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Kamloops

The Go-To T Guide for Pet Life Fun in Kamloops & Area

Fall 2012

Dog friendly activities in Kamloops Horseback riding in the Thompson-Nicola Which small critter is right for you?


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Table OF Contents

Publisher Tim Shoults

Director of Advertising Kevin Dergez

Director of CREATIVE SERVICES Jacqueline Davidson

Sales

Claudine Sleik

Stories

Larkin Schmiedl

Design & LAYOUT Michael Coulter

PHOTOGRAPHY Larkin Schmiedl Jandana Ranch Murray Mitchell

Cover

PHOTO: Craig Sleik DOG: Jak

Produced by

Kamloops Daily News 393 Seymour Street Kamloops BC V2C 6P6 250.372.2331 www.kamloopsnews.ca

5 Dog friendly activities in Kamloops 7 Helping your new cat or dog settle in 9 Horseback riding in the Thompson-Nicola 12 Kamloops dog park map 15 Dog fitness and fun 17 Pet etiquette and safety tips 19 Profile of a St. John Ambulance therapy dog 21 Which small critter is right for you? www.kamloopskibble.ca FALL 2012 l KIBBLE

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Pet of the Week DO YOU HAVE A PET YOU'RE PROUD OF? Then upload a picture of your furry, feathered or hooved friend to kamloopskibble.ca and share with our readers the special bond you and your pet have. Watch the Kamloops Daily News, as each week we'll choose one special critter to be the Kamloops Kibble Pet of the Week!

Kamloops Kibble is your go-to-guide for pet life in Kamloops. Available at specialty pet supply stores, vet clinics, groomers, daycares & other pet related businesses, Kibble is filled with interesting relevant stories that celebrate the special relationships we have with our pets.

Visit us at www.kamloopskibble.ca

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Dog-friendly activities in Kamloops

By LARKIN SCHMIEDL Daily News Staff Reporter

Let’s start with the basics. There are three off-leash beaches in town, Mission Flats Park, Overlander Park and Pioneer Park. These are great places to let your doggie frolic freely.

If you want to be a bit more ambitious, both Kenna Cartwright and Peterson parks are offleash zones where your dog can saunter and run while you hike. There are many other off-leash and on-leash parks around the city where dogs are welcome as well (see centre map for details). However furry friends not allowed in some parks in the city, so watch for signs and make a mental note of where your pooch is permitted. At Isobel Lake in Lac du Bois Grasslands, there’s an easy

five-kilometre hike dogs can come along on. It follows the circumference of the lake and should take about two hours to complete. An interpretive trail with signs identifying trees and plants is a great place for families to bring children too. Along the trail you’ll find the Forest Inn, with a fire pit, picnic tables and toilets. The Grasslands are home to California bighorn sheep, mule deer, moose and waterfowl, and the western rattlesnake, sharp-tailed grouse and flammulated owl live more secretly within its boundaries as well. Why not pamper your pooch with a massage? Dogs, like people, benefit from massage. “All the nice benefits we experience, the dog would experience the same,” says Sarah Rose of Dog Time Canine Recreation Company. Massage can help dogs recover from injury, or help a hyperactive dog relax. It keeps circulation going and parts moving and loose in the body. Rose is finishing her second year of a two-year dog massage program, and is practicing for free as a student. FALL 2012 l KIBBLE

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“They’re far more grateful than humans. They’re far more enjoyable to work on, because they have no hesitation to say how much they’re enjoying it,” says Beverly Ohms of Ohms Horse & Hound Massage Service in Cherry Creek. Massage keeps dogs supple, and helps keep older ones comfortable and mobile. For younger dogs, massage can be helpful in socialization, and for nervous dogs it can help with relaxation. “I teach all my clients how to maintain their animals,” Ohms says. “In one sense, they’re worse than us because if we hurt ourselves, we go and sit in our good chair and put our feet up and say, ‘OK, I’ve got to look after me for a little bit. Dogs don’t’, They just say, ‘Oh, I guess this is the new normal, this leg doesn’t move like it used to.’” There are also some chiropractors in Kamloops that will work on dogs and other animals. For an in-the-city walk, dogs are welcome on the Downtown Heritage Homes Walking tour, on-leash.

If you want to peek inside some of Kamloops refurbished heritage buildings, learn the tales of rivers and railways, discover the stories of some of the first connections between white man and local First Nations and hear colourful stories about characters in city history, pick up a free walking tour brochure at the Kamloops Museum on Seymour Street. Geocaching is a treasure hunt you and your dog can both enjoy. Many caches are located in off-leash areas. Geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A cache can be placed anywhere in the world, and other cachers pinpoint its location using GPS technology, then go seek it out. To play, it helps to have a GPS device or GPS-enabled cellphone so you can navigate to the treasure. There are three rules: 1. If you take something from the geocache, leave something of equal or greater value. 2. Write about your find in the cache logbook, found at the cache. 3. Cover it back up the way you found it for the next treasure hunters. You can find more information and cache locations for Kamloops at www. geocaching.com. Click the ‘Play’ tab to search the Kamloops map. For those who want to play sports with their furry friends, disc golf is dog friendly on-leash. There are two courses in Kamloops. The first, Rose Hill West, is actually B.C.’s longest disc golf course. The Black Rose, also in Rose Hill, is a long mountain course with scenic views.

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Helping your

new Cat or Dog settle in

By LINDSAY CURRY BCSPCA Kamloops Branch

It

can take several weeks or more for your new pet to adapt to the rules and schedule of your household. Help your new pet out by showing him how to behave – new pets don't automatically know what your expectations are. Keep things consistent and stick to a routine. Try to bring a new pet home when you are off work or school for at least a week and can spend time helping her gradually adjust. Prevent separation anxiety by teaching her how to spend time alone bit by bit.

If your new pet is a cat, give him a safe, closed-in room with food, water, a bed and a litter box. Let your new cat learn about his new home slowly. Supervision is important. Your new pet can't do damage unless you allow it to happen! When you can’t supervise, confine her to a secure area (a pet-proofed room, a crate) and give her something to do, like toys to play with or a frozen stuffed Kong to eat. A new pet can have accidents, even if he is already housetrained. Be patient, and help him learn where and when to eliminate. Keep puppies on a housetraining schedule appropriate to their age. FALL 2012 l KIBBLE

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Gradually introduce a new pet to your resident pets, making sure you supervise all interactions appropriately. Let your new pet move at her own pace – spend time together, but don't force her to interact if she isn't ready. Remember that everything has changed for this animal – new pets need time to become comfortable. And don’t forget to make sure your new pet has proper identification. Above all, practice patience and understanding, and enjoy the new member of your family! For more details, contact the B.C. SPCA or a local trainer that uses positive training methods.

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Horseback riding in the Thompson-Nicola

By LARKIN SCHMIEDL Daily News Staff Reporter

If

you’ve always wanted to try horseback riding, there are a few options in the region where you can get a bit of training and go out on trail rides for a few hours. If you’re more committed and want to take lessons, there are also stables available.

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“I want to see people get comfortable on their horse.” At Jandana Ranch in Pinatan Lake, people of all ages are welcome for one-time trail rides. “We start all our trail rides in the arena, and we give a basic lesson,” says owner Dave Jarvis.

Most people who ride at the ranch come with zero skills. They start by teaching the basics of how to go, stop and turn. “I want to see people get comfortable on their horse,” he says.

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If someone is extremely nervous, “if that horse even tries to shake a fly off, they’ll fall, because they’re just like a statue.” Lessons bring relaxation. The only requirement is to wear long pants. The ranch provides riding helmets and a selection of boots with heels, so feet won’t slide through the stirrups. Kids under eight can do a mini-ride, led by a guide around the field. Jandana practices natural horsemanship with no bits in the horses’ mouths. At Erin Valley Stables they host trail riding for all ages. Kids under 10 will be ponied with guides.

They have a set of trails, says ranch hand Alana Weaver, and the wrangler guiding any group will choose a route depending on the group’s experience. First riders get a bit of instruction. Long pants and footwear with a heel are recommended. Riders are welcome to bring their own helmets or the stable can supply them. Erin Valley is set up for small groups or groups up to 100, and also does birthday parties. At Dreamscape Ranch in Knutsford, would-be riders can take lessons if they’re staying at ranch accommodations. Sageview Equestrian Centre on Tranquille Road offers lessons for the more committed, who want to learn English or Western-style riding. In the vast, spectacular landscape around Kamloops, horse riding is one great way to experience nature. It can be relaxing or exciting depending on the adventure chosen.

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Mt Dufferin Park

On-leash Parks - Dogs Under Control

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Overlander Park

Off-leash Dog Parks - Dogs Under Control

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Brocklehurst Park

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Parkcrest Park

Off-leash Dog Beaches - Dogs Under Control

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Prohibited Areas - Off-limits to Dogs

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Dog Fitness and Fun By LARKIN SCHMIEDL Daily News Staff Reporter

All kinds of sports and

fun fitness activities are designed just for your dog. From rally obedience to earth dog trials—there is something to excite nearly every breed here in the Kamloops area.

Rally Obedience “They call it rally obedience because the course that we actually compete on is set up for a rally course,” says trainer Mary Zacharatos of 5-Star Dog Training. Dogs go around to signs that say things like ‘sit down,’ and ‘come.’ Owners accompany them, making it a fun way to be active and involved. Zacharatos says rally obedience is very good for dogs that are too old or not physically capable of doing more demanding sports. It can also be taken to the next level to compete for titles.

the dog runs on the ground beside the animal telling them how to get through the sequence.” Sport agility is trained using rewards within the obstacle course, and dogs are very keen to participate, says Zacharatos. For those interested in competition, after some training dogs are eligible.

Earth-Dog Trials Dogs doing Earth Dog get to go underground into a set of tunnels built especially for the sport. Designed for terriers and Dachshund breeds, any dog that is keen and can fit in the nine-inch tunnels is welcome.

Dog Sport Agility “There are quite a few different types of games... Mostly it’s an obstacle course of different things that they have to do. They have to jump over jumps, and they have to weave through the weave poles, go over big climbing frames and through tunnels and tires,” says Zacharatos, who also runs dog agility courses. “The person who’s handling FALL 2012 l KIBBLE

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It tests the instincts of dogs that were bred to hunt vermin and small quarry. A rat waits at the end inside a box, and is trained not to fear barking or excited dogs. This way dogs can dig, stare and paw, and the rats won’t be perturbed. The dogs can’t actually get to the rats. It’s a controlled activity that fulfills the hunting instincts of small dogs. Local Cathy Barber has two border terriers and says of one of them, “She thinks she has died and gone to heaven when we get within a mile of this road where we go to get the rats.” The tunnels are located in Falkland and run by the ThompsonOkanagan Earthdog Club.

Tracking “You can’t teach a dog to track, you can just teach them how to use that skill. A dog will either track or

they won’t,” says Taylor Lamb of Western Canine Dog Training. Tracking basically means to follow a scent and find the source. Dogs start on an easy straight track, said Lamb. They get the idea they’re looking for something, and are encouraged with lots of praise and a reward at the end. How can you tell if your dog can track? If they use their nose a lot it’s likely. Dogs with longer noses are generally better trackers. “Do some scent work and see if the dog’s interested and if they have fun doing it,” suggests Lamb. If they do, show some interest and “you’ll be able to develop a skill out of that.”

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Pet Etiquette and By LARKIN SCHMIEDL Daily News Staff Reporter

Your

pet’s safety and the comfort of other animals and people around them is your responsibility as a pet owner. Pat Cutler, a registered animal health technologist and certified pet dog trainer with over 20 years’ experience, has tips to maximize dog and cat safety in the city, the wilderness, dog parks and at home around the yard. In town, Cutler recommends you watch your dog to see what they’re comfortable with. “Lots of dogs aren’t super excited about meeting lots of people… and they should never be forced to do that,” she says. “If your dog is uncomfortable around large

safety tips

groups, keep him far enough back to the point where he is comfortable.” Start in areas where there are just a few people, and you can slowly get your dog comfortable with more. On the other hand, if your dog loves people and tends to leap on and lick and nuzzle them, it needs to learn manners. Cutler suggests teaching your dog to sit before it’s allowed to interact with anyone. This increases safety for children, seniors, or anyone who’s not sturdy on their feet. And, when you’re out and about, remember it’s you who’s responsible for whom your dog interacts with. “Just because your dog is beautiful or cute doesn’t give everybody in the world permission to interact with him... If your dog is backing away, or looking uncomfortable – body lowered, tail tucked, anything like that – then it’s up to you to stop that person approaching your dog.”

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Cutler suggests saying something like ‘My dog isn’t feeling well right now, and he doesn’t want to say hi.’ In dog parks, there’s a different etiquette. “Dog parks can be very scary for dogs that are unfamiliar with interacting with a lot of other dogs. A good time to go for the first time is when there’s nobody there, and let your dog explore the park. If you can’t find a time when there’s nobody there, then a second-best alternative is to go to the park, but not go into it; just hang around the outside,” says Cutler. “Check out the dogs… get to know them and the people. Make sure you like what you see.” Cutler says she recommends avoiding parks where dogs play rough or run out of control. “Don’t ever hesitate to intervene if the play doesn’t look like it’s fun.” If it’s not a good time for your dog, leave the park, she says. The goal at a dog park is to find a compatible playmate or two for your dog. You should feel comfortable talking with the owner, and free to make comments if things aren’t going the way you’d like. To start, “keep the sessions really short and positive,” she says. And pay attention to your dog; don’t just visit with the other owners. Dog parks shouldn’t substitute for your one-on-one time. “Make it a part of your dog’s life,

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but not the only way to spend time with your dog,” Cutler says. And puppies that haven’t been fully vaccinated should not visit the park, at risk of infection. When out in the wilderness, you don’t want your dog chasing game, people or other dogs. “You need a good recall,” Cutler says. If you can’t trust your dog to come when you call, “a 50-foot line… is a really good idea.” And for cats, if you live in an undeveloped area where there are coyotes, keep your pet in at night. Cutler suggests feeding them in the evening to get them to come in. And “cats, like dogs should be good neighbours.” Cats that dig in other people’s gardens, howl at night or eliminate in other yards are not appreciated. If you have an outdoor cat, create a place in your own yard for them to poo and encourage them to go there. “Cats will often choose a place that’s dry,” said Cutler, such as under decks or overhangs. If needed, place a litter box outside and train your cat to use it.


Profile of a St. John Ambulance

Therapy Dog

By LARKIN SCHMIEDL Daily News Staff Reporter

Ivory

is a St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog, and Chris Redekop, her handler, adopted her two years ago. “I wanted her specifically to do pet therapy,” Redekop says. “I suffer from chronic anxiety, and so having her, I can do things I couldn’t normally do. I know firsthand the benefits of pets.” In her previous life, Ivory, a yellow lab, was a champion show dog. She lived most of her life in a kennel in Washington state. Now she’s retired and can lead a normal life, but Ivory is still special. “Her new job is volunteering,” says Redekop. “We go and do visitations.” The pair does two regular rounds, visiting Berwick retirement home and the Kamloops Christian School each once a week.

Redekop has felt the effects personally. She left her former job when she had a breakdown. “This is the first thing that I’ve done since I’ve been off,” she says, “and it’s taken a lot. With (Ivory), it’s amazing… all I have to do is just watch her.” Ivory is one of only five therapy dogs certified to work with children, which is why she helps out at the school reading program. “On Monday,” Redekop says, “one of the little kids came and put his head down on Ivory’s stomach, and was laying and reading to her. “Kids that are really nervous or struggle with reading… it just totally relaxes them, because they just read to the dog, not to an adult.”

Seventeen other dog-andhandler therapy teams visit the psychiatric ward, the hospital, the hospice and the library, where there’s a dogassisted reading program. Research shows their visits help people recover quicker from surgery and strokes, and reduce loneliness, depression and anxiety. FALL 2012 l KIBBLE

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Dogs have to undergo an intense evaluation process before they’re certified to work with kids. “It’s much more stringent then the regular tests. It’s really crazy ‘cause they have lots of kids running around and banging, and (they’re) watching your dog and how it reacts when kids come up.” Ivory passed her test with flying colours, and when the Daily News met her, she was in a very mellow mood at Pioneer Park. St. John’s is always looking for more dogs to apply. If your dog is over two years old and you think it has what it takes to nurture those in need, contact St. John Ambulance.

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Which By LARKIN SCHMIEDL Daily News Staff Reporter

Many people want to keep pets without the commitment of a dog or a cat, and various small creatures can offer the companionship and comfort you may be seeking. Here are a few pointers on the personalities and care they need, so you can decide which animal fits best.

Rabbits Rabbits are social and friendly, and adapt well to living with people so long as they’re handled daily. They typically live from seven to 10 years.

small critter

is right for you?

The soft creatures are popular with kids, but a family with small children shouldn’t get a rabbit, as they are skittish and need a quiet environment. Pet rabbits should be kept in the main part of a home in a roomy cage. They require a varied diet including fresh vegetables.

Guinea Pigs Guinea pigs are herd animals, so it’s best to get at least two of them to ensure their happiness. They are the most social of the pet rodents. Maintenance includes regular cage cleaning, and for the longhaired varieties, grooming. Guinea pigs live five to seven years. They can be kept in an open-topped pen, as they’re unlikely to climb out. Like hamsters, they carry salmonella and other diseases, so it’s important to wash your hands after handling.

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Hamsters

Gerbils

Friendly and inquisitive creatures, hamsters are cuddly but independent. They’re solitary, so you only need to get one. They require less attention than some other small pets since they’re self-entertaining. It’s good to give them a variety of toys. Because they’re nocturnal, hamsters won’t be awake much of the day, and may make noise at night when they become active in their cages. Young children might not have the dexterity to handle hamsters gently enough, and the pet could then bite. Hamsters carry diseases like salmonella; so wash your hands after handling them. They live 2 1/2 to three years.

Gerbils are independent and can keep themselves entertained for long periods. They’re clean animals, but need regular cage cleaning because they’re from the desert, and so pass highly concentrated urine, which can have a strong smell. Gerbils are small and able to slip out of many wire cages, so aquariums are best. They have to be treated gently, or like most animals, they will bite. They typically live three to four years.

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Ferrets Ferrets are lovable, engaging, playful pets. They sleep much of the day, but when awake they are bundles of energy. Your home will need to be ferretproofed, since they’re curious, mischievous beasts, and need at least four to six hours outside their cages each day. They are one of the highest-maintenance small pets. Ferrets are social, so getting more than one is a good idea. They need to play with you regularly and require your attention and supervision. Many ferrets are cuddly, especially as they grow older. They live eight to 10 years. They’re notoriously smelly, since their fur contains a musk. Some people will detest this smell and some will like it.

Many who are allergic to cats and dogs will not be allergic to ferrets. They must be trained and handled gently or they can bite.

Birds Many kinds of birds have been bred for human ownership and thus adapt well to domestic life. These include finches, cockatiels, canaries, parakeets and lovebirds. They make colourful pets and their songs can be charming. Most birds are flock animals, so getting more than one is a good idea to ensure their fulfillment. A cage should be big enough so a bird can spread its wings and fly across it.

Rats Rats are very friendly, intelligent animals who are easy to train. Unlike common mythology, rats are actually very clean creatures. They are curious, and enjoy social interaction. It’s best to have more than one rat. They typically live for two to three years.

“Most birds are flock animals, so getting more than one is a good idea.”

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