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September 2011 Feature Articles



The Purrfect Trip to the Veterinarian Here are some tips and guidelines for you and your cat to make that next trip easier.


Fleas In the Fall! While fleas are a bother in the Springtime and Summer, but Fall is when they really take over. Learn more about how to effective fight them.


A Paw Picked Favorite! These Cheesy-to-the-core treats are crunchily perfect for the apple of your eye!



Kitty Kat Korner The Ragdoll cat is a friendly and relaxed cat. Its easy and loving personality may be a perfect fit for your lifestyle.


Laser Therapy for Animals Did you know that laser therapy is used by veterinarians?


Remembering our 4-Legged Heroes Canines serve us in search and rescue missions, in combat, as companion dogs and more.



The Final Gift: Euthanasia A difficult topic to talk about and a difficult decision to make.


Non-Negotiable Rules What are they? Why are they important? How to create your own list.


Proper Feeding for Healthy Teeth and Gums Teeth are considered a carnivore’s most valuable anatomical part.


My Dog Has C.L.A.S.S.


General’s Run to the Wall 2011 Once again, General and I rode for those who can’t.

In Every Issue



Fall into Fall — Hurray, the cooler days have arrived.


Chip’s Corner — Test your knowledge about the Ragdoll breed.

Follow us on


Some dogs just go to class and some dogs have C.L.A.S.S.


Publisher’s Message

Hurray Fall is Here! Last winter when it was snowing, we couldn’t wait for warmer weather. Now that we have been through one of the hottest summers on record, we are ready for Fall, cooler days, shorter days and maybe even falling leaves.

Back to School With the coming of Fall, we also go back to school and to daily work routines. As you fall into Fall, make time for your pet. There are some great September events — including Strutt with your Mutt, Dippin’ Dogs, Too Cool To Drool, Bark at the K and others hosted by rescue groups. If you are looking for a way to get outside and enjoy the Fall weather and support a local animal group, check out our calendar at

Pet of the Week Winners! We continue to receive an incredible number of entries each for our Pet of the Week contest. Please keep sending us those winning photos coming! This month the prizes include a free bag of pet food, a collegiate dog toy, a basket of goodies, and an entry for Strutt Your Mutt. Also please join us on our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. We post announcements each week for the prizes.

Where Have You Seen MetroPet? While we continue to increase our distribution, we are curious — where is the most unusual place you have seen a MetroPet magazine? Send us your sighting at We are adding corporate lunchrooms to our distribution. If you work for a mid- to large corporation and would like MetroPet magazine delivered for your employee lunchroom, please call us at 913-548-1433. Our complete distribution list is at

MetroPet Magazine • S EPTEMBER 2011

Advertiser Support


If you read MetroPet magazine and use an advertiser, please take time to tell them you saw their ad in MetroPet. Encourage your family, friends and neighbors to use MetroPet magazine advertisers. During this tough economy, they are supporting this magazine with their advertising dollars so you can receive it for FREE. In turn please support them — tell them, “I saw your ad in MetroPet magazine.”

Barbara Riedel, Publisher

P.S. Check out the great deals and new products shown in this issue, and the advertiser tidbits sprinkled throughout the issue.

Staff and Contacts Publisher Barbara Riedel

Editor Dan O’Leary

Magazine Layout ROI Marketing 816.942.1600 •

Web Master

Advertising Sales

Deals of the Week

Contributing Authors Mike Deathe Mike Jones Pat Hennessy Patty Homer Heddie Leger Cindy Pugh Michael Tarrant, DVM, CVA Cheryl Waterman, CVPM

Contact MetroPet PO Box 480065 Kansas City, MO 64148 Phone: 913.548.1433 Ad Sales: 913.548.1433 Fax: 913.387.4313

Publishing Policy: Articles printed in the MetroPet Magazine express the opinions of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the formal position of MetroPet Magazine. Acceptance of advertising does not necessarily constitute endorsement by MetroPet Magazine. Articles: Readers are invited to submit articles for consideration for publication to All materials are subject to editorial review. © 2011 MetroPet Magazine. All rights reserved. Request reprint permissions at MetroPet Magazine is owned and published by ROI Marketing Services, all rights reserved.

Guidelines For You and Your Cats

Purrfect Trip

MetroPet Magazine • S EPTEMBER 2011

to the Veterinarian



tudies prove that the number of cats in United States’ households now far exceeds the number of dogs, which is quite a change from just a few years ago. So, naturally it would seem to follow that the number of feline vet visits would also exceed those of dogs. Unfortunately, not so! Cats are far more likely to go without veterinary care than dogs.

TAKING YOUR CAT TO A VETERINARIAN According to the Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study, “the difficulties associated with taking a pet cat to a veterinarian is one cause for the low frequency of feline visits. From loading the cat in the carrier to the frightened or aggressive behavior the animal expresses at the clinic— just thinking about the ordeal is enough to stress out many cat owners.”

by Cheryl Waterman, CVPM

This low number of feline veterinary visits is very concerning when you consider that cats are extremely good at hiding pain and signs of illness from their owners.

This low number of feline veterinary visits is very concerning when you consider that cats are extremely good at hiding pain and signs of illness from their owners. The reason being that this is an inherent instinct passed on to them from their ancestors, when it was kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, in the wild. Due to this ability to mask signs of disease or illness, the annual or semi-annual wellness visit to a veterinarian becomes of utmost importance in diagnosing or identifying and treating certain diseases early enough to make a difference in the cat’s life.


• Finding the cat well ahead of the time you need to leave for the clinic (this reduces your stress, thereby your cats’ stress) • Bringing items with a familiar scent with you for your cat • Notifying the veterinary staff ahead of time, if your cat is easily upset • Remaining calm yourself, so that your cat doesn’t feed off owner stress (cats are extremely perceptive and sensitive to their owners).

Unfortunately, the other issue at play, that the cat owner may feel the veterinary visit is too stressful Do you have a question for for their cat and too much of an ordeal for them, is a real problem the cat experts? If yes, send it also. Because of this, owners may to be less likely to pursue regular or get the straight scoop by wellness care for their feline pets. Or, they erroneously believe that contacting the experts at the because their cat does not go outCat Clinic of Johnson County, side, there are no health risks for 913-541-0478. – him/her. This couldn’t be more wrong, especially with regard to airborne viruses, and viruses that are transported by fomites (clothing, shoes, etc.). And things such as diabetes, thyroid disease and cancer are diseases of the individual feline systems, just as they are for you and me. The only way an owner may find out about these diseases early enough for treatment, is to have regular wellness exams done. Vaccines are necessary; however, the real value in your cat’s veterinary visit should be the thorough examination your veterinarian performs. And by thorough I mean, tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. If he/she doesn’t check the ears, eyes, nose and mouth (very important), then the exam is much less than thorough.


GOOD VETERINARY CARE I was lucky enough to meet Dr. Marty Becker this spring when he visited Kansas City on his bus tour (Healthy Pets – Visit Vets) across the country, in an effort to promote good veterinary care for all pets. In his presentation, he mentioned several other ideas for helping cats stay calm to, from and during visits to their veterinarian.

Due to the low number of feline veterinary visits in comparison to that of dogs, and still on the decline, the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and the international Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) have recently developed a set of guidelines that they hope will make trips to the veterinarian more comfortable for owners and much less stressful for cats. Some of their suggestions to owners for preparing their feline patient for a trip to their veterinarian include such things as: • Rehearsing visits to the veterinary practice • Working on adapting cats to carriers




Advertiser News and Specials

TRAIN AND BOARD! Homestead Pet Resort now offers training with boarding! Just bring your pet to Homestead and add training to the package for just $10 more each day! Call 785.872.3200 or visit for details!

COLLEGIATE DOG TOYS Is your dog a fan yet? PrideBites now offers quality dog toys with a collegiate emblem! Now your dog can play with your teams’ mascot! These toys squeak, are durable, washable and vet approved! Do you love your team? Order online at — use MP11

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Do you know the benefits of laser therapy? This painless treatment can help your pet’s wound(s) heal faster, can decrease joint pain and help pets recover faster from surgery. What to know more? Call Michael Tarrant at Arbor Creek Animal Hospital, 913.764.9000 or visit www.ACAnimal Ask about the 25% discount for a laser therapy consult

MetroPet Magazine • S EPTEMBER 2011

when you say MetroPet.


MAKE THE CAT CARRIER PART OF THE FURNITURE He actually suggested making the cat carrier part of the furniture. Don’t stick the carrier in the garage or storage area of the house, and bring it out all dusty and dirty when it’s time to visit the veterinarian. Make sure your cat is familiar with the carrier so that it in itself doesn’t create stress for your cat. An old t-shirt or towel with the owner’s scent can be placed in the carrier, so that the cat feels safe when inside. A towel or sheet may be placed over the carrier, which often seems to calm the cat because they can’t see possible stressors. Another suggestion that I would make is that owners invest in a “top” loading carrier, so that their cat can possibly remain inside during part of their examination at the practice. We are always looking for ways to make cats’ visits less stressful for them and for their owners, and usually things such as talking in a low, calm voice – avoiding eye contact with the patient, moving slowly and deliberately, and placing ourselves on the same level as the patient, instead of looming over them, whenever possible, are all things that we try to keep in mind during exams.

BE AWARE OF YOUR OWN EMOTIONS Last, but most important (I believe), for both owners and veterinarian teams, is to be aware of your own emotions and their potential effect on the cat’s behavior. Remember that cats, according to the AAFP/ISFM guidelines, are both predator and prey animals, and as such will often demonstrate fear and/or defensiveness in unfamiliar environments or with unfamiliar people. Many owners find this embarrassing, but it’s only natural. It’s our job to make their veterinary visit as smooth and comfortable for them as possible. If you’re interested in learning more, a PDF of the AAFP/ISFM Feline-Friendly Handling Guidelines can be downloaded for free at Cheryl Waterman is the Hospital Administrator at the Cat Clinic of Johnson County and a long-time cat lover. She has been with the Clinic for the past 13 years, and in 2007 r e c e i v e d Certification in Veterinary Practice Management (CVPM) designation. She is a member of the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association and the American Animal Hospital Association. You can contact her directed at the Cat Clinic of Johnson County, (913) 541-0478.

i t s e u Q h t i W s U l a C you have any questions regarding kitIf tens or cats, please call the Cat Clinic of Johnson County, 913-541-0478. We are always happy to help.

Excerpts from this article came from the AAFP/ISFM FelineFriendly Handling Guidelines

Pet of the Week


Bentley is the sweetest, cutest, most lovable Labradoodle you’ll ever know! He loves to play tug of war and go swimming at Shawnee Mission Dog Park. He can run really fast and jump really high! But, his absolute favorite thing to do is lay in the grass under a shady tree and chew on sticks. Submitted by Jillian S.



Won Family 4-packs from Submit your photo at


This is Jack, who happens to be very photo-friendly. He is in the middle of licking his lips after eating a snack. I love you Jack!



in the

Fall! by Cindy Pugh

MetroPet Magazine • S EPTEMBER 2011




t seems like everyone is worried about fleas in the spring and summer. While this is certainly a problem time of year, experience has proven that the fall is actually one of the worst times for fleas. A flea can jump up to 8” high and 12” laterally. All it takes is your beloved Fi Fi to walk by and they have a mobile home. Within 15 minutes of that initial free ride, the fleas begin feeding.

They feed on the blood of your pet about once every 30 minutes. Within 24 hours on your pet, they begin to breed. Between feeding and breeding, those fleas live quite the high life. Each female flea will lay 28-50 eggs per day — over 2,000 in her life time! Those eggs are sticky and after a short time, they dry and fall off your pet into the environment and can hatch within 2-5 days. By environment, I mean your carpet, furniture, bed, lap, yard… Those eggs hatch into larva. A flea larva is basically a maggot. And, to make matters worse, their food source is the digested blood from the adult flea — flea poop! Larva do not like light. In fact, they will burrow down in the carpet and material fibers and remain quite comfortable for the next 7-14 days while they prepare for the next stage of their life, the Pupa stage. This stage can last for up to a year, nice and cozy in your home. Presently, there is no effective means of killing this stage of a flea’s lifecycle. Protected by the cocoon the larva spins, it sits and waits for the right circumstances. Stimulation causes them to hatch.

Vibration (vacuuming, walking/running or any movement), light, carbon dioxide and ideal temperatures all lead to the next generation of fleas to emerge. High temperatures (temperatures above 85 degrees) will keep the pupae in a dormant state. But when the temperatures drop and remain below 85 degrees, such as we see in the early fall, we begin to see numbers, very large numbers of fleas hatching at once. So all those fleas that fed, bred, and laid eggs all summer long, have left the next generation ready for their fall emergence. They emerge hungry, and the cycle begins again. That is why we see so many desperate and frustrated people in the fall claiming massive numbers of fleas on their pets. Pets that have been treated with good, reputable flea products. So what can you do to prevent this? Can your pet survive a fall without scratching itself to death? The answer is yes.

EFFECTIVELY FIGHT FLEAS To effectively fight fleas, you need an all around assault plan. Simply putting a topical flea treatment on your pet isn’t enough. Only 5% of fleas you see are in the adult stages. The rest are in the stages you don’t see, the egg, larva and pupa stage. To only attack the adult stage will leave you with a future population of fleas that will soon infest your pet and keep your battle an on-going one. Products containing an IGR, or insect growth regulator are essential in fighting fleas. These products not only kill the adults, they also kill the eggs and larva stages. Products that you use for your pet must contain an IGR. One specialized IGR, Lufenuron, found in Program and Sentinel from Novartis Animal Health, prevents the flea from hatching from the egg stage altogether. Sort of a birth control for fleas. It’s fighting the fleas without the toxic residues of other topical products. The Lufenuron is passed in the stools of the adult flea and as mentioned above, the flea maggot or larva feeds on the flea droppings, preventing them from developing into the next stage, the pupa stage.

Every where your pet goes, eggs are being shaken off. Love to sit with your pet on your lap? Or sleep in your bed? Well, the fleas on your pet have been busy. Busy breeding and laying eggs and feeding on your pet. And you guessed it; you are sleeping and sitting with, and probably on, all those eggs as a result.

Now for the environment. Remember I said that eggs laid on the pet fall off in the pet’s environment? Consider if you will, your pet as a salt and pepper shaker. Every where your pet goes, eggs are being shaken off. Love to sit with your pet on your lap? Or sleep in your bed? Well, the fleas on your pet have been busy. Busy breeding and laying eggs and feeding on your pet. And you guessed it; you are sleeping and sitting with, and probably on, all those eggs as a result. So what should you use in your home? You need to use a product with that wonderful IGR in it. Vacuuming first floors and furniture will suck up some of the unwanted pests. Don’t forget to discard the vacuum bag after you do this. Remember vibration awakens the flea from its cocoon stage. Now use your indoor treatment according to label instructions. The IGR in the spray will affect any leftover eggs, larva and lay down a residue to kill any adults that emerge from the vibration process. Launder all bedding as well.




SAVE $5! Sydney’s Pet Spa has a special coupon in this issue — $5 off any service, for both current and new clients! Just clip the ad in this issue and present it to save $5! It doesn’t get any better than that! For more information about the spa check out the website at or call 913.239.0110 for details!

Advertiser News and Specials

COLLEGIATE DOGWEAR Boomeroos has some cool new dog stuff! Choose from all weather coats, bandanas and blankets, in addition to the original fleece jacket. Attn Nebraska fans: your school is now part of the Boomeroos line! Love your team, check out Bring the ad in this issue to a pet event where Boomeroos is at, to receive $3

off any one item!

GROOMING AND MORE! Looking for the best groomers to take care of your pet? Call Dog’s World of Fun and ask for the owner Steve. He also offers daycare and boarding at some of the lowest prices in town. Visit or call 816.931.5822.

KITTENS AND CATS Do you know about the feline exclusive clinic in Johnson County? At the Cat Clinic of Johnson County cats are their only business. And, they have more than 25 years of experience! If you have a feline of any age, call the Cat Clinic of Johnson County at 913.541.0478 or visit www.catclini-

KEEP THEM AT HOME Keep your pets at home with an invisible fence from Heart of America Invisible Fence. With 23+ years of experience, they can help you determine the best containment system. And they offer indoor systems. Ask about the MetroPet discount — call 913.722.9948

or 816.941.7700!

SUPPORT THE ASPCA Did you know that when you buy a Subaru you are supporting the ASPCA? Each year Subaru makes a donation to the ASPCA. And, they have some of the highest ranked pet-friendly vehicles. Check out the local dealership at or call


REMEMBER THE OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT Where do you think your pet gets it’s fleas from? Wildlife and other untreated domestic animals. Remember everywhere your pet goes, it’s like a salt and pepper shaker shaking off flea eggs. Under decks, in bushes, under the shade of your trees are favorite spots for wildlife. They don’t prefer the middle of your yard in the direct sun and neither do fleas. Focus your outdoor treatment in these areas as this is most likely where you will have your flea population lurking in its various life stages. Use a product with an IGR here too. There are a lot of excellent products out there. And some not so excellent products. Knowing how to fight your flea problem (or prevent one) is the key to your success. Your veterinarian is the best place to start. They have researched the products and medications they carry and have the training to back up this knowledge. Fleas are not just a parasite problem, they are a medical problem. Who better than your veterinarian should instruct you on the best medication and plan for fighting fleas? They also have trained staff that can answer any questions you may have as well so don’t hesitate to contact them. You CAN beat fleas. Knowledge is your key. Cindy Pugh is the Office Manager at Aid Animal Hospital and truly loves her job. During her 17 years at the hospital, she has enjoyed the lives of many pets, from the first visit through the golden years. Aid Animal Hospital has been around for over 50 years and currently offers a wide array of traditional and holistic veterinary care for dogs, cats, bunnies, etc. The hospital also offers boarding and dental care. The hospital is located at 8343 Wornall Road and Cindy can be reached at 816-363-4922.

s n o i t s e u Q h t i W s U l a C you have any questions regarding fleas or other If pet matters, please call the AID Animal Hospital, 816-363-4922. We are always happy to help.

July/August Pawzzle Answers





These Cheesy-to-the-core treats are crunchily perfect for the apple of your eye. Makes 16 wonderful, waggin’ wedges


-fat or fat free 3 ounces low cream cheese lue cheese 2 ounces of b pples 4 medium a

Directions • Beat cream cheese and blue cheese together until smooth. • Core apples and fill with cheese mixture. • Chill for 2 to 3 hours. • Cut into wedges to serve. • Store in sealed container in the refrigerator.

Three Dog Bakery Cookbook by Dan Dye & Mark Beckloff Over 50 wholesome, healthy, simple-to-cook recipes for your pooch, from Hearty Hound Loaf and Banana Mutt Cookies to Hungry Mongrel Turkey Burgers and Fiesta Bones.


Recipe credit:


Kitty Kat Korner The Ragdoll Cat by Heddie Leger The Ragdoll is a very friendly and relaxed cat. It gains the name from its relaxing ability to the point of utter limpness in one’s arms. The Ragdoll has a light-colored body with darker Siamese-type points on the face, legs, tail and ears.

MetroPet Magazine • S EPTEMBER 2011



The Ragdoll is a strictly indoor cat; due to its extremely docile nature, it may lack the ability to defend itself. It is perfect for the elderly and children alike. A Ragdoll cat makes a perfect therapy animal. People who think they would like to have a dog in a cat’s body should consider having a Ragdoll. These docile, easygoing cats love interacting with people and want to be right in the middle of everything their people are doing. The cats generally don’t mind being cradled on their backs in the arms of family members, and are wellknown for following people around, much like dogs do. The Ragdoll considers itself to be the household’s welcoming committee, and is likely to be the first one to greet guests and try to make them feel at home by being affectionate and offering to share their own toys with them. Although they will quietly voice opinions from time to time, don’t expect your Ragdoll to be overly talkative or as vociferous as other cat breeds are. Like the name suggests, Ragdolls excel at taking life easy. Although some can be active and chatty, naptimes are sacred and you can observe a Ragdoll taking a nap anywhere. If you have multiple Ragdolls they will often sleep piled on top of one another. The National Breed Club is the Ragdoll Fanciers International;

EASYGOING AND LOVING PERSONALITY They have an easygoing and loving personality. Ideal Ragdolls are well-balanced with a broad, modified wedge head, full cheeks, wideset, medium-size ears, strong neck and medium-to-long legs. Their oval eyes are always some form of blue. The fur is shorter on the front legs than the back legs and rest of the body. They typically weigh between 14 and 18 pounds, although altered males can exceed 20 pounds.

The Ragdoll is a strictly indoor cat; due to its extremely docile nature, it may lack the ability to defend itself. A LARGE CAT The Ragdoll is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds with a sturdy body, large frame and proportionate legs. A fully-grown female weighs from 8 pounds (3.6 kg) to 15 pounds (6.8 kg). Males are substantially larger, ranging from 12 pounds (5.4 kg) to 20 pounds (9.1 kg)[2] or more. The genes for point coloration are also responsible for the blue eyes of the Ragdoll. More intense shades of blue are favored in the cat shows. Though the breed has a plush coat, this coat consists mainly of long guard hairs, while the lack of a dense undercoat results in, according to the Cat Fanciers’ Association, “reduced shedding and matting.” The CFA accepts four colors — seal, chocolate, blue and lilac for registration — and three patterns: color point, mitted and bi-color. Only bi-color may be shown. TICA accepts all pointed colors, solid, tabby, torti and particolor, which is any accepted color with white. Surprisingly low-maintenance for a longhaired cat. Although the fur does not mat, experts advise brushing once or twice weekly. Join us next month and learn more about Chip’s Kitty-Cat Corner friends

Pet of the Week


Submit your photo at


Chloe is very sweet. In fact, her dog trainer said she was “sweet as sugar!” She loves people, other dogs, and children and can assimilate in most any situation. The only person she doesn’t like is the mailman even though he tries to give her treats! Chloe is also very spoiled and loves attention and will give you the “beagle staredown” if you are not paying enough attention to her! Although she is seven she acts as if she is still a puppy and is extremely playful. She is a great dog! Submitted by Lynn B

Received Tickets to Humane Society of Greater Kansas City events



Mikko has tons of energy and could be considered the doggie version of Lance Armstrong! He loves going to the park and bike riding with his family. Also he is probably one of the only Shiba’s that you will see off leash! Submitted by Jenny A


Chip’s Corner

MetroPet Magazine • S EPTEMBER 2011



by Heddie Leger

Across: 3. It is the perfect pet for _______________. 6. The Ragdoll is strictly an ___________ pet. 8. Ragdoll has lighter colored body with darker ___________ markings. 11. Even with its long silky coat is an easy ______________ pet. 12. They love to be ___________ in your arms on their back. 14. It is extremely _________________ in nature. 15. The Ragdoll will __________ guests when they come to your home. 17. Shape of the eye is ______________. 18. It’s personality is one that is extremely _____________. 19. Weighs 8 - 15 pounds

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 16.

_____________ is sacred to the Ragdoll. It is not overly _______________. Ragdolls love human _________. When holding the Ragdoll it will go totally ________ in your arms. True or False? The Ragdoll is a dangerous cat. The Ragdoll is known for being very ______________. The Ragdoll has a _________ body. The Ragdoll Cat Fancier accepts how many colors of coat? It’s ears are ____________ in size. Ragdolls like to be in the ______________ of everything. One acceptable color of the Ragdoll cat. They eyes are normally _________ in color. How many pattern colors are accepted in the Ragdoll breed of cat?




Laser Therapy

for Animals


eterinary laser therapy can be used to stimulate and improve the healing for many conditions in dogs and cats.

MetroPet Magazine • S EPTEMBER 2011



Low level laser therapy (cold laser therapy) can be used by veterinarians to help animals heal more quickly from surgery, after a traumatic injury or speed healing of chronic conditions. While this procedure was developed decades ago, it has gained popularity and acceptance in the field of veterinary medicine during in the last several years. Low level laser therapy is very different than lasers used in surgery. Laser therapy involves using light to stimulate the body’s own metabolism to speed up healing. The light interacts with mitochondria (the cell’s engine) to increase production of Adenosine triphosphate or ATP; this is the substance that the body uses for energy. Laser therapy speeds up the metabolism, and increases the blood flow and drainage of lymphatic fluid in the area that is swollen or needs to heal. Laser therapy is a non-invasive method that can be used by itself or added to other treatment options. There are generally no side effects and it is a good way to stimulate the body to heal rather than administering additional medications. This will allow the pet’s body to heal easier and enable your pet a quicker return to a normal lifestyle.

WHAT TYPE OF ANIMALS CAN BE TREATED? Laser therapy for animals is not very different than laser therapy used for humans. The machines and technology are basically the same. Human chiropractors have had similar experiences using laser

By Michael Tarrant, DVM, CVA

Low level laser therapy (cold laser therapy) can be used by veterinarians to help animals heal more quickly from surgery, after a traumatic injury or speed healing of chronic conditions.

therapy for humans, as veterinarians have had when using laser therapy for animals. These treatments are mainly being used on dogs, cats and horses. Almost any kind soft tissue inflammation or swelling can be treated. We have successfully treated many different conditions. Some of them include hot spots, ear infections, intervertebral disk disease, arthritis, pain due to ruptured cruciate ligaments and chronic sinusitis in cats.

TREATMENT NUMBER & SIDE EFFECTS The number of treatments depends on the condition and severity of the condition. Some conditions will respond in one or two treatments and others may require a treatment regimen of six, or more, treatments over several weeks. In general, the more severe or long-standing type conditions will require more treatments.

HOW WILL MY PET ACCEPT THE TREATMENT? In most cases, animals generally accept veterinary laser treatment. The normal response is relaxation, because the pet is relieved of the pain they have been experiencing and swelling is reduced. Our experience is that most patients willingly submit themselves to future treatments, demonstrating their comfort with the process. We believe the entire process is pain-free.

WHAT ARE THE COSTS? Because each treatment plan is different, it is difficult to give a specific cost. However, treatment plans are very costeffective, especially when considering the outcome. In some cases, the number and amount of medication given to the animal can be decreased or eliminated. This means the overall cost of treatment is lower. If you are considering treatments, request an outline of the treatment timeframe, number of treatments and associated costs. Note: animals are not normally sedated for these treatments, keeping the costs low. If you have pet insurance, the cost of laser therapy may be covered by your policy. We suggest you contact your pet insurance company regarding coverage.

THREE DOG BAKERY If you are looking for some of the best dog treats in the world, go to Three Dog Bakery. Better yet, take your pet with you and let him pick out the best treat! Or if you prefer, cook up a treat at home. Visit for recipes, call 816.753.3647 or bring in the ad in this issue to the local store to save $5!

ACUPUNCTURE Did you know pets can benefit from Acupuncture? And, there are local specialists? The use of Acupuncture may not only improve the health of your pet, but may lower overall treatment costs. If you are interested in learning more, call AID Animal Hospital at 816.363.4922 or visit

PAWS FOR A CAUSE Help Tails R’ Waggin support the pets and people in Joplin. Bring in any item to receive a coupon for discounts off daycare and boarding. What to know more? Call Tails R’ Waggin at 913.685.9246 or visit www.tailsr-

Advertiser News and Specials

For most pets there are no side effects from laser treatments. However, treatments cannot be performed near the thyroid gland or around the eye because the light waves are very powerful and they might stimulate the thyroid gland or cause damage to the eyes. Patients may feel a warm or tingling sensation in the area where the treatments are performed.


Dr. Tarrant attended the University of Kansas and Oklahoma State University, where he graduated in 2003 as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). He has been certified in acupuncture by IVAS for the past 8 years and is currently pursuing certification in Chinese Herbal Medicine. You can reach Dr. Michael Tarrant at Arbor Creek Animal Hospital, by calling 913-764-9000 or by visiting

s n o i t s e u Q h t i W s U l a C you have questions regarding laser therapy for Do your pet? If yes, please call the Arbor Creek Animal Hospital, 913-764-9000 and talk with Dr. Michael Tarrant. We are always happy to help.


Laser therapy is a non-invasive method that can be added to other treatment options. There are no side effects and it is a good way to stimulate the body to heal itself rather than administering additional medications. Have you ever heard, “there is nothing else we can do.” Well now there is something else to do. Ask a veterinarian familiar with therapy laser treatments if this is an option that may benefit your pet. This is by no means “a magic bullet” but we have been pleased with our results so far.




by Pat Hennessy

MetroPet Magazine • S EPTEMBER 2011



n a crisp September morning, ten years ago, people headed out and about their daily routines. It was a gorgeous day across the eastern skyline, one that would turn from beauty to tragedy in the blink of an eye. Terror struck and turned the sky into a dark billowing cloud and then the dust and debris rained down upon the city.

our 4-Legged Her oes THREE HUNDRED CANINES HEADED THE CALL Of the thousands that heeded the call for help, among them were three hundred canines. These dogs worked long hours with unparalleled dedication. When it was determined there were no more survivors, they searched tirelessly for victims. They could go where it was impossible for humans to go, risking injury and certainly reducing their lifespan from exposure to toxic material. They are the Search and Rescue (SAR) dogs of America. “We are forever in their debt” and we must “Never Forget”, as it is so powerfully portrayed in a memorial video at

SEARCH AND RESCUE DOGS Search and Rescue dogs put validity behind the old phrase “worked me like a dog” — and our gratitude is never ending. SAR teams have always responded to the call of duty. Even before 9/11, SAR teams responded to events such as the Oklahoma City bombing and have done so many times after, such as Hurricane Katrina and most recently to the Joplin tornado. The canine dedication is unmatched and their strengths are in the abilities we don’t possess – such as their scenting factor and ability to get to locations we can’t reach. Along with SAR occupations, our canine companions have found themselves employed by the police force for years, serving in many capacities (bomb/illegal substance detection, crime fighting, water patrol, etc.). Dogs have also been invaluable to the military and those that serve are referred to as Military Working Dogs (MWDs). A law passed in 2000, now allows them to be available for adoption when they are retired from military service, however, it is still difficult to get them processed and transported (especially when they are retired overseas). To learn more visit:

Search and Rescue dogs put validity behind the old phrase “worked me like a dog”...

Another group of unsung heroes are therapy dogs. Some therapy dog teams go to nursing homes, Alzheimer’s units, juvenile detention centers, psychiatric wards, terminal illness units of hospitals, cancer treatment centers, etc. Other therapy dog teams, known as crisis response teams, will respond to disasters and will comfort people who have been through traumatizing events. These teams provide a valuable service and should also be recognized among our honorees, as they provide the service of connection through the humananimal bond that can bring about profound results in some cases. People who are aloof or despondent may open




up to an animal (who doesn’t judge them or criticize them). Therapy animals can foster healing and bring joy to the lives of people who suffer. We know they bring joy to our lives, why not share the wealth?


SENSITIVE TO SURROUNDINGS Our animals can be very sensitive to their surroundings. A few years ago my young dog came into my office where I was working and nudged me to get up. When I followed her she took me to the front door where my old blind and deaf dog was standing waiting to go outside. More recently, one of my dogs was whining at me to get my attention and when I followed him, to see what he wanted, he took me into the kitchen where I had eggs boiling on the stove that were about out of water. I rushed over to get them off the stove and when I turned back around, he had gone and laid down. Never underestimate the furry hero-in-waiting at your home.

MetroPet Magazine • S EPTEMBER 2011

Even our own dogs can be Next time you see a “working” heroes — they have saved us dog, thank the handler and ask from threatening if you can “thank” the dog. If animals, alerted us to dangers you can afford to donate to within our homes, one of their causes, that would and recognized physical changes be a lovely tribute as well. within our bodies by detecting something out of balance. Part of their ability may be because they still operate in their native (survival) state — having heightened senses (sights, smells, sounds or detecting vibrations), whereas we are much further removed from that state by being preoccupied with technology (television, internet, cell phones, etc.). They are definitely more connected to Mother Earth, which was OUR LIVES CHANGED FOREVER illustrated when the animals headed for higher ground prior to the tsunami hitThis September, when you are reflectting Indonesia. ing on the day that changed our lives forever and feeling gratitude for those that serve our country, remember the 4legged heroes too. Next time you see a “working” dog, thank the handler and ask if you can “thank” the dog. If you can afford to donate to one of their causes, that would be a lovely tribute as well. And don’t forget your own furry companion, as they go about each day offering you unconditional love and joy. We owe them all our deepest gratitude and we must Never Forget those that serve us.


Pat Hennessy is the founder of N2paws, LLC, an organization that provides a holistic approach to companion animal care through behavior education, energy work, and positive training methods. Pat is a Level 2 TTouch® practitioner, CPDT and member of the IAABC, IAATH and AWA. You may contact N2Paws via email, phone 816-522-7005, or visit the website

Pet of the Week


September Prizes

Basket of Treats a $100 Value Pet Food - up to a $50 value

Your choice of a dog toy from PrideBites a $20 value

Ticket to Strutt With Your Mutt a $35 value


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The Final Gift

Euthanasia E

MetroPet Magazine • S EPTEMBER 2011

uthanasia. The subject is almost taboo to talk about and sometimes controversial, but I think it is important to be educated about your options prior to you having to make them under duress. I have been involved in more pet euthanasias than I care to think about. I have worked for 10 years in veterinary offices as a tech, assisting the doctor, the pet and the family through difficult times. As a trainer, there have been a few times that I have had to recommend euthanasia for the safety of human life. Recently, I had to make the decision to euthanize my own beloved pet, Pete, who was slowly dying of lymphoma. The decision and the act of euthanasia is never easy – and shouldn’t be.


A HEART WRENCHING DECISION The decision to end the life of a pet is heart wrenching. There are so many conflicting thoughts and emotions from the time that you start to wonder if you will need to make the decision at some point until the moment that your pet falls asleep for the last time either in your arms or in the arms of a caring technician. The majority of people who I have guided through this process have had many questions about what is going to happen during the actual euthanasia as well as questioning if they are doing the right thing. Euthanasia is something we don’t want to think about or know about until we are put into the position of having to think about it. When that time

by Patty Homer

The decision and the act of euthanasia is never easy — and shouldn’t be. The decision to end the life of a pet is heart wrenching. comes, we are in such an emotional state, it is hard to understand or process what you are deciding and what is happening around you.

THE MEDICAL PROCEDURE Euthanasia is easy to describe as a scientific medical procedure — it is the human (or humane) part that is extremely complex. Medically speaking, the pet is injected with an overdose of a barbiturate (pentobabitone) that enters the blood stream causing loss of

WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME? I have been asked many questions by pet owners — when is it the right time? Am I making the right decision? Should I euthanize? There is no right or wrong answer to these questions. This is such a highly personal decision with moral and ethical components to it that you have to do what your heart leads you to do. I can tell you that in the high majority of cases, the human just knew. Whether the pet gives you a look that says “I’m ready” or you just feel in your heart that your pet is suffering too much, the decision often becomes easier in a single moment. Certainly, if your pet stops eating, drinking and eliminating, making the decision is a little easier. That is not to say that afterwards, there are not second doubts, guilt and recriminations — there almost always are — we are human, after all. I want to explain the different options available to you to make the process easier on your pet and hopefully easier on your mind. First, you can be present during the procedure or choose not to — no right or wrong, no judgments. You can choose to have your pet in your arms and/or with the family around him so he is surrounded by what is familiar to him. You can choose to say goodbye to your pet when you hand him over to the vet staff and not be present during the process. If your pet is nervous at the vet’s office, you can ask that he be lightly sedated prior to the procedure. Since the injection is given in the vein and it is sometimes difficult to find a good vein on an old, sick or injured pet, you can ask that an I.V. catheter be placed prior to the actual injection. If your pet is still eating, you can bring a wonderful last treat for them — chocolate cake, steak or anything you want to give him. You can have it done at home or at the vet’s office.

THE REMAINS OF THE PET You can take your pet’s remains home with you, have a service bury him in a congregate grave, you can bury your pet in a pet cemetery like Wayside Waifs or Rolling Acres, have him cremated with or without the ashes being returned to you. You can even attend the cremation if you want to be sure the pet’s ashes you are receiving back are the correct ones.

Pet of the Week

Winner Blake Blake, “Blakers” to his friends!, was rescued from death by lethal injection. He was an impounded stray in a small community where I worked as a police officer. His time was up! He was too handsome for me not to save, though. Now he’s one of the family. Submitted by Sandy B.

Received Tickets to the MoKan Boxer Rescue — Running of the Dogs


consciousness and pain sensation and then causing death by stopping the heart. The drug works quickly, painlessly and effectively if given in the correct dosage. I would be surprised if any 2 veterinarians had the exact same opinion on when, why and how to provide this service. It is and should be a difficult and emotional procedure to counsel for and to perform. I have worked for veterinarians who refuse to euthanize any physically healthy pet that has not aggressively injured a human. I have worked for vets who believe that it is the owner’s right to decide to euthanize their pet for any reason and for vets whose policy lies anywhere between these two guiding principles.


THE BOOK OF PEE AND POOP! Does your dog need training in these two ares? Then check out the book by KISS Dog Training. A few dollars spent to purchase this book may save you lots of heartache. Order the book online, just visit Need other training? Call Mike Deathe at 913.269.7595 and ask about the $35 per session training option.

Advertiser News and Specials

REMEMBER YOUR PET It is easier to think about the unthinkable ahead of time. Before your pet dies, call Rolling Acres Memorial Gardens for pre-arrangement. Our mission is to serve those who think of their pet as one of the family. Go to or call 816.891.8888 for details. Use the ad in this issue to save $5 on pre-arrangement.

PROGRESSIVE PET PARTNER N2Paws offers tools and training to help you improve the relationship with your pet. If you want to learn more about TTouch, Reiki, Alpha-Stim, Doga, and Whole Pet Positive Triaing then call 816.522.7005 or visit .

KEEP YOURS IN... Keep Theirs Out. It Just Makes Sense. If you want lots of fence options AND a resource that has built fences for years, then you want the best. Call Guier Fence and ask for a quote today. Call Guier Fence at 1-877-70FENCE or visit

SAVE $3 OR $5 Keeping your pet’s teeth clean is one of the most important steps you can take to help them have better health. And, now it is easy with a $3 off and a

$5 off coupon from Brookside Barkery and Bath. Just bring these coupons, on the back page of this issue, to any of our three locations.

DOGGIE CAMP JUST FOR YOU! Does your dog need a place to camp during the day? Call Camp BowWow. We have two convenient locations and well-trained staff. For details call either Lee’s Summit at 816.246.7833 or Olathe at 913.322.2267 . Or check us out at or

You don’t have to wait until it is an emotional decision. Most of us have (or we should have) a living will that tells our loved ones what we would like done medically if we can no longer make that decision. You can alert your veterinarian to what your wishes would be for your pet ahead of time so they can mark your chart and you don’t have to worry about all the small details while you are in emotional upheaval. This decision is highly personal and you have the right to make choices based on your beliefs and feelings.

A TOLL ON EVERYONE Euthanasia takes a toll on everyone involved. I have worked with and known a lot of veterinarians and veterinary staff and have never met one that took euthanasia lightly, it affects all of them. I have seen vets and staff (including myself) cry before the owner and pet arrive, during the procedure and after the long day is over. Afterwards, it is important to let yourself grieve. There are several grief counseling services such as The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement ( and many pet loss forums on the internet. Help and support is there if you need it – there is no right way or wrong way to grieve. When it came time for me to make the decision about Pete, all of the intellectual knowledge and past experience I have had were nowhere to be found. The time leading up to making the decision was excruciating, my emotions were all over the place. I know, however that all of the love and companionship he gave me during his short life needed to be repaid. I had given him a lot of gifts during his 12 years with me — balls, treats, toys, walks and love, but the final and most unselfish gift I gave him was not letting him suffer and be in pain any longer. Now, as I wipe my tears away, let me just say – love your pet with all your heart and know that whatever decisions you make for your pet in the end is right for you and for your beloved pet. Patty Homer is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer and a Pet First Aid instructor. She has been training dogs for 20 years. She owns Good Pup dog training and boarding in South Kansas City. Her certifications include CPDTKA (certified through the Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers); CDT certified through the International Association of Canine Professionals. She is the Founder and President of HEARTland Positive Dog Training Alliance. For more information, visit her website at or call her at 816.699.2260.

Go to for upcoming events


2011 STRUTT WITH YOUR MUTT FOR WAYSIDE WAIFS PRESENTED BY BAYER ANIMAL HEALTH Will you be there? Join pet lovers — walkers and runners alike at the 2011 Strutt Your Mutt! Supports: Wayside Waif’s When: Saturday, September 24 Where: KC’s Brookside Neighborhood Events: 7:00 am Registration 7:30 am Biscuits & Grrr-avy breakfast by Sharp’s Bar & Grill 8:00 am 5K Race 10:00 am 3K Strutt 11:00 am Pet Contests Flealess Market: Visit with pet vendors in the Flealess Market, enjoy live entertainment & food and have FUN! Having Fun: Fetch your best friend, form a Dog Pack, and Strutt to save animal’s lives! Register online at

on Just “Like” MetroPet magazine during the month of September and you will be entered in the drawing for a $50 bag of pet food!* * One bag of dog food will be given away. The drawing will include all new friends of the MetroPet facebook page during the month of September.

CAMP HIDEAWAY Looking for elite cat boarding, doggie day care or countryside boarding for dogs? Call Hideaway Pet Services — we offer all three! We even provide transportation to our countryside boarding. Want to know more? Call 913.831.3111 or 816.380.5387.

DOG TRAINING Good Pup offers affordable dog and cat training by a certified professional dog trainer with over 20 years experience. Whether you have a puppy, adult or senior dog or cat, Good Pup can help. Right now we have a special offer of 4 private clasees for just $150 — or $35/session. For details, call Good Pup at 816.699.2260 or visit

COMMUNITY SPOT FOR DOGS The Dog Stop is the community spot for dogs and the people who love them and The PawZone offers pet care and canine coaching. Together they have it all! Contact The Dog Spot at 816.436.7768 or visit Contact The PawZone at 816-8205829 or visit

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by Mike Deathe

MetroPet Magazine • S EPTEMBER 2011



o just what are non-negotiable rules? Over the course of my articles and training classes, you have heard me refer to the “non negotiable rules” when it comes to human and dog relationships. It occurred to me that while I might give examples and even talk about them from time to time, I have never really defined what they are and why I stress using them so much. With that said here we go.

WHAT ARE NON-NEGOTIABLE RULES? Non-negotiable rules are the behaviors you expect your dog to exhibit every day; not only to instill good manners, but to put you, the human, in a role of leadership. These rules also give us the opportunity to work with our dog, without carving out “training” time each day; instead you just live your life as normal and you and Fido just live by the rules you have

1. Sit and/or Down at every door 2. Sit and/or Down before every meal 3. Sit before leash is put on 4. Ask permission before getting on furniture or beds a. This means a sit, then being invited up (you make the final choice) 5. Walks only continue if there is no pulling a. Fido pulls — walk stops until dog calms down and sits; then we will try again 6. Go to crate on command using “go to bed” or “kennel up” 7. Crazy behavior equals no attention a. If the dog gives any unwanted behavior – I ignore for 2 minutes 8. Dog must have a reliable leave it command a. Dog should know that leave it means move back and wait for further instructions 9. Dog must have reliable recall or consistently come when called a. This should work in the house, outside, at the park and yes, even the dog park 10. Dog must stay behind you on stairs, with the “wait” command. This should be used at doors as well. Dog knows to stay behind you until invited to move forward. a. “Excuse me” or “Back up” is the other side of this coin, where the dog understands to get out of the way for you to move through… In the end, people find it hard to “make the time” or “be consistent” when it comes to training their dogs! Creating your own list of non negotiable rules and sticking to them fixes both issues.

chosen. Without even realizing it Fido gets trained without even thinking about it! These rules are also crucial in embedding impulse control in Fido! Based on my observations, lack of impulse control is responsible for roughly 6070% of all problem behaviors.

WHAT ARE YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLE RULES? So, just what rules should you require? That is a question that you as the “owner” have to come up with! Your trainer can give you suggestions of ways to achieve the goals you have for Fido. But in the end you have to decide what behaviors are wanted vs. those that are unwanted. The fact of the matter is…what I want from my dogs might be totally different than what you want from your dog. This is the main reason I refer to myself as a Pet Dog Trainer rather than obedience or even a plain old dog trainer! My job is to help people successfully live with their pet dog based on what they want and need. As you are thinking of what your rules will be, let me share with you, my “top ten list,” see list on previous page. These are the things I require from my dogs every day. These things improve my dogs’ behavior and keep me in the role of “Top Dog” without having to resort to being a “ButtHead” to my dogs.


Mike Deathe is a stay-at-home dad who found his passion as a dog trainer in 2008. The author of the Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.) Pet Blog. Mike has had dogs since he was four years old! In 2009, he and his wife Kate founded Muttz “R” Us, a t-shirt and pet product company with a philanthropic motto of “Adopt a Pet, Save a Life.” In 2010 Muttz “R” Us also launched KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID DOG TRAINING. He is a charter member of Heartland Positive Dog Training Alliance and just earned his CPDT — KA credential! Visit him at facebook or twitter or follow the blog @ or check out the website for details about shirts.


I’m sure that you are aware of the idea out there, that in dog training we must “rule over,” “be the boss,” or in some cases even dominate the dog to achieve and keep a leadership role. In my opinion, this is not at all necessary and in many cases is “just plain mean.” Leadership, whether with dogs or people, is all about resource control. If I control the dog’s most important resources; food, water, access to my attention or even access to other things he enjoys (like furniture, beds, toys and so on) I will naturally become the leader without having to resort to physical force. In a matter of speaking, this is as simple as relying on your brain instead of your brute. So get out paper and pencil and come up with you own list of non negotiable rules; start using them and in no time you and Fido will be on your way to living a happy, healthy and relaxed life together!


Proper Feeding for Healthy Teeth and Gums


eeth are considered a carnivore’s most valuable anatomical part. Teeth are necessary to shred, tear, and chew food; digestion actually begins in the mouth. Since food nourishes the body, providing vital energy and nutrients for strong bones, healthy skin, and proper physiological balance, it is important that pets can actually chew their food. Ideally, dogs and cats should have their teeth brushed daily along with a yearly professional cleaning. However, plaque buildup (and frequency of cleanings) may be reduced by feeding a nourishing diet that promotes natural tooth cleaning.


MetroPet Magazine • S EPTEMBER 2011

Dental disease is a series of progressively damaging stages that begins when plaque, a soft coating comprised of food, saliva, and bacteria, coats the tooth surface. Within 72 hours after eating, dissolved calcium salts naturally present in saliva combine with plaque to


Teeth are considered a carnivore’s most valuable anatomical part. Teeth are necessary to shred, tear, and chew food; digestion actually begins in the mouth. form a hard matrix. Hardened plaque is called tartar. Interestingly, while saliva is the source of calcium salts for tartar, saliva is also critical to the prevention of plaque build-up.

Dental disease affects the whole body. Mouth bacteria can enter the blood stream through inflamed and bleeding gums, possibly causing secondary infections in the liver, heart, and kidneys. Likewise, gingivitis causes considerable discomfort when the animal chews. Many pets with dental disease actually stop eating or playing with toys because of the severe pain. Inadequate food intake, no matter how nutritious the food may be, has profound whole body consequences.

MECHANICAL ACTION AND LOW-CARBOHYDRATE DIETS…THESE WORK! Mechanical abrasion is the only scientifically proven factor that prevents plaque and tartar build-up between dental cleanings. Daily brushing, as well as select bones, jerkies, and low-carbohydrate treats, help accomplish the necessary abrasion. Raw Frozen Bones, either whole or part of a Raw Frozen Diet, are considered the best dental aids available; they provide effective abrasion without the danger of splintering or impaction common to rawhide and improperly cooked bones.

THE BOTTOM LINE: With all the confusion and conflict surrounding food form, feeding for dental health becomes a lifestyle change. For holistic dental care, scientific evidence supports the claim that raw bones reduce plaque and tartar naturally through mechanical abrasion, and that high meat, low-carbohydrate diets reduce the amount of carbohydrates available to mouth bacteria.. Dogs and cats should be fed a rotation diet composed of raw and grain-free, low-carbohydrate food. Nature’s Variety Raw Frozen Bones, Instinct kibble and canned, and Raw Frozen Diets are all grain-free, lowcarbohydrate food choices. Yet, each pet is unique, so it is best to check with a veterinarian before dramatically altering your pet’s diet.It is the PLPA’s position that any company using the words “Private” or “Individual” in the definition and/or description of their crePiper was surrendered Received Dog Training mation processes be expected to perform the to KC Sheltie Rescue in procedure in the same manner as private creSessions, from KISS July, 2009. She came to mations are performed by PLPA members. my home as a my first foster, until she Dog Training At Nature’s Variety, our passion is the health and could be socialized for a new home. a $200 value happiness of your cherished cat or dog. We are proud Incredibly skiddish (and not potty pet parents, just like you! So we understand that your trained), she was the most shy dog I pet has a special place in your family, in your life, and had ever met. I found myself eager to get her rehabilitated for her new in your heart. Nature’s Variety is a natural pet food home. Two months into fostering, Piper warmed up to me and, you guessed company located in Lincoln, Nebraska. Our team is it... I failed as a foster parent by adopting her. Piper rules the roost at home passionate about providing proper, holistic nutrition and has become quite a Prima Donna. She now accompanies me to many of for your beloved dog and cat. Details about the entire our events, and is slowly gaining confidence. My message to others is product line, including retailers can be found at “don’t give up on the shy dogs, as they make very devoted companions.” Submitted by Debbie H.

Pet of the Week





My Dog Has

C.L.A.S.S. by Heddie Leger


he C.L.A.S.S. curriculum involves a three-level evaluation for students to demonstrate the real-life skills with their dogs. A knowledge assessment of the students/owner understanding of basic dog handling and care is included. Dogs and their owners can earn a Beginner Level (BA-Bachelor’s Degree); Intermediate level (MA-Masters Level); and an advanced (PhD-Doctoral Level Degree). Skills are increased in increments of duration, distance and distraction while learning practical life skills such as wait at the door until invited in, drop item, switch item, wait for food, and other essential life skills. These are not just basic obedience skills, these are social life skills.


MetroPet Magazine • S EPTEMBER 2011

This program sets your dog up for success by giving feedback and rewards for behavior you like, and by arranging the learning environment so that the behavior you want is produced more easily and consistently.


Some dogs just go to class and some dogs‌..have C.L.A.S.S. Positive, reward-based training does not mean that your training is indulgent or without restraint. Clear boundaries and rules still need to be set for our canine companions. For one, dogs feel more secure with clear boundaries, because they know what is expected of them. Two, boundaries are necessary to maintain harmony in the human household. With positive, reward-based training methods, those rules and boundaries can be established without creating a confrontational atmosphere. The dog/student relationship is also strengthened through shared activity. With positive, rewardsbased training we spend quality time with the dog, resulting in the

EDUCATE ABOUT DOG BEHAVIOR A large part of C.L.A.S.S. is to educate about dog behavior. Dogs are not furry little people. Problems can arise when humans apply human characteristics to explain dog behavior. Dog behavior is often misunderstood, and countless myths have been perpetuated regarding their behavior. The more we understand our dogs, the better relationships we can have with them. For instance, most dogs aren’t behaving “badly” in a dog sense; they are just using normal dog behaviors to get their needs met or to resolve conflict. They use those behaviors because it’s what they know, and from a dog’s point of view, they usually work. Dog behavior is driven by the dog’s needs, not human emotion or morals. Canine Life and Social Skills is not just about training our dogs; it is about training people, too! Through the C.L.A.S.S. program, students find resources for learning about dog behavior, including locating training professionals dedicated to advocating dog-friendly techniques.

ENCOURAGE ONGOING TRAINING Dogs are continually learning. Why not use training to be proactive in what your dog learns? With its emphasis on maintaining training skills, as well as advancing to higher levels of training, the C.L.A.S.S. program supports continual training. One of the goals of the C.L.A.S.S. program has been the development an assessment that is particularly beneficial to the needs of shelter dogs. Any shelter or rescue group that is a registered 501(c)(3) may register their shelter for free and all dogs in your care may be tested in the program with fees waived. Shelters across the state beta-tested and approved the process as helpful in increasing their dog’s adoptability due to having some basic life skills. Many have experienced a decrease in euthanasia rates and increase of adoption rates.

Go to for upcoming events

DOES YOUR DOG HAVE C.L.A.S.S.?? We invite you to go to and find a training facility and evaluator near you. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) is a professional organization of individual trainers who are committed to becoming better trainers through education. The APDT is dedicated to building better trainers through education, promoting dog-friendly methods and encouraging their use. Heddie is a Certified Humane Educator. She is the recipient of the 2011 Excellence Award from the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She is a Community Training Partner for Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and the local Kansas City Area Representative for the Animals and Society Institute. Her compassion for animals extends to all species. You can reach her at the PawZone In-Home PetSitting ( and The DogSpot Training Center.

We invite you to go to and find a training facility and evaluator near you.


dog learning so that he has the social skills to spend more time with people. Dogs are living, emotional beings thriving on social interaction; they require human attention to be well-adjusted, not to mention to learn appropriate social behavior. A dog left out alone in the yard is not only deprived of required human attention and a sense of belonging but the skills needed to live with humans, as dogs will do whatever works for them if left to their own devices.



Run for the Wall 2011 by Mike Jones


eneral and I departed Holden on May 20, 2011) for our 4th Run for the Wall. We made it to Nevada, Mo. when the weather turned ugly. Hail, lightening and torrential rain. We pulled off the road to wait it out. The rain was not going to pass so we got back on the road. We stopped in Joplin to wait it out some more but it just kept on raining. It rained until we arrived in Tulsa.


MetroPet Magazine • S EPTEMBER 2011

One of the mission slogans of RFTW is “we ride for those who can’t.” Each year riders choose a fallen Hero whose memory they will ride for. Sometimes it is a name from the Wall or a family member or soldier they know of. This year General rode in the memory of Michael Cammarata. He was the youngest Firefighter killed in the Twin Towers. I wear a memorial bracelet bearing Michael’s name. The


events of that day have been with me every single day. Just the numbers 911 have become a part of my everyday life. I see the numbers on my computer clock. I have had them show up in my check register. I have been parked behind vehicles at a stop light and the numbers were in the license plate. I have received emails and texts with the time being 9:11. The list goes on and on and on. We carried a special 9-11 tribute flag with us this year for riders to sign and General and I will be taking

it to New York to present to Michael’s fire house on the 10th anniversary. The flag was also held by a couple that were transporting some of the steel beams from Ground Zero to Washington State to be used in a memorial there.

PLACING THE FLAG General rode out to Shanksville, PA. on the way home from this year’s Run and we placed the flag on the fence for a photo. General enjoyed his visit with the school children of Spiller Elementary & Montvale Elementary. We passed out his second collector card with his photo on it. Each year people look for us and General has made many new friends and fans along the way. Notable research websites: • • media/newsarchive/08_2001/01 mc_bio.htm • index.htm

Looking for ways to improve behavior or enhance health?

We can help! Call today 816.522.7005 Helping you solve your companion animal problems with techniques that are simple to learn and easy to use.

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Metro Pet Magazine September 2011  

Metro Pet Magazine September 2011

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