunty walks with their Puggle Lola.
a great deal every day!
Daily “treatss”! for pet lover ailed Savings opportunities em y! da ry eve u to yo Savings on wide rangets of pet-related produc & services A terrific new offer emailed every day! ays Portion of proceeds alw benefits abandoned and rescued animals
Free to join! sign up today!
www.pawpons.com Vendors: for participation opportunities please call 888-470-8811
20 Northern Virginia Dog
| Winter 2011
Take Your Dog to Work Day Celebrates That Special Dog-Human Partnership By Elissa Matulis Myers
working like a
DOG S ome dogs are just lucky. They often get to go to work with their owners. Jennifer McKervey’s 10-year old Cocker-mix, Buffy, is one of those lucky dogs, spending Fridays at Odin Technologies Company in Ashburn, VA. “If clients are coming in, we have to be scarce,” Jennifer says, “but otherwise Buffy roams around and leaves a trail of toys all over the office.” For many dogs, going to the office happens just once a year. On June 24, 2011, thousands of businesses will roll out the red carpet to welcome the “furry, four-legged friends of their employees in celebration of dog companionship and to promote dog adoption,” says Beth Stultz, marketing manager for the company Pet Sitters International, a nonprofit association with almost 8,000 independent professional pet-sitting business members in the United States, Canada, and abroad. The first National Take Your Dog to Work Day (TYDTW Day) was created by Pet Sitters in 1999, with more than 300 participating companies. “Because TYDTW Day is largely a viral campaign, it’s hard to estimate the number of participants across the U.S. (and worldwide),” says Beth. “But interest in the day has grown by leaps and bounds, and last year there were more than 98,000 visitors to our web site Takeyourdog.com and more than 1,000 downloads of the 2010 TYDTW Day Action Pack. People love their pets, and we are expecting huge support from businesses around the country this year,” she says. “For those interested in organizing an event for TYDTW Day, the first step is to bring the idea to your boss or head of human
resources,” suggests Beth. “It’s a good idea to share our free downloadable information. Depending upon your workplace, you may need to contact the building manager and make sure a ‘dogs at work’ policy is in place (a sample policy is included in the action pack). Participating dogs should be well-behaved, comfortable around new people, and up-todate on all shots.” Here are Beth’s tips to ensure a fun day for all: n Keep your dog on a leash unless he’s going to stay in your office or cubicle—and use a baby gate to prevent him from leaving your office area unsupervised. n Puppy-proof your work space. Remove poisonous plants, hide electrical cords and wires, and secure toxic items (such as correction fluid, permanent markers). n Don’t “force” other staff members to interact with your dog—Do an office check to see if anyone is allergic, afraid of, or opposed to you bringing your dog to work for this one special day. Specific areas, such as
bathrooms or employee dining halls, can be designated as dog-free. n Have a backup plan for taking the dog home if he is not comfortable in the work environment. n Consider finding a local pet sitter at www. petsit.com/locate or www.novapetsitters. com to assist with the event by providing midday walks for employees’ dogs. “If your company is unable to bring dogs into the workplace, consider alternate celebra-
Left: Jessica Azzarano organized a TYDTW day event so her Golden Retriever, Ponix could spend a day at the office. Below: For Shaun Hermann’s Black Lab Ransome every day is take your dog to work day.
tions, such as having employees bring photos of their pets or, better yet, ask your company to host a fundraiser for a local animal shelter,” Beth suggests. “Participating companies have found so many fun ways to participate in TYDTW Day. Of course, simply having your dog at work makes for a fun day—but we’ve had businesses host unique events, such as doggie fashion shows, hot dog luncheons to benefit a local shelter, and even an “owner/pet look-a-like” contest with $1 per vote going to a local animal organization.” Shaun Hermann, an employee at Neathawk Dubuque & Packett, a Virginia-based advertising agency, says her office started celebrating TYDTW Day in 2008, and admits “our whole office is dog-friendly, and we have several dog-regulars.” Shaun brings Ransome, her 6-year old Black Lab to work every day. “Ransome thinks everyone who comes to the agency comes to see him!” she says. Ransome sits at her feet under her glass-topped desk and keeps an eye on her. For the event last year, the company had kerchiefs made that read “ND&P Support Staff.” Jessica M. Azzarano, senior community
22 Northern Virginia Dog
| Spring 2011
manager for the Sequoia Property Management firm in Chantilly, VA, convinced her company to give this a try in 2010. They were careful to follow the TYDTW Day guidelines and were respectful of employees with allergies, and the day went wonderfully. Jessica’s Golden Retriever Ponix, (adopted from a breeder in Massaponix and hence the name) “had a blast—he and the other dogs that came in had the run of some empty offices and the outside common area and there were no fights, no accidents, no complaints—just a few hairy dust balls left for the dog owners to sweep away the next day,” says Jessica. Will they do it again this year? “I hope so,” she says. “I’m working on it!” How about your office? If you think it might work, visit www.Takeyourdog.com, and start planning. ND Elissa Myers is a writer in Northern Virginia with a passion for dogs. She lives in Springfield with her tireless Black Lab Indi and writes a daily column, Fairfax Dog Friendly Places, for the online Examiner.
D . I . Y D O G
Ins p i red pro j ec ts for the res o u rc e fu l d o g o wn e r
A Dog’s Backyard Create a fun canine-friendly space By Ke ri P u t on en
hade…water…and dogs: not exactly a compatible match for growing a lush beautiful lawn. But year after year, we tried. Rye, blue fescue, zoisia, a special blend of tiny plants that was supposed to mimic the forest floor, even a special space seed my husband ordered online. Year after year, we failed. Our backyard and our lifestyle just weren’t compatible with a grassy backyard. Instead, we had a slippery slope of mud. We met with various landscapers at some of the most well-known nurseries in our area. They would always ask us two questions: “Are you willing to limit your dogs to a designated area?” and “Are you willing to cut down some trees.” The answer to both was “No.” So, six years after moving into our house in Poplar Heights, we finally had to admit that we were never going to have a traditional grassy yard.
QUICK link: read more online Find out how Keri transformed her yard into a beautiful doggie playground. See more pictures and read the rest of this article online. Visit www.novadogmagazine.com/backyard
A muddy backyard with poor drainage, (above) was transformed into this enjoyable space. With a little creativity, you can create your own fun doggie playground.
A Country Vacation for Your Dog
We offer: n
Boarding for dogs with supervised outdoor play, as well as boarding for cats, pigs, rabbits, etc.
Additional playtime along with swimming, training, hiking, stuffed Kong and grooming is available to give your pet the full resort experience.
10401 Green Rd., Bealeton, VA www.novadogmagazine.com
H a p p e n i ng s w e’ v e s ni ff e d o u t
E v e n ts y o u wo n ’ t wa n t t o miss
APRIL April 11 6:30 - 8:30 PM—Baby-Ready Pets at Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Offers free preparation and assistance to help expectant families prepare their home and their pets for the arrival of the new baby. Dogs are not invited to this class. Endorsed by the ASPCA. To register, contact Jennifer Newman at email@example.com or call 703.931.9241 x213.
Join Us for The Pet Fiesta
he Reston Pet Fiesta is fastapproaching. This year’s event will be held on May 7, from 10AM-4PM at the Reston Town Center. This annual event draws over 10,000 attendees and provides a fun-filled day for the entire family. Leashed dogs are welcome, and there will be plenty of activities for kids such as on stage entertainment, face painting and caricature artists. Start the day off with the Tails on Trails Dog Walk at 10AM—a scenic stroll to raise money to help homeless dogs find loving homes. The Pet Fiesta is organized by GoodDogz, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating potential dog owners on dog selection and care, and supporting the efforts of local rescue groups. For more information, or to register for the dog walk, visit www.petfiesta.org. ND
permarket 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, 703.385.3766. Visit www.spcanova.org to see available dogs. 8:30AM—The 16th Annual Walk for the Animals (Rain or Shine) to benefit the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Join nearly 500 people and 300 dogs at Bluemont Park for a 3-mile walk or a 1-mile stroll. $25 fee required for each preregistered walker. To register or for more information: awla.kintera.org/walk2011 or call 703-931-9241 ext. 216.
12:30-3PM—SPCA of Northern Virginia Dog Adoption Days at Weber’s Pet Supermarket 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, 703.385.3766. Visit www.spcanova.org to see available dogs.
1:05PM—Pups in the Park with the Washington Nationals. Bring your dog for a special day of baseball. Marlins vs. Nationals. Tickets must be purchased in advance: www.nationals.com/pups
12-5PM—Pet First Aid & Care Class by Wag’n Enterprises. It is estimated that up to 60 percent of animal hospital visits are emergency in nature. Knowing the skills and techniques of pet first aid can mean the different between life and death, and between expensive veterinarian bills and reasonable home care for the pet. This 4 hour class provides you with the necessary skills and information to prepare you for the unfortunate event of a medical emergency involving your pet. Cost: $85. For more information visit www.wagn4u.com.
M AY May 14 12:30-3PM—SPCA of Northern Virginia Dog Adoption Days at Weber’s Pet Su-
6:30 - 8:30 PM—Baby-Ready Pets at Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Offers free preparation and assistance to help expectant families prepare their home and their pets for the arrival of the new baby. Dogs are not invited to this class. Endorsed by the ASPCA. To register, contact Jennifer Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703.931.9241 x213.
May 26 6:30 – 8:30 PM—Low-cost Rabies Clinic at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Cost: $10. Please bring proof of a prior rabies shot (a rabies certificate, not a tag) to get a three-year rabies shot. Without it, your pet will receive a one-year shot. More info www.awla.org or call 703.931.9241.
K-9 Fun Walk & Doggie Expo
Saturday, June 4, 9-12 PM Herndon Community Center Bready Park
Fun Dog Show
he Annual Ballyshaners Saint Patrick’s Day Parade kicked off this year with the Fun Dog Show in Market Square, organized and presented by Barkley Square Gourmet Dog Bakery. This year’s show was held on March 5, 2011. Dogs dressed in Saint Patty’s green and strutted their stuff on stage in hopes of winning a prized green ribbon. Dogs were judged in categories such as: dog with best tail wag, dog with most unusual markings, dog with biggest feet, dog with most unusual tail, and dog with best Irish costume. ND
24 Northern Virginia Dog
| Spring 2011
For more info visit:
May 28 12:30-3PM—SPCA of Northern Virginia Dog Adoption Days at Weber’s Pet Supermarket 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, 703.385.3766. Visit www.spcanova.org to see available dogs.
JUNE June 4 6:30PM—24th Annual Bark Ball to benefit the Washington Humane Society. Washington’s only black-tie gala for the four-on-the-floor crowd. For tickets or more info: www.washhumane.org. 10AM-5PM—Springfield Days PetFest at Springfield Mall. Bring your furry friends for the fun activities, entertainment, and the pet-related vendors and exhibits. Don’t miss the Paws on Parade! A special walk-about for you and your leashed pets. Every participating pet will receive a fun prize! More info: 703.622.2896 or email@example.com. 9AM-12PM—K-9 Fun Walk & Doggie Expo. Bring your dog to Herndon Community Center for a family-friendly event
SAVE THE DATE!
in conjunction with the 2011 Herndon Festival. More info: http://tinyurl.com/ k9funwalk.
June 11 12:30-3PM—SPCA of Northern Virginia Dog Adoption Days at Weber’s Pet Supermarket 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, 703.385.3766. Visit www.spcanova.org to see available dogs.
June 20 6:30 - 8:30 PM—Baby-Ready Pets at Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Offers free preparation and assistance to help expectant families prepare their home and their pets for the arrival of the new baby. Dogs are not invited to this class. To register, contact Jennifer Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703.931.9241 x213. ND
Paws for Fitness at the
Dog Days Dog Swim Sept 12
(rain or shine)
Pirate's Cove Water Park Lorton, VA
QUICK link: Find more events online at www.novadogmagazine.com
Vendor and sponsor opportunities available Contact Angela Meyers for details email@example.com
Directory of Service Providers SAVE MONEY! Look for the SAVE $$ logo for special offers from participating companies. Turn to the page number listed and see their ad for special savings offers for NOVADog readers. Agility
Frying Pan Farm Park 703.437.9101.....................................p. 13
Liberty Hill Pet Resort www.LHPaws.com..............................p. 23 The Dog Eaze Inn www.dogeazeinn.com.................................p. 6
Sunset Pet Services, Inc www.sunsetpetservices.com..............p. 22
Dogma Dog Bakery www.dogmabakery.com............................p. 6 Fetch! Bakery www.fetch-bakery.com.....................................p. 5
Dog Bakery/Treats Dog Day Care
Pet Waste Removal
Poop Rescues, LLC www.pooprescues.com.............................p. 7
SAVE $$ SAVE $$
Anderson Photography www.photolee.com ............................p. 27 Fuzzypants Pet Photography www.fuzzypantspets.com ..........p. 26 Karen Mazzarella www.karenmazzarella.com .........................p. 26 Paw Prints Photography www.pawprintsphotography.com ......p. 20 Sara Riddle Photography www.sarariddle.com .......................p. 22
Friends of Homeless Animals www.foha.org....................... p. 26
Dog Days Dog Swim..............................................................p. 25 K92K Fun Walk & Expo http://tinyurl.com/k9funwalk .............p. 24 Reston Pet Fiesta www.petfiesta.org ......................................p. 27 Washington Humane Society www.washhumane.org ..............p. 28
Full Pet Services (dog walking/pet sitting/boarding/day care)
A Little Unique www.alittleunique.com...................................p. 26 Doggone Tags www.doggonetags.etsy.com...............................p. 27 Do-Rite Disposable Dog Diaper www.Do-Rites.com................p. 26 Doodlebug Quilts www.doodlebugquilts.com...........................p. 26 Pawpons www.pawpons.com..................................................p. 20
Pet Safety Goods & Services
Always There Pet Care www.alwaystherepetcare.com..............p. 2 Fur-Get Me Not www.furgetmenot.com...................................p. 13
Wag ’N Enterprises www.wagn4u.com ..........................back cover
Pet Sitting/Dog Walking
Alexandria Pet Care, Inc. www.alexandriapetcare.com............p. 4 All Friends Pet Care www.allfriendspetcare.com ....inside front. Amanda’s Pet Care www.amandaspetcare.com........................p. 26 Becky’s Pet Care www.beckyspetcare.com..............................p. 2 Biscuit Break www.biscuitbreak.com......................................p. 26
Fairfax Pets On Wheels, Inc. www.fpow.org...........................p. 10
Bark ’N Bubbles www.barknbubblesdogwash.com..inside front. Belly Rubs ‘N Suds www.bellyrubspetcare.com.......................p. 8 Pampered Pets Grooming www.pampered-pets.us...................p. 26 The Purrfect Grooming Company www.purrfectgrrooming.com...................................................p. 26
Dogtopia www.dogdaycare.com..............................................p. 8 Canine Caterers www.caninecaterers.com...............inside back Whole Pet Central www.wholepetcentral.com..........................p. 10
Bow House Pet Care www.bow-housepetcare.com...................p. 26 DogOn Fitness, LLC www.dogonfitness.com............................p. 26 Loyalty Pet Care Services www.loyaltypet.com.......................p. 26 Northern Virginia Professional Pet Sitters Network www.novapetsitters.com...........................p. 7 Precious Companion Pet Sitting www.preciouscompanion.com..................................................p. 26 Time for a Walk www.timeforawalk.com.................................p. 5 The Next Best Thing Pet Care www.thenextbestthingpetcare.com............................................p. 17 Your Dog Smiles www.yourdogsmiles.com.............................p. 23
SAVE $$ SAVE $$ SAVE $$ SAVE $$
Off Leash K9 Training www.offleashk9training.com................p. 9 Olde Towne School For Dogs www.otsfd.com.........................p. 17 Old Town Dog Behavior www.oldtowndogs.com......................p. 3 Rudy’s Friends Dog Training, Inc. www.rudysfriendsdogtraining.com...........................................p. 20 Unleashed Abilities www.unleashedabilities.com.....................p. 26
SAVE $$ SAVE $$
SAVE $$ SAVE $$
NOVA Pets Health Center www.VA-PETS.com.......................p. 27 www.novadogmagazine.com
THE MARKETPLACE Collars • Leashes • Harnesses Coats & Puppy Slings
P r o d u cts and Services directory Pet Portraits in Oil
Biscuit Break Dog Walking & Pet Sitting
GOT WOOF! GOT MEOW! GOT UNIQUE!
Mention this ad for
firstname.lastname@example.org “Care for when you’re not there”
Local Artist - Karen Mazzarella www.karenmazzarella.com - 651.285.9194
Coaching People, Training Dogs
Custom Handmade Quilts and Wall Hangings
Customized Private Lessons Puppy Head Start Training and Agility for Kids Small Group Classes at Wylie Wagg Certified Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
10% discount for rescue dogs
Mention you saw us in NOVADog Magazine!
A Balanced Approach to Dog Training
Purrfect Grrooming 7183 Lee Highway Falls Church, VA
Pet Care Services
Pet Sitters & Dog Walkers Personal. Professional. The Perfect Fit!
“Luke takes pride in his work and it shows. My boys looks gorgeous when they leave and I take comfort in knowing that they are treated kindly.” —Tina L.
100% Rating on Checkbook.org!
BOW-HOUSE Pet Care Pet care in your home for cats and dogs
“We’ll sit for your pet.”
Contact Lidia Sabin: email@example.com Phone: (703) 998-3307 Accredited, Fax: (703) 998-1252 Bonded & Insured
www.bow-housepetcare.com Is your dog getting enough exercise?
Arlington’s Favorite Pet Sitter!
Pampered Pets Curbside Grooming Dogs under 50 lbs and groomer friendly cats
703-503-0629 Website: www.pampered-pets.us email: firstname.lastname@example.org Is Your Dog Bored? Lonely? Not Getting Enough Exercise? Contact us today! Ask about our NEW GPS Tracking Reports so you know exactly how much exercise your dog is getting with Amanda’s Pet Care! Arlington Pet Parents: Mention NOVADog & Receive 10% Off Your First Service
Serving NOVA & MD
703 627 4462
“ We’re more than just a walk around the block! ”
26 Northern Virginia Dog
| Spring 2011
Tired of diapers that don’t stay on? Don’t make do with less when you can do right with “Do-Rite” ® Introducing The Do-Rite Disposable Dog Diaper 1-888-770-0111 www.Do-Rites.com
Mention NOVADog for a free diaper with order of 6 or more.
Be a Friend....
Donate • Adopt • Volunteer Friends of Homeless Animals is a non-profit, no-kill shelter for dogs and cats. We rely on your support to help our rescue efforts.
Insured & Bonded Pet First Aid Certified dogtec Certified Dog Walker
Reston town CenteR We Treat and Care 7 days a week
Full diagnostic and surgical veterinary services WE OFFER DOG BOARDING & DAYCARE 3935 Avion Park Ct A-102, Chantilly, VA 20151
VA-PETS.COM Exhibition & Super Pet Adoption
artisan pet i.d tags
A Celebration for Pets and Pet Lovers!
Saturday, May 7 10 am - 4 pm
Reston Town Center
www.doggonetags.etsy.com email@example.com Book your advertising for the Summer issue now. For rates and more information call Angela Meyers at 703.887.8387 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
On-leash pets of all kinds are welcome! Free General Admission. Rain or Shine. Join us for the Tails on Trails Dog Walk at 10AM!
restontowncenter.com | petfiesta.org
Is your dog getting enough exercise?
Lee Anderson 703 627 4462 Serving NOVA & MD
“ We’re more than just a fine art black & white pet portraiture in alexandria, virginia walk around the block! ”
WAGS TO RICHES Adoption success stories
Bruno is fiveyears-old and loved by the Arthur family of Beltsville, MD.
Handsome, feisty, and playful
Ado p t e d f r o m : The Washington Humane Society, November 2010
brown eyes, Bruno was feisty, playful, and active—but not too much so. In a word, he was perfect.
How d id h e g e t h i s n a m e ?
Favorite treat or snack:
Bruno already had his name on the Sunday afternoon that we adopted him. We agreed that it would not be fair to him to change his name because he recognized that name. But also we felt that not changing his name was an important acknowledgement that he had a life, and special people in his life, before we came along. Also, it’s a very cute name.
You p ic k e d h im b e c a u s e . . . On the Sunday afternoon that we selected Bruno, we had not gone to this adoption event in Takoma Park to actually leave with a dog that day. But Bruno met all of our criteria. He was the right age (not a puppy, but not too old) and had a sunny disposition. Also, the pet adoption representative we met that day told us that Bruno enjoyed sitting in windows and watching the world go by. That was appealing. She also said he enjoyed being held, which also was something that was important to us. In addition to his beautiful,
Bruno likes Milk Bones (beef flavor), Beggin’ Strips (bacon and beef flavor), and he enjoys a Kong dog toy with peanut butter inside.
Favorite activity together: He likes long walks in nature, so we try to make each of his visits outside (two in the morning and two in the evening) very special. When it gets warmer, we plan to take Bruno to dog parks so that he can socialize with other dogs and people.
You love him because... Bruno’s affection is unconditional each day. When we have long days at work, for example, it is always a joy when he jumps and barks at the front door upon our arrival. His tail is always wagging. And he is never shy about letting us know what he needs—whether it is food, going out to potty, or being held in our arms. ND
The Washington Humane Society (WHS), the only Congressionallychartered animal welfare agency in the United States, has been the area’s leading voice for animals since 1870. As the only open-access shelter in the Nation’s Capital, the Washington Humane Society provides comfort and care to nearly 30,000 animals each year through its broad range of programs and services. Visit WHS online at www. washhumane.org.
DC Doggie Deals!
50-70% OFF novadog
deal every Wednesday that will save you up to 50-70% on the stuff your dog loves and you most likely already buy! But you must act fast because once Wednesday’s gone....so is the deal!
wooftastic.bbdon.com 28 Northern Virginia Dog
| Spring 2011
Super Premium Pet Food— Delivered Right To Your Door
Free Delivery in Northern Virginia* and DC!
Never make another unexpected trip to the store or worry about your pet’s nutrition again. We offer free delivery of the very best foods and supplies at the most competitive prices: Our exclusive Total Focus Super Premium dry foods. All of our formulas contain superior ingredients from domestically grown and purchased sources. With human-grade, holistic EU certiﬁed simple proteins, probiotics, prebiotics, antioxidants, vegetables, wholesome grains and added glucosamine supplement. Never a part of any recall and absolutely no by-products, chemical preservatives, wheat, corn, soy or synthetic ingredients of any kind. Puppy, Adult Maintenance Lamb, Adult Maintenance Chicken, Active Dog, Grain Free, Weight Control and Senior.
Family-owned, Virginia Local!
Know the people who feed your pets! Use this coupon to receive
20% off your ﬁrst order
Please call (703)922-7387 to place your ﬁrst order
Local, superior hand-packed canned foods Local all-natural healthful treats Local supplements An entire line of the best cat foods and supplies * Canine Caterers offers free delivery to Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William, Arlington Counties, Alexandria and DC. Please visit our website for more information.
The Ultimate Guide to Canine-Inspired Living in the DC Metro Area