Page 1

volume 6, issue 2

magazine february/march 2010

lcd celebrates five years local dog heads to westminster military service dogs

s r o h c An y a w A

rktown o Y S S U ard the o b a n o rno an afte

Publisher Leah England (843) 478-0266


Communications Intern Gillian Nicol Guest Photographer Julia Lynn Staff Photographer Ashley Smith Blackburn Accounting Carrie Clark Financial Services (843) 367-9969 For Ad Rates Call

(843) 478-0266 Lowcountry Dog Magazine PO Box 22 Mt. Pleasant, SC 29465 Web: Twitter: Facebook: This magazine is printed on 100% recycled paper. Continue the green process by recycling this copy.



february/march 2010 local setter heads to national dog show 5 pet custody 8

Lowcountry Dog’s mission is to be the leading local resource for dog owners regarding regional events, health and wellness information, trends, style and lifestyle choices. We also strive to be a mouthpiece to the public for various dog related non-profits and promote pet adoption and other responsible pet care practices. Dog lovers can pick up the bi-monthly magazine for free at most area veterinarians and pet stores throughout the lowcountry, as well as numerous restaurants, coffee bars and retailers. A full distribution list is posted to the magazine’s web site, Subscriptions are also available. Please call 843-478-0266 for more information. The entire contents of this magazine are copyrighted by Lowcountry Dog Magazine with all rights reserved. Reproduction of any material from this issue is expressly forbidden without permission of the publisher. Lowcountry Dog Magazine does not endorse or guarantee any product, service, or vendor mentioned or pictured in this magazine in editorial or advertising space. Views expressed by authors or advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher.

five years of lcd covers 9 anchors away 12 military dogs 21 health and wellness 22 Pet Dental Health training 24 Food Bowl Guarding & Aggression adoption 26 Berkeley County Paws

Cover photo and middle table of contents photo by Julia Lynn. Nala (left) wears a Skull and Crossbones collar from RC Pets, available at Hairy Winston. Jessie (right) wears a Up Country Marlin collar from Lucia’s Premium Pet.



Must bring your own towel. Limit one per customer. Exp. 3/31/10. Excludes Saturdays.

Just sit back and relax. We’ll groom the dog. a convenient, cage-free, spa-inspired experience for dogs and cats

Fine Art and Portraiture by

Carlos - adopted through Lucia’s and Animal Rescue & Relief

All Natural Nutrition, Supplements, Herbs, Homeopathics Fun Toys and Gifts, Self Serve Dog Wash Publix Shopping Center Daniel Island 843.377.8740


M.C. Churchill-Nash



Cage-less doggie daycare & boarding THE ONLY COMPLETELY CAGELESS FACILITY IN THE AREA WITH A HOME-LIKE ENVIRONMENT! YOU CAN RELAX! Dogs are supervised 24/7 Open 7 days a week 205 Scott Street (Old Villiage) Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

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Are you paying too much for your pet’s food? Treats? Toys? Collars? Accessories?

If you aren’t buying from us, you probably are! Mount Pleasant Towne Centre 843.881.0800

by Laura Reiman

photo courtesy Joe Deese Photography

Local Setter Heads To National Dog Show

Westminster Kennel Club’s 134th annual dog show begins on February 15, 2010, and Charleston will be well represented in the paws of Beau, a local English setter. Beau is not your average setter. He comes from a long line of Westminster winners – his sire won best of breed in 2006 and his grand dam won best of breed in 2000 – and he became an AKC champion with his owner/ handler Sarah-Ashley Kuniansky at just 16 months. Sarah-Ashley co-owns Beau with her mother, Frazier Neal, who is also Beau’s groomer. Beau is the first show dog for the mother/daughter duo and their teamwork has gotten them a place in what is commonly known as America’s most prestigious dog show. At 22 years old, Sarah-Ashley has found her calling in handling dogs. With a passion for showing and a natural ability for handling, the 2005 Ashley Hall graduate wants to pursue dog showing long term. Sarah-Ashley has gained a solid understanding of dogs and how to balance control and a soft hand through trial and error and with a few helpful tips from others. She is full of great tricks like remembering to carry mints in case she gets nervous – dogs can sense a change in saliva, and mints counteract the nervous scent. Armed with the confidence that 78 smaller wins with Beau provides, Sarah-Ashley is ready to take on Westminster. Her mother, Frazier, finds her relaxation in grooming Beau. One of the biggest preparations for Beau’s big show is to keep his coat conditioned and maintained. This sometimes means having the dog don his “Beau-kini” to keep his long, feathered hair in place. Frazier is also working with the dog on his hunting, a skill that comes easily to the sporting dog. You may have seen Beau around town – Sarah-Ashley often takes him to Red’s Ice House, Palmetto Paws, up and down King Street and to Three Dog Bakery (now closed) where he sometimes gets to lick the bowls clean. When not about town, Beau has five acres of John’s Island land to explore but prefers to stay inside. He sleeps in bed with family members, steals chairs from Sarah-

Ashley before she can sit down, carries trinkets he finds in the “to go upstairs pile” up the stairs, and loves to jump up and give hugs and kisses. One can almost instantly tell Beau is a special dog. The threeyear-old blue belton (white with black speckles all over) has a regal way of holding himself. He is loyal, inquisitive without being intrusive, and like many great dogs, an expert at finding hidden treats. He is also, for his age, amazingly well-mannered. “He always has his tail up and wagging. That’s what sets him apart at shows – as a breed standard they are always supposed to be happy,” says Sarah-Ashley. And breed standard is what it’s all about at Westminster. The champion only dog show, meaning every entry has already won champion status, has been held in New York City since 1877. The English setter should feel right at home as the first shows were primarily held for gun dogs like setters and pointers. In fact, last year’s best in show winner was a sporting dog, the same group Beau will be competing in. This year, over 150 AKC, American Kennel Club, registered breeds will be represented in the show held at Madison Square Garden. While a show like Westminster is full of interesting characters – both dogs and people – the day is also a grueling one. Entered dogs must stay in the show building from 11 in the morning until 8 at night. Lowcountrydog


A large part of preparing for a big show like Westminster is mental. “ You have to go into the show knowing that you have the best dog there, but never expect to win. You never know what will happen,” says Frazier Neal. Frazier and Sarah-Ashley took a chance on Beau, not realizing how special he was until they received great feedback at their first few shows. It didn’t take long to find out just how promising the dog was. Beau came out of the gate running, winning best of breed at his first show in Augusta, Georgia. He has since gained a following of supporters including a few fond judges who like to keep track of his successes. Last year Beau was even used as an example of the English setter standard at judges seminars, used to train prospective judges, on Westminster grounds – a good sign for things to come. 6


As for the rest of preparation, Beau is on a grain-free, scrap-free diet – not counting the fruits and veggies he loves so much. His naturally positive show attitude makes only minimum obedience training necessary, and he mostly gets to lie around and enjoy life with Neal, Kuniansky and their 4 other dogs. Frazier, on the other hand, has her work cut out for her with hotel arrangements, packing the enormous van and getting everything where it needs to be. Frazier is used to the packing, as travel is just another part of dog showing. She credits the Charleston Kennel Club for being a great and supportive group, but has to travel in order to show with a larger English setter population and accrue points. Beau and Co. have been all across America and up to Canada for different shows, typically competing in one a month except for this summer when Beau got some time off to enjoy the last of his puppyhood. Sarah-Ashley and Frazier’s ultimate goal for Beau is that he stay happy and healthy and just be part of the family. And win best in show, of course. On day two of Westminster Kennel Club’s annual show, the sporting dogs will get their chance to compete. With 2500 dogs registered, 22 of which are English setters, Sarah-Ashley and Frazier are confident that Beau, or “Champion Lochlomond’s Wrapped Up In You,” can hold his own. Their trip to Madison Square Garden in New York City will be televised on USA Network on February 16. I know I’ll be watching.

top: photo courtesy Phyllis Ensley Photography bottom: photo courtesy Joe Deese Photography

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Pet Custody

by Danielle Young

Lesson from King Solomon: You can’t split the baby…or the dog. Animal welfare attorneys have long fought for the elevated legal status of animals in this country. More often than not, at the heart of these battles are animals our society has forgotten about: elephants in circuses; cows, pigs and chickens at factory farms; and neglected or abused family pets. Progress for these animals has been steady, but slow. Interestingly, there is one area of animal law that has seen rapid growth in the last decade— pet custody cases. Pets, traditionally, have been viewed as mere property under the law, but as they have become more cherished members of our families, the issue of pet custody has become an increasingly contentious part of divorce proceedings. The end of a relationship is a painful transition, and the added annoyance of dividing property can make a difficult situation even more heart wrenching. How do you decide who gets the flat-screen TV, the Pottery Barn coffee table, the Dogs Playing Poker painting? These decisions are contentious enough. Now add in the question, “What happens to Fido when his parents go their separate ways?” There are three different ways this issue is usually resolved. The best case scenario is an amicable

split with both parties coming to a resolution that works for everyone involved. For example, does one spouse work from home and have time to take Fido running every day while the other works twelve hour days? An ideal solution could be to let Fido stay with the workfrom-home spouse while the twelve-houra-day spouse gets weekend visitation. Divorces or separations are emotionally

straining, and pets provide substantial emotional support to their guardians. This solution allows both parents to maintain an emotional bond with their pet. While ideal, this is oftentimes not a realistic solution, as shown by the growing number of pet custody cases in this country. The second remedy many turn to is battling for ownership in the courtroom. Because animals are considered property, they are subject to equitable division during divorce proceedings. However, a

growing number of courts have afforded pets a different standard during divorce proceedings, recognizing that pets are not the same as inanimate pieces of property. In a dispute, documentation proving adoption or purchase of the pet will strengthen a case, but courts also use other factors to determine with whom to place Fido. Absent clear indicative factors demonstrating who is the legal owner of Fido (and sometimes in spite of them), courts around the country are becoming more willing to consider the welfare of pet when determining contested pet custody issues. Sometimes called the “best interest” standard, this analysis is similar to that applied in child custody cases and includes multiple generic and case specific factors. Any documentation that substantiates a claim that one of the parties is the primary caregiver could increase the chances of gaining custody. These could include records and receipts from the vet, licensing records, receipts for grooming, food, training classes, etc. Witnesses who can testify could certainly help too, so if you’re going through this think of your friends who can speak up on your behalf. Garner your support! Some attorneys have even offered testimony from animal behaviorists, pet continued on pg. 11



volume 6, issue 2

magazine february/march 2010

lcd celebrates five years local dog heads to westminister military service dogs

ors Anch Away ard rnoon abo an afte

the USS

n Yorktow


thanks for terrific years!

and here’s to the future of lcd!



Follow publisher Leah England on Twitter.

Lowcountry Focus Photography

All veterinary care is paid for.

Pet Portraits Weddings Commissions

Fostering can last from a few days to several months.

To learn more log on to or call 843-571-7177.



The Low Country Golden Retriever Rescue is in need of volunteers to provide short-term in-home care for friendly Golden Retrievers who have been abandoned, abused or given up by their owners.


First Time Customers Only

continued from pg. 8

care professionals, and veterinarians to strengthen their clients’ case. Factors such as who has more time to spend with the pet, which person plays with the pet more, and how much exercise each spouse can provide are all relevant in the determination of custody. If children are involved in the divorce as well, oftentimes the judge will keep the pets and children together. Ultimately, if a custody battle should arise over your pet, be prepared to retain the services of an attorney. They will be able to plan a strategic legal route to get Fido back or, ideally, help negotiate an alternative d i s p u t e resolution or settlement that works for both parties. The third way this issue can be resolved is a dirty little secret we like to pretend

never happens. In this case, Fido – once a beloved family member—is abandoned to an animal shelter. Admittedly, these pets are probably not those at the center of hotly contested custody battles, but shelters around the country consistently report divorce or separation as one of the primary reasons people surrender animals to them. In 2009, approximately 9,000 cats and dogs were left at shelters in Charleston County alone! As crazy as it may seem that some couples are willing to bear the expense and hassle of duking it out in court over a pet, it is even crazier that so many former pets will end up in a shelter instead of a loving home. While the first scenario is most preferable for both the people and the animals involved, the elevated

status of pets in the courtroom under any circumstance is a much awaited and fiercely advocated advancement in the legal position of animals.

For more information on pet custody and animal law: Questions or comments may be directed to the Charleston School of Law Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at



s r o h c n A y a Aw

n Yorktow S S U e h board t a n o o n r an aftreaphy by Julia Lynn photog



It was a lovely day for a visit to the USS Yorktown for 6 lucky Charleston dogs. Normally the ship is closed to canines, but seeing as the photo spread concept marked Lowcountry Dog Magazine’s five year anniversary and dogs have done much good work for the U.S. military, the board of directors at Patriots Point kindly lifted the rules and allowed the four-legged patriots aboard. Well -trained, and very smart, not a single dog took the Poop Deck literally. Left: Mojo, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, is a therapy dog at the VA Hospital. He’s wearing an Up Country Sailboat collar, available at Hairy Winston. Right: Nala (left) and Jessie (right), both mixed breeds, are foster siblings for Charleston Greyhound Pets of America. They look right at home on a boat in their Paws Aboard life jackets, also available at Hairy Winston. Lowcountrydog


Boxers Millie (left) and Cassius (right) have a dad who was in the Navy, so they knew just want to do on the flight deck. Here they sit at attention in front of a twin engine F/A-18 Hornet, proving the best things do come in twos. This Beagle is the bomb! Our baby of the group was Red A Perez. He was intensely focused despite his youth and 60 Boy Scouts running around the deck while he posed. Both Red and Millie are wearing Up Country Stars & Stripes collars from Hairy Winston. Cassius is wearing his own collar. Nala and Jessie perform reconnaissance of the Boy Scout troops beside an E-1B Tracer, an aircraft which provided critical early warning and guidance support.







Left, Clockwise: Safety First! Red suits up in a life jacket from Lucia’s Premium Pet. Mojo, displays the classic physical characteristic of his breed, the ridge of fur along his back, next to a F/A-18 Hornet, the nation’s first strikefighter. Red shows off his patriotic stripes in a Doggie Design striped anchor shirt available at Hairy Winston. Mojo is “at ease” in the front lawn with the grand ship in the background. Right: The boardwalk to the ship, lined with American flags, is beautiful sight. Millie and Cassius’ chests swelled with such national pride they nearly burst out of their RC Pets Red and Black Striped Sweaters, available at Hairy Winston. A special THANK YOU is extended to Patriots Point and the entire staff at the Yorktown. If you have not yet been out to this important historical landmark, or if it has been several years since your last visit, you should plan a trip aboard. There you will learn first hand the lessons of heroism, patriotism and character of America’s Greatest Generation. Or check out the Planned Giving section of the website where you can make a donation to help ensure the museum endures and grows stronger while meeting the challenge of preserving history for future generations of Americans. To make a donation, click to:



happy hounds

arizona & lulu belle caia


bella & louie

fletcher bentley


email photos of your happy hound to all breeds and mixed breeds accepted.

jay-jay & jebelza

bambi lake gun schooner


jessie sandee, bella & spencer

wyatt earp

rufus elvis & atlas

savannah & charlie 18


eloise & riley

stitch & charlie

Have you Checked Out

Dogs of all ages need higher education. Get a Pet Degree with TLC!

Dog Blog



(843) 607-1227

here’s what you’ll find at


Private Training and Group Classes in 7 locations across the Tri-County Area. 15% Discount for Rescue and SPCA Alumni.

Brand-spanking new Health&Wellness and Training columns every week. Written by local veterinarians & trainers. Weekly features of local dogs in our Meet a Lowcountry Dog Series will entertain. The 411 on Upcoming Events and Event Recaps with photos will keep you in the know. You’ll never have to wonder again how much was raised, or how many adoptions are pending, or who was the grand prize winner at an event you attended.

Pleasant Pet Services, LLC Chris Maltese 843-412-1485 Licensed, Insured & Bonded Pet CPR Certified Multiple Walk Discounts Transportation to Vet & Groomer Serving Charleston & Berkeley Counties

Our Pet Product Round-ups feature the coolest, most painfully cute, and most practical gear you can buy locally. Discounts and Deals. Everyone likes to save money. When we hear a local pet business is offering special savings, we’ll let all our blog readers know. Looking for a new dog to add to your family? Check out the blog for weekly Adoptable Dog Features. Check out Pet Business Profiles to learn about the pet experts right here in Charleston. Learn how to crochet a collar, make stationary featuring your dog, take awesome photographs of your furry friends, or make home made treats. Our Pet Projects column will bring out the inner DIY in every dog owner. Visit the blog today at



upcoming events february 6th 6:00pm-10:00pm annual summerville spca downs byrd memorial oyster roast and silent auction. George Miler Country Club in Summerville. Tickets are $25 per person. Visit www.summervillespca. com or call 871-3820 for tickets.

february 6th 11:00am-2:00pm cas adoption weekend at petsmart mt. pleasant. Stop by while picking up your pet supplies and say hi to our awesome pets and volunteers. You may even want to adopt on the spot!

february 6th 2:00pm a pet support team for junior volunteers. Kids ages 6 to 11 are invited to join this group of young animal lovers for a monthly meeting. Must email Christine Bush at to register.

february 7th 12:00pm-5:00pm lucia’s premium pet & animal rescue & relief doggie day spaw. Animal Rescue & Relief volunteers will give your pooch the works and all the money goes to support ARR’s local rescue efforts. “Spaw” Bath - $10, Teeth Brushing - $5, Ear Cleaning - $5, Furminator Treatment - $6, Nail Trim - $8, Microchip - $20. To learn more visit

february 12th-14th 10:00am6:00pm southeastern wildlife exposition. Retriever demonstrations, dock dogs, area rescues and shelters. for more info.

february 13th 10:00am-2:00pm new hope pit bull rescue meet and greet. N. Charleston Superpetz. for more info.

february 13th low country golden retriever rescue meet and greet. Southern Kitchens of Charleston, 493 King. Watch for times!

february 16th 6:30am-8:30pm cas i love my dog, now what? This seminar is an overview of how to cohabitate with a dog and will help owners identify what motivates dogs and causes their behavior. Humans Only. 20


$25. At the CAS facility on Remount Road

february 20th 11:00am-2:00pm cas adoption weekend petsmart mt. pleasant Stop by while picking up your pet supplies and say hi to our awesome pets and volunteers. You may even want to adopt on the spot!

february 27th 10:00am-2:00pm new hope pit bull rescue meet and greet. Mt. Pleasant Petco. for more info.

february 28th 10:00am paws go red! Pet Helpers, the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign, and MUSC Heart & Vascular Center team up at the James Island County Park for human and canine health, featuring heart health screenings for dogs and owners, pet and owner photos by Laura Olsen Imagery, a Go Red Dog Walk, Go Red dog costume competition, and more! All for a $1 entry fee into the park!

march 6th 11:00am-2:00pm cas adoption weekend at petsmart mt. pleasant. Stop by while picking up your pet supplies and say hi to our awesome pets and volunteers. You may even want to adopt on the spot!

march 6th 11:00-3:00pm low country golden retriever rescue self defence seminar. Learn the techniques of KRAV MAGA / AKS KARATE and have an amazing workout. $20.00 per person. All proceeds will be donated to LCGRR to support our rescue efforts. Call 225 - 5425 to register or go to

march 13th 10:00am-11:00am paw to palette. All is Well, James Island. The experts from Bark Busters and All is Well will discuss canine psyche and nutrition. Event for humans only, not appropriate for children under 12yrs. Reserve a seat by calling All is Well, 795-2001.

march 13th 3:00pm-6:00pm francis r willis paws and claws on ice. Carolina Ice Palace. www.




march 20th 11:00am-2:00pm cas adoption weekend at petsmart mt. pleasant. Stop by while picking up your pet supplies and say hi to our awesome pets and volunteers. You may even want to adopt on the spot!

march 20th time helpers oyster

tba pet roast.

Charleston Visitors Center, Meeting Street. Check back to their website at for more info.

march 26th-28th 9:00am-5:00pm summerville flowertown festival. Azalea Park. 200 jury-selected artists, various rescues and shelter booths, delicious foods, fun children’s activities, free admission and parking! Click to flowertown/index.html for more info.

march 27th 10:00am-2:00pm new hope pit bull rescue meet and greet. Summerville Petsmart. for more info.

april 10th & 11th 10:00-4:00pm, 12:00-4:00pm lcd model contest and pet fest 2009. Do you dream of your dog on the cover of Lowcountry Dog Magazine? Now’s your chance! Enter the LCD model contest at this year’s Pet Fest. It’s a free and fun contest where your dog will meet publisher Leah England and his or her doggie headshot will be taken. Last year 600 dogs vied for the prize! Mark your calendars now for this fun event filled with dog oriented vendors, rescues and shelters, a charity walk, a microchip clinic, frisbee demonstrations, entertainment, food tents and much more. Entry into the event is $5 per person. Palmetto Islands County Park in Mt. Pleasant. www.ccprc. com or (843) 795-4386 for more info.


Questions? Comments? Call 843-478-0266 Want to submit event information? Visit and click on Contact Us. We will do our best in include your event as space allows. Our online calendar lists all events in full.

Military Working Dogs a brief history

Origins Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the American Kennel Club and a group calling itself “Dogs for Defense� requested dog owners across the country to donate quality animals to the Quartermaster Corps for special wartime training. The Quartermaster Corps developed a special K-9 Corps, a group dedicated to the training of the dogs into disciplined canine soldiers. More than 19,000 dogs, representing 30 different breeds, were procured for the program. However, about half were rejected from the program as being unsuited for the rigorous training. The first training center was established in Front Royal, Virginia in August 1942. The program trained dogs to be sentries, scouts, patrol dogs, messengers and mine detection dogs. Sentry dogs were trained to alert his handler of an approach, especially in the dark, by barking. Scout and patrol dogs were also trained to alert their handlers, but to alert them in total silence as to not be detected by enemy snipers. Using their keen sense of smell, scout dogs could often detect the enemy presence at distances up to 1,000 yards. Messenger dogs had intense loyalty

and were trained with two handlers. They were trained to move undetected through enemy grounds between their two handlers while carrying an important coded message. Mine dogs were trained to detect all forms of mines and booby traps. After the war, most of the surviving animals were temperament tested and then adopted into civilian families. Dogs that remained in service were typically used as guard dogs at military bases and airfields, or were transferred to police dog programs. The training program remained, but with time and experience the military began procuring and breeding its own dogs, mainly German Shepherds, Dobermans and Labradors. Vietnam: It is estimated that 4,900 dogs were used in wartime activity between 1964 and 1975. Dogs were used in every branch of the military and are heralded for saving more than 10,000 lives and aiding in the capture of thousands of enemy soldiers. Only 204 dogs exited Vietnam during that time. Some stayed on with the South Vietnamese Army; many died in combat. Others were euthanized due to injury or unsocial behaviors. None continued on pg. 27

Top to Bottom: Petty Officer 2nd Class Blake Soller pets the head of his MWD Rico, at the War Dog Cemetery located on Naval Base Guam. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class John F. Looney. U.S. Army Sgt. Christopher Jasper, left, his military working dog, Uwe, and 1st Lt. Thomas Ray look for unexploded ordnance, weapons caches and improvised explosive devices in Baghdad, Iraq. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mark Burrell. Staff Sgt. Christa Quam holds her puppy which will enter the military working dog program in a year on Lackland AFB, San Antonio, Texas. Military working dogs are enrolled in a 60 to 90 day training program where they are taught to detect explosives and drugs. They are also taught deterrence training and how to protect their handler. U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Griffin.



Dental Health Care

Lynne M. Flood, DVM and Katherine Rainwater, DVM

Why is dental health important? Like us, our pets need regular dental care to keep their teeth in the best possible condition. The amount of plaque which forms on a pet’s teeth is determined by genetic predisposition even more than diet. Some breeds and certain individuals are especially prone to early periodontal disease, but all pets develop dental tartar eventually. Plaque is made of food debris and bacteria, and if not cleaned off in this soft stage, will harden into dental tartar and calculus. Calculus is like cement, holding bacteria against the teeth, leading to an infection of the gums called gingivitis. As gingivitis worsens, it can result in infection of the periodontal ligament (structure which holds the tooth in place) and surrounding bone. Left unchecked, this leads to tooth loss, a painful and potentially debilitating condition for your pet. Dental homecare can significantly slow the accumulation of tartar and may decrease the frequency and severity of dental cleanings. Small breed dogs and Greyhounds are at particular risk for dental disease, making homecare especially important for them. How do I take care of my pets teeth? There are multiple approaches to providing dental homecare. For pets at high risk for dental disease, more than one strategy can be used. Brushing: Finger brushes, pet specific tooth brushes or children’s soft bristled brushes can be used with enzymatic toothpaste. Human toothpaste is not recommended. Pet’s teeth need to be brushed 1-2 times 22


daily to maximize the benefit. If they are not brushed at least 3 times per week the pet derives little benefit from brushing. Using enzymatic toothpaste as a treat and then gradually increasing your pet’s comfort level with having a tooth brush or your fingers in their mouth can help train them to accept regular brushing. Giving a treat after brushing (such as a chew or their regular meal) can also help reinforce the behavior. OraVetTM Gel (Merial): This product can be used either after a cleaning or as soon as your pet’s adult teeth are completely erupted. It forms an ionic sealant at the gum level which helps significantly decrease tartar accumulation. This product only needs to be used once weekly, but will be most effective when combined with regular brushing. Dental chews: In order for a chew to be effective, your pet needs to work on it for at least 5-10 minutes. Although not as effective as brushing, it can help decrease bacteria in the mouth and clean the teeth somewhat. Hard plastic chew toys should be avoided as they can cause tooth damage. Caution must be used with rawhides and bones as both can lead to intestinal obstructions and other GI problems if not chewed completely. Prescription DietR T/DR (Hill’s): This is a special diet made by Hills Science DietR pet food company. It can be fed as a main diet or as an after-meal treat. The structure of the kibble is a hard mesh that cleans teeth as it is chewed. This is the ONLY diet which has been scientifically shown to help reduce dental build-up. Contrary to popular belief, dry kibble and canned diets are equal in that regard. The diets which are most damaging to teeth are

the soft, ground-beef type patties because they are high in sugars which contribute to dental disease. Water Additives and Oral Rinses (by Virbac Animal Health): Two products which have been shown to help oral health in dogs are AquaDentTM water additive and C.E.T. oral rinse. The water additive has a dilute antibacterial ingredient called xylitol which decreases the amount of bacteria in the mouth as the dog drinks water. The oral rinse is applied directly on the gum line using a point and squeeze bottle. Many owners report an improvement in their pet’s breath when using one of these products. ***Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs in large quantities, such as the concentration found in sugarless chewing gums. However, at the dilution in this product it has tested safe for dogs and cats. Professional Dental Cleanings: Once plaque hardens into tartar and calculus, a professional dental cleaning (prophylaxis) is required to remove the accumulation. The procedure includes a thorough scaling of the crown (tooth above the gum line), sub gingival curettage (cleaning under the gum), and polishing. Dental prophylaxis is a routine procedure requiring general anesthesia in pets. On average, a pet should have a cleaning once a year, though the rate of build-up of tartar and calculus varies from patient to patient. Pets who have not had regular dental care will lose teeth naturally as the periodontal ligament is lost, but this process results in discomfort with chewing and risks spreading infection to liver, kidneys, heart valves and lung tissue. Tiny abscesses in these organs contribute to early organ failure in dogs and cats. For that reason, once a periodontal ligament is infected, the pet benefits from tooth extraction. After the surrounding gum tissue heals, the mouth is more comfortable and the

risk of spreading infection is gone. During a professional dental cleaning, the veterinarian will probe the periodontal pocket around each tooth and will extract teeth which cannot be saved in order to remove infection. Teeth with more than one root require surgical extractions. Dental radiographs evaluate the health of areas between the roots where some abscesses form, undetectable from the outside. The earlier a diseased tooth is removed, the less damage done to surrounding bone tissue and spread to internal organs is reduced. Pets needing extractions and pets with severe gum disease will go home on oral antibiotics. Veterinarians usually give an injection the day of the procedure or start the oral antibiotics three days before the procedure when extractions are anticipated. Dental health care is a relatively new area of focus in veterinary medicine. After vaccines, parasite control and good nutrition (including weight control), it is the most powerful step we can take to keep our pets healthier and happier for longer.

Play in the toilet...

It’s’ve got Castle Keepers.

Cleaning Beyond the Sparkle and Shine 843-572-4757 •

To learn more about Lynne M. Flood, DVM and Katherine Rainwater, DVM and the rest of the caring staff at Daniel Island Animal Hospital please visit their website at



Food Bowl Guarding & Aggression by Susan Marett

Why do some dogs guard their food bowls? One answer is past experience. Dogs who are threatened by people or dogs can learn to guard their food. A dog who has lived as a stray could be tense and edgy while eating, accustomed to defending whatever she has found. Litters of puppies who needed to be assertive with each other to eat might also be feisty when adopted into a family. On the other hand, abuse, neglect, and near starvation do not always guarantee that a dog will guard her food. Many rescued dogs can be very comfortable with people touching their dishes, and petting them while they eat. Regardless of their negative experiences, they are at ease with people during meals. Another explanation for guarding is that is it a normal and natural behavior for dogs. In the wild, guarding helps to increase the likelihood of survival. Dogs who could not get and keep their food would not last for very long. If past experiences and genetic wiring can cause guarding behaviors, can “dominance” also cause a dog to guard her food? Veterinarian, animal behaviorist, and author Ian Dunbar has found in his research that within a hierarchy of male dogs, middle ranking insecure dogs are most likely to guard food and objects. If this is true, then guarding is not necessarily an “alpha” behavior. Interestingly, he also found that female dogs are more likely to guard food and objects than male dogs. Many highly credentialed and experienced professionals and national organizations such as the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals believe strongly that guarding is motivated by anxiety and lack of confidence, not by a dog’s desire to run the household. Happily, behaviors 24


caused by anxiety can be modified very effectively using humane methods. If you own a dog who is tense and anxious around her dish, it is important not to simply take the food away “just to prove that you can.” This can increase tension and prove to your dog that you are a threat, and that she will not be able to eat when you are near. As the problem worsens, you may begin to see or hear some of the following behaviors: growling, snarling, lip curling, stiffness and slowing of eating, staring while eating, eating faster, snapping at the air, lunging, and biting. Most of us don’t want a dog who is afraid and cowed when we are close. Instead, we want a dog who trusts us and is relaxed when we’re nearby during her breakfast or dinner. We also want to know that if family or friends are visiting, our dog is comfortable with them as well. If your dog is tense around her dish, consider using the following method to help her relax and look forward to your approach. If your dog is severely aggressive and has snapped at or bitten you, contact an experienced professional trainer for help. First Stage: Hand feed the entire meal, small amounts of kibble at a time. Observe your dog. Is your dog stressed? Is her posture tense and tight? Is she gulping food from your hand? Continue hand feeding your dog each meal until she is calmer at mealtime. If your dog seems relaxed, move to the next stage. Second Stage: Begin touching your dog as you feed from your hand. The touches can be very brief and very light. Observe your dog. Is your dog stressed by touch during feeding? Is she gulping food from your hand? Continue touching your dog while feeding until she is calmer. Third Stage: Hold the dish with one

hand and pet your dog lightly. The dish should be held at the height of your dog’s head. If your dog is casually sniffing the dish and seems relaxed, add a few pieces of kibble. If your dog is relaxed, feed the rest of the meal in this manner – small amounts of kibble at a time. Fourth Stage: Ask your dog to sit and stay. Put a small amount of food in her dish and place it on the floor. Release your dog from the stay. Allow your dog to finish the food and ask her to sit and stay again. Pick up the dish, refill with a small amount of food, and place on the floor. Release your dog to eat. Repeat the process until finished. If you can reach for, fill, reach for, and refill the food dish with no tension or aggression, move to the next stage. Fifth Stage: Practice leaving your dog and returning while she is eating. As you approach, pitch a really wonderful treat to your dog. Walk away from your dog. Repeat until your dog is excited to see you approach while she is eating. Prevention for Puppies All of the practices listed below should be done in a calm and non-threatening way. Think of building happy associations for your puppy during mealtimes, rather than dominating your puppy. While your puppy is eating a meal, offer an extra tasty treat. As the puppy is eating it, remove the dish. When the puppy is finished eating the treat, put the dish back on the floor. After several meals, reverse the order. Pick up the dish and offer the treat immediately afterwards. You may also place a treat in the dish while your puppy is eating. This will acclimate your puppy to hands suddenly appearing and moving around her dish. Gently handle and pet your puppy as well. Condition her to welcome petting while

she is eating: one stroke down the back equals one treat in the dish, one pat on the head equals one treat in the dish, and etc. Family members and friends can toss treats into your puppy’s dish as they approach. This takes very little time and builds a positive association with people approaching your puppy during a meal. Feed your puppy in different locations in the house. This will allow her to become comfortable eating anywhere you might put her dish. Whether you are working with an adult dog who has guarding issues, or working to prevent problems with a puppy, make sure that all adults in the household train each step in the plan. If your dog displays guarding behaviors around children, it may be wise to bring in an experienced professional to help with training. Remember that changing behavior and instilling good habits takes time and patience – but worth it in the long run to have a safe and happy companion dog. Susan Marett, CPDT-KA, is the owner of Purely Positive Dog Training. Her website is and she can be reached at 843.532-8154.

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Berkeley County Paws Berkeley County PAWS is an organization comprised of dedicated volunteers who provide foster care and adoption for homeless animals and provide resources and events to educate the public about responsible pet ownership. We are a 501 c 3 (charitable non-profit) animal welfare organization. Donations are tax-deductible and allow us to provide for the needs of our rescued animals and support our spay/neuter program. Our Mission: To reduce pet overpopulation through spay/ neuter programs. To rescue and find permanent homes for homeless and unwanted pets. To increase public awareness of animal welfare issues. We are in desperate need of volunteers. If you can open your heart and home to an animal that needs you, please call: 843-207-PAWS! We need you - the animals need you! Learn more at:

Chip is a 3 year old neutered male Pointer mix and is up-todate with routine shots. He enjoys being with other dogs, plays with his rope toy and walks well on a leash. He would appreciate someone to love him and give him a forever home. For more information on Chip, please call Christine at 843-764-2590.



Hello my name is Dolly. I am a 7 year old terrier female. My story is simple; I was rescued then went to foster care. My hobbies are somewhat typical; I like to play, run, and ride in cars. I like hugs and kisses, both giving and receiving. I am very loving, playful and great with children and other pets. For more info on Dolly, please call Christine at 843-764259.

Bo is a small Black Lab mix who is very energetic, playful and smart. He’s very willing to learn things. He weighs around 50 lbs. It is suggested that he is taken to dog obedience classes. He bores easily and will resort to digging if he has nothing else to do. He’s a dog that needs a job to keep him busy! Also suggested that he get crate trained. Call Peggy at 843688-4414 for more info on Bo.

Hello my name is Charlie; I am a 3 year old neutered male Beagle. I would be the perfect companion for an older person or family, very low maintenance. I really love to cuddle; I am crate trained and very affectionate and get along great with other dogs. For more information on Charlie, please call Christine at 843-764-2590.

Geronimo is a 4 year old German Shepherd. Poor Geronimo was hit by a car. He sustained a crushed pelvis and will require 6 weeks of crate rest to heal. He is slightly heart worm positive, but BC PAWS will treat him for that. Geronimo is crate trained, house trained, walks well on leash and would appreciate someone to love him and give him a forever home. For more info on Geronimo, please call Peggy at 843-688-4414.

Hello my name is Sam; I am a 7 year old Shepherd mix. I am very good with other dogs. Well behaved and devoted, I love to walk on a leash and enjoy riding in a vehicle. I learn and adapt very fast. I am looking for a family or single person to adopt me into a forever home. For more information on Sam, please call Christine at 843-764-2590.

continued from pg. 21

were suitable to return to civilian life. Again, dogs were trained as sentry, scout, messenger and mine dogs. The inclusion of Labradors was for a new task, combat tracking. Dogs were trained to track enemy combatants through the thick vegetation when the U.S. wished to engage them. Combat tracking dogs were also used to find downed pilots and wounded GIs. Desert Storm and Beyond: 118 Military Working Dog Teams were deployed during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The 341st Training Squadron, formerly known as the DoD Military Working Dog (MWD) school, is located at Lackland AFB, TX. It is the only dog training facility and program. The squadron provides working dog handler instruction to more than 525 students each year and train approximately 300 working dogs for the Department of Defense. German shepherds and Belgian Malanois are the two most common MWD breeds. In addition to the traditional duties, dogs are now trained to search for contraband and IEDs. Though dogs are still part of all military branches, the majority of dogs are used in the United States Air Force. Approximately

530 dog teams are stationed throughout the world. Prior to the year 2000 retired military dogs were euthanized. A new law was passed allowing for their temperament testing and adoption. Now after their time of service, military dogs are available for adoption through the 341st Training Squadron. More information of that program can be found here:

Those interested in donating funds used toward protective gear, supplies and support as these dogs move into private homes should visit the Military Working Dog Foundation’s website at: Memorials: The oldest memorial to War Dogs in the United States is at the Hartsdale (New York) Pet Cemetery. This memorial was dedicated in 1922 to War Dogs used in World War I. In 1994 a War Dog memorial was dedicated at the U.S. Marine Corps War Dog Cemetery on Guam to honor the dogs that served in the Pacific Theater during World War II. An exact replica of this memorial is located at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.

On February 21st 2000, the first official War Dog Memorial was unveiled at March Field Air Museum in Riverside, CA and an identical second memorial was dedicated October 8th 2000 at the National Infantry Museum at Ft. Benning in Columbus, GA. The 19-foot high bronze memorials depict a GI in combat gear with a dog at his side. The inscription reads: They protected us on the field of battle. They watch over our eternal rest. We are grateful. The USAF Military Working Dog Monument was dedicated on November 9th 2002 at the U.S. Air Force Enlisted Heritage Research Institute at Maxwell AFB in Alabama. Engraved plaques funded by handlers carry the names of their dogs. A U.S. War Dog Memorial is planned by the U.S. War Dog Association, to be located on the grounds of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Holmdel, NJ. The Patriots Point War Dog Memorial is located aboard the USS Yorktown here in Charleston. It serves as an educational tool to teach of man’s military use of dogs throughout recorded history. It begins in Biblical times and traces the dogs up to their present use. sources:

left: U.S. Army Sgt. Kyle Harris stands watch with dog Max, a Military working dog, during a joint search and patrol conducted by U.S. Soldiers and the Iraqi National Police Nov. 29, 2008, in the Hadar community of Baghdad, Iraq. U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Todd Frantom. bottom: U.S Air Force Staff Sgt. Philip Mendoza, 332nd Security Forces Group military working dog handler, pets his MWD Rico during training aboard a helicopter. The training teaches the team how to safely and properly enter and exit aircraft, and prepares it for future air assault missions. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Elizabeth Rissmiller.

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Lowcountry Dog Feb/March 2010  

Lowcountry Dog's 5th Anniversary Issue! Dogs on the USS Yorktown, Military Dogs, How to Deal with Food Bowl Guarding, Info on Pet Dental Hea...

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