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AnimalWELLNESS For a long, healthy life!


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Is it right for your companion?

Latest SPAY RESEARCH New studies show some


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Getting ready

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Meet TUGGER! How social media’s canine darling thrives on his natural lifestyle

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POT FOR POOCHES? What the experts say about medical marijuana for dogs

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Kitten kindergarten A new phenomenon for socializing and training cats



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Contents February/March 2014



17 IS HE PRONE TO PERIODONTAL DISEASE? Dental problems are common in all dogs, but factors such as breed and mouth conformation make some pooches more susceptible.


Spring is on the way, and with it comes more time spent outdoors. Start getting your dog in shape with a calorie-smart diet and aerobic activity.

24 WHAT NEW RESEARCH REVEALS ABOUT SPAY AND NEUTER The latest research suggests that spay and neuter procedures are often done too early in life, and may cause health issues later on.


It’s a growing option for those who feel uncomfortable about having their dogs put under, but it’s vital to find someone who is properly trained in the procedure.


Thanks to all the cool scoopers and bags on the market, there’s no excuse for not cleaning up after Fido.

A new study reveals that canines use both visual and cognitive cues to identify others of their species, no matter how different the breed.








32 TREATS FOR DOGS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS If she has a health issue such as arthritis, cancer or diabetes, you need to watch what she eats. This simple plan for home-baked treats can be adapted to accommodate her needs.

Let’s face it – dogs can smell. This non-toxic, earth-friendly product actually eliminates odor by using an oxidizing process. Taking two or more dogs for a walk at once is fun, but can be difficult and even dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here’s what you need to know before heading out.

Meet Tugger, a canine social media star with a special zest for life.

Keep your kitty’s teeth white and her breath fresh with these simple tips for oral wellness.

If money was no object, what would you buy for your kitty? Here’s a fun look at some of the most expensive – and offbeat – feline accessories out there.





The incidence of dog theft is rising, but you don’t have to become a victim. Take steps to protect your pooch, and know what to do if he ever does get taken.

Zoonoses are diseases transmitted from animals to humans, or vice versa. But don’t panic – taking the right precautions can keep you both healthy.



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The smell of cat urine can be incredibly strong and stubborn, but these non-toxic solutions can help.

If a cat grows up with undesirable traits like unsociability or aggression, it can be difficult to do anything about them. Here’s a way to ensure a happy, sociable, well-adjusted kitty.

Brushing your dog’s teeth can be a challenging task, but this step-by-step guide helps make it easier. This entrepreneurial family has a passion for baking healthy, all-natural goodies made from ingredients sourced right here at home.


Learn how heavy metals are impacting his health, and what you can do about it.


Medical marijuana may be controversial, but it’s showing promise as an effective natural pain reliever for dogs with cancer.


These attractive, modern furnishings for dogs and cats are both stylish and sustainable.

90 CHOLINE – IT’S GOOD FOR HIS BRAIN! This versatile supplement offers many benefits. Among other things, it can help treat and even prevent “doggy dementia”.

Look for this logo throughout AW and watch the images come to life! Turn to page 52 to learn more.

SOCIAL MEDIA Tips, contests and more! Like us /AnimalWellnessMagazine Updates, news, events! @ AnimalWellnessMagazine


Product reviews and tutorials! AnimalWellnessTV



12 Yakkity yak 23 Beyond the label


40 To the rescue 44 Warm & fuzzy

8 Editorial

45 Purica recovery corner 86 Passages

49 Product picks 57 Animal Wellness resource guide

98 Tail end

82 Social media


88 The scoop 92 Marketplace 95 ClassiďŹ eds 96 Events calendar

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VOLUME 16 ISSUE 1 EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT Editor-in-Chief: Dana Cox Managing Editor: Ann Brightman Senior Graphic Designer: Dawn Cumby-Dallin Senior Graphic Designer: Kathleen Atkinson Social Media Manager: Natasha Roulston Social Media Editor: Jasmine Cabanaw Webmaster: Brad Vader Cover Image Courtesy of: Elizabeth Arellano COLUMNISTS & CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Nadia Ali Darlene Arden, CABC Chamois Beal Lopez Claudia Bensimoun Melissa Beveridge Jasmine Cabanaw Janet Caplan Julie Casper, LAc Carmen Colitz, DVM, PhD, DACVO Michele Dixon W. Jean Dodds, DVM Audi Donamor Eleanore Griffin Janice Huntingford, DVM Eryn Kirkwood Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA Noa Martinsen Erin Mayo, DVM Terri McCalla, DVM, MS, DACVO Johanna Mejia-Fava, DVM Shawn Messonnier, DVM Sandra Murphy Tricia O’Malley Karen Shaw Becker, DVM Jody Smith Charlotte Walker ADMINISTRATION & SALES President/C.E.O.: Tim Hockley Accounting: Sherri Soucie Circulation Manager: John Allan Office Manager: Libby Sinden


He looks like he’s on top of the world, and no wonder! Meet Tugger, social media sensation and canine poster child for living life to the fullest. Along with his own Facebook page, and a full schedule as a therapy dog and competitor in obedience, agility and rally, Tugger boasts a healthy and natural lifestyle. Turn to page 54 for his full story. Elizabeth Arellano’s love of animals makes them natural subjects for her photography. To see more of her images, visit


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SUBMISSIONS: Please send all editorial material, advertising material, photos and correspondence to: Animal Wellness Magazine, 160 Charlotte St., Suite 202, Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 2T8. We welcome previously unpublished articles and color pictures either in transparency or disc form at 300 dpi. We cannot guarantee that either articles or pictures will be used or that they will be returned. We reserve the right to publish all letters received. Email your articles to:

ADVERTISING SALES National Sales Manager: Ann Beacom, (866) 764-1212 ext. 222 Western Regional Manager: Becky Starr, (866) 764-1212 ext. 221 MidWest US: Pam Boyd Bombyk, (903) 714-2172 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING: Sherri Soucie TO SUBSCRIBE: Subscription price at time of this issue is $24.00 in the U.S. and Canada, including taxes for six issues shipped via surface mail. Subscriptions can be processed by: Website: Phone: 1-866-764-1212 ext 405 US MAIL: Animal Wellness Magazine, 6834 S University Blvd PMB 155 Centennial, CO 80122 CDN MAIL: Animal Wellness Magazine, 160 Charlotte St., Suite 202, Peterborough, ON, Canada K9J 2T8 Subscriptions are payable by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, check or money order. The material in this magazine is not intended to replace the care of veterinary practitioners. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor, and different views may appear in other issues. Redstone Media Group Inc., publisher of Animal Wellness, does not promote any of the products orservices advertised by a third party advertiser in this publication, nor does Redstone Media Group Inc. verify the accuracy of any claims made in connection with such advertisers. Refund policy: call or write our customer service department and we will refund unmailed issues. DEALER INQUIRIES WELCOME: Animal Wellness Magazine is available at a discount for resale in retail shops and through various organizations. Call John at 1-866-764-1212 ext 405 and ask for dealer magazine sales, fax us at 705-742-4596 or e-mail at

Animal Wellness Magazine (ISSN 1710-1190) is published six times a year by Redstone Media Group Inc. Publications Mail Agreement #40884047. Entire contents copyright© 2014. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Publication date: January 2014.

Improving the lives of animals... one reader at a time.

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EDITORIAL An issue with serious


Hold your device over this image* When I met my husband and partner, Tim Hockley, almost 20 years ago, I knew he had a great heart from the way he connected to his Siberian husky, Sabrina. He took her everywhere, even to the office. When I came into the picture, I naturally stepped into the “mom” role, and made sure Sabrina got enough exercise, good food and regular veterinary care. I also decided early on that we needed to take care of Sabrina’s pearly whites, even if she was only two years old. She very quickly came to love her nightly routine. She would come running as soon as she heard the tap running, and often the three of us would be squeezed into the pint-sized bathroom of our first house getting ready for bed. Was it her love of the beef-flavored toothpaste or the attention she adored? I never really knew but it made oral care a breeze. These days, with all the convenient products available and better diets on the market, it’s even easier to take care of your dog’s teeth between cleanings. But there are still many considerations. While regular dental cleanings help keep him in good condition, what if you’re anxious about having your best friend put under for the procedure? Find out about a new trend – anesthesia-free dentistry, an option that’s growing in popularity among many animal guardians and veterinarians. We also look at why some dogs seem to be predisposed to periodontal disease, and provide an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide to brushing your dog’s teeth at home. If you have cats too, be sure to read our five tips to kitty dental health in our Feline Wellness bonus section. There’s plenty more great information in this issue, too. Get ready for the warmer weather of spring by following Dr. Karen


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Becker’s advice on preventing obesity and getting your dog fit and active. Look at the latest in innovative poop scoop products, and step out in style and safety with your canine pack with some excellent tips on multi-dog walking. We also look at how environmental toxins are affecting our dogs – and what we can do about it – and provide some info on recent research into the effects of spaying and neutering. And have you ever wondered how dogs recognize other dogs, given how incredibly different various breeds can look? A groundbreaking study sheds some light on how they do it. While you’re waiting for the nicer weather to arrive, try baking some simple but healthy treats especially designed for dogs with special needs. Our feline section includes articles on non-toxic ways to remove urine odor, a growing phenomenon called “kitten kindergarten”, and luxurious and off-beat feline accessories. So whether you have a dog or cat, or like me – both – you’re sure to find some good reading to while away the rest of the winter. Stay warm and enjoy!

Dana Cox Editor-in-Chief

* Make sure to check out pg 52 to download our NEW APP that will make AW literally jump right off the pages. Plus, it gives you a chance to WIN instant PRIZES!

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1. Veterinarian Dr. Karen Shaw Becker received her degree from the Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine. She owns and operates Natural Pet Animal Hospital, Feathers Bird Clinic, TheraPaw Rehabilitation and Pain Management Clinic and Covenant Wildlife Rehabilitation in Illinois. She coauthored the book Real Food for Healthy Pets and hosts a large holistic animal wellness website ( Turn to page 20 for Dr. Becker’s article on preventing obesity and getting your dog fit. 2. Veterinarian Dr. Jean Dodds received her veterinary degree in 1964 from the Ontario Veterinary College. In 1986, she established Hemopet, the first nonprofit national blood bank program for animals. From 1965 to 1986, Dr. Dodds was a member of many committees on hematology, animal models of human disease and veterinary medicine. She received the Holistic Veterinarian of the Year Award from the AHVMA in 1994. On page 46, Dr. Dodds discusses zoonoses. 3. Veterinarian Dr. Shawn Messonnier authored the Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats, The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs, and 8 Weeks to a Healthy Dog. He’s the pet care expert for Martha Stewart Living’s “Dr. Shawn – The Natural Vet” on Sirius Satellite Radio, and creator of Dr. Shawn’s Pet Organics. His practice, Paws & Claws Animal Hospital (, is


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in Plano, Texas. See page 90 for his article the benefits of choline.

Read Dr. Mayo’s article on the latest research surrounding spay/neuter (page 24).

4. Veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. He is a certified veterinary acupuncturist from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. His practice, California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness, offers integrative medicine. Dr. Mahaney writes a veterinary blog for and is working on his first book, The Uncomfortable Vet. On page 17, he reveals why some dogs are predisposed to dental disease.

7. Audi Donamor has been successfully creating special needs diets for companion animals for nearly 20 years. She is the founder of the University of Guelph’s Smiling Blue Skies® Cancer Fund and Smiling Blue Skies® Fund for Innovative Research, and is the proud recipient of a variety of awards, including a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Turn to page 32 for Audi’s treats for special needs dogs.

5. Veterinarian Dr. Janice Huntingford practices integrative medicine in Essex, Ontario. She is certified in animal chiropractic, acupuncture and rehabilitation therapy. Her clinic features a state of the art underwater treadmill and fitness pool for dogs. Dr. Huntingford is married and lives on a farm/winery complete with horses, cattle, chickens, cats, dogs and three children. On page 74, Dr. Huntingford provides a step-bystep guide to brushing your dog’s teeth. 6. Veterinarian Dr. Erin Mayo graduated from the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. She received her veterinary acupuncture and Chinese herbal certification from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, and provides holistic and TCVM services for companion animals in central New Jersey.

8. Noa Martinsen is a canine nutritional consultant for Animal Elite ( He provides canine hTMA lab and nutritional support services. Julie Casper is a classically trained Oriental medicine physician and also provides hTMA lab and nutritional support services. Read Noa and Julie’s article on canine toxicovigilance on page 78. 9. Darlene Arden is a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant, an author and speaker. Her books include the award-winning The Complete Cat’s Meow. She is dedicated to the human-animal bond and enhancing the live of animals and their people. Check out page 68 for Darlene’s article on kindergarten for kittens. 10. Nadia Ali is a freelance writer who was born in London, England and now lives on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. She is inspired by Cici, her family cat. Her work has



Submissions If you are interested in submitting an article for Animal Wellness Magazine, please contact Ann Brightman, Managing Editor, at :

been published online and in print. In this issue (page 62), she looks at some off-beat accessories for cats. 11. Claudia Bensimoun is a freelance writer in West Palm Beach who specializes in writing about dogs and horses. On page 84, she looks at the issue of medical marijuana for dogs. 12. Chamois Beal Lopez is a freelance writer who resides in Long Beach, California with

her husband and two daughters. She has written health and animal-related articles for trade journals and online publications. Chamois practices calligraphy or yoga when she’s not walking her Chihuahua and three Yorkshire terriers. Turn to page 38 for her advice on multi-dog walking. 13. Tricia O’Malley is the author of The Stolen Dog, in which she outlines her personal experience with having her dog taken. You can learn more about her story

at or purchase the book at Amazon, iTunes, etc. A portion of all book sales goes to animal rescues. Tricia shares her experience and what she learned from it on page 42. Sandra Murphy lives in St Louis, Missouri. When she’s not writing, she works as a pet sitter. On page 50, she writes about the latest in canine poop scoop products.

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YAKKITY YAK HELP AFTER HAIYAN Photos courtesy of Tonee Despojo/for the HSUS

No one had any real idea what was in store for the Philippines when “super” typhoon Haiyan hit the islands on November 8. As the news started coming in, the situation didn’t sound too bad at first...but as the days passed, the world soon learned the full extent of the horrendous toll the typhoon took on the region. Classified as the strongest storm in recorded history to make landfall, Haiyan devastated entire communities, killing thousands of people and animals and leaving thousands more injured and homeless. Along with the Red Cross and other organizations, animal welfare groups such as Humane Society International (HSI), WSPA, IFAW and others leapt into action by sending volunteer and veterinary teams to the area. “We had a team of 14, mostly veterinarians, in the hardest hit areas of the Philippines within days of the storm,” says Kelly O’Meara of HSI. “We developed a three tier plan: 1. Mobile veterinary care for animals in need. 2. Provision of food and water for needy animals and feeding stations for displaced street animals. 3. Direct rescue of family animals upon request (called into a hotline we developed) and creation of a temporary shelter to house animals until reunion with their families.”

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Bottom: HSI consultant Lola Webber consoles Buddy in a convoy going to a rescue center in Cebu City.

To date, the HSI team has helped approximately 5,000 animals. The rescue work continues as of this writing – visit hsi. org, or to learn more or make a donation.

ASSISTING POVERTY-STRICKEN ANIMAL LOVERS With tens of millions of people living at or below the poverty level in the United States, it’s no surprise that the dogs and cats in these households go without as well. But thanks to the HSUS Pets for Life program, disadvantaged communities are receiving animal-related services such as food, spay/ neuter procedures, and more. The HSUS is working to expand the program to encompass as many cities as possible across the Making friends at a Chicago community country. In partnership with PetSmart Charities, outreach event. the organization is mentoring other animal organizations by supplying funding for spay/neuter, wellness and outreach events, and more. Participating organizations include The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas, San Antonio Animal Services in Texas, All About Animals Rescue in Detroit, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Des Moines, and many others.

Photo courtesy of Sonya Williams/for the HSUS

WHAT DO YOU THINK? We regularly post a survey question on our website for readers to vote on. The most recent one was: Do you take your dog to a professional groomer? Here’s how you’ve responded to date:

Top: Patiently awaiting rescue in the rubble left behind by Haiyan.

HOLDEN’S NARROW ESCAPE When Anthony Cirado took a break from unpacking to run a quick errand near his new home, his four-year-old Australian shepherd mix, Holden, decided to explore the boxes in the bathroom. After chewing through the cap on an Ibuprofen bottle, he ate more than 300 tablets. When Anthony returned and found Holden vomiting and disoriented, he knew he needed to seek emergency veterinary care immediately. By the time he and his wife got to the hospital, Holden was unconscious. Holden underwent emergency care at Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital, where vets pumped his stomach. Nothing came out so he was transferred to the nephrology department. There he underwent charcoal hemoperfusion, a procedure in which blood leaves the body through a catheter to be purified; a charcoal filter was used to bind the Ibuprofen and remove it from Holden’s bloodstream.

h the veterinary A happy Holden poses wit life. From left to his e sav d team who helpe bara Tauk, and right: Dr. JD Foster, Dr. Bar student Suzanne Hange.

At the end of his six-hour treatment, Holden was able to sit up and even energetically walk the hallways of the hospital. Thanks to quick action on the part of Anthony and the vet team, Holden received a clean bill of health during a recent follow-up appointment.

Check your dog’s nails regularly to make sure they’re not getting too long. If he won’t let you clip them, ask your vet to do it.

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YAKKITY YAK LET HIM RIDE SHOTGUN For awhile now, various groups have been raising awareness of the dangers of letting dogs ride in the backs of pickup trucks. According to the American Humane Association (AHA), around 100,000 dogs die every year from falling or jumping from truck beds, so it’s a serious issue. The Ford Motor Company and the AHA recently announced a new awareness campaign called Dogs Ride Inside. The campaign is designed to remind all pickup truck drivers that dogs should never be transported in truck beds. It also includes a few additional simple suggestions to keep dogs (and vehicle occupants) safe while in a moving pickup. Max Witzke and his dog Jinx demonstrate the proper way a dog should ride in a pickup truck – inside the cab and clipped to the vehicle’s seatbelt system via a harness.

SOLDIERING ON After her son, who worked as a bomb dog handler and served two tours in Iraq, returned from war with post-traumatic stress disorder, Shari Duval was inspired to start K9s for Warriors. This nonprofit organization trains canines to work as service dogs for veterans who have been affected by the post-9/11 wars. One in five veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan suffers from PTSD. It has been medically proven that service dogs aid in their recovery. At K9s for Warriors, veterans are involved in the training of their service dogs during a three-week academy, which enables both veterans and canines to establish a positive bond. The organization provides a service dog, usually rescued from a shelter, as well as training, certification, equipment, seminars, vet care, most meals and housing, all free of charge.

PUTTING THEIR HEADS TOGETHER Both humans and animals grapple with many of the same kinds of illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. So human doctors can learn a lot from veterinarians, and vice versa. To further explore this field, a Species-Spanning Approach to Medicine was the focus of the 2013 Zoobiquity conference, held November 2 at the Rockefeller University and the Bronx Zoo in New York. This annual cross-disciplinary conference brings together leading clinicians and scientists in both human and veterinary medicine to discuss the same diseases in a wide spectrum of species, including people. The intention is to create communication and relationships between human and veterinary colleagues confronted with similar clinical challenges. During the 2013 conference, Zoobiquity paired veterinarians with physicians to attend talks and participate in rounds at the Bronx Zoo, giving them a unique opportunity to be exposed to and learn from the similarities between human and animal health conditions.


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YAKKITY YAK Photos courtesy of Dean Palmer

GALA RAISES $400,000 FOR CANCER CENTER Cancer is a major problem in dogs. The good news is that a gala fundraiser held in Toronto last fall raised $400,000 for the Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). Opened in 2012, the Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer is the most advanced comprehensive center for companion animal cancer treatment and investigation in Canada. “Gifts from this gala will ensure we can continue to provide the very best cancer care, acquire leading-edge technology, support training for veterinary cancer specialists, and conduct comparative cancer research that will help pets and people,” says OVC dean, Dr. Elizabeth Stone.

Editor’s note: A percentage of proceeds from sales of The Animal Wellness Natural Cookbook for Dogs, published by Redstone Media Group, goes to the Smiling Blue Skies Cancer Fund, part of the OVC Pet Trust Fund. To order, visit

Top: Dr. Paul Woods and a student examine a patient at the cancer center. Bottom: Dr. Melissa Parsons-Doherty is assisted by a student in one of the center’s treatment rooms.

Ordinary people who go out of their way to help animals deserve some recognition. In December, Animal Care & Control of New York City (AC&C) honored a group of dedicated animal lovers at New York’s Kindest Dinner & Awards event. The event was named for AC&C’s New York’s Kindest ad campaign, which debuted earlier in 2013 and aims to get more New Yorkers involved in helping city animals. Ads featuring adopters, volunteers and donors with the dogs and cats they love appeared in subways, on telephone kiosks, in print and online, in a commercial, and even on a billboard.

Photo courtesy of Annie Watt


Among those honored at the event was New Leash Productions, the team behind the campaign; ASPCA members Julie Morris, Heidi Miller, Michelle Villagomez and Gail Buchwald; and Sean Casey Animal Rescue, one of AC&C’s rescue partners. Net proceeds from the event go to support the care of homeless and abandoned animals in New York City.


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The creators of the New York’s Kindest campaign with AC&C’s Chairman and Executive Director, Risa Weinstock (third from right).



DISEASE? Dental problems are common in all dogs, but factors such as breed and mouth conformation can make some pooches more susceptible. By Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA

DENTAL DISEASE is one of the top conditions veterinarians see in dogs. It affects not only the teeth and gums (gingiva) but the supportive structures that keep the teeth in place (such as the periodontal ligament or alveolar bone). Although all dogs are at risk for dental issues, some are more prone than others, depending on their breed, genes, the shape of their mouths, and even how much (or not) they chew their food.

The stages of dental disease Periodontal disease is primarily caused by the accumulation of oral cavity bacteria (plaque), a thin and translucent (often clear to light tan) layer that’s challenging to see with the naked eye. Within days, plaque deposits thicken to become dental tartar, with an opaque tan to brown appearance. Tartar then mineralizes into thick calculus, appearing yellow to brown with an abrasive (sandpaper-like) texture. Gingivitis (gum inflammation) develops in association with all steps of this process, and weakens the periodontal ligament, which normally firmly anchors the tooth to the underlying alveolar bone. Periodontitis refers to the inflammation and damage to tissues associated with the teeth (gingiva and periodontal ligament); it causes gums to recede (gingival recession) and teeth to loosen. Dogs with more advanced stages of periodontal disease can exhibit anorexia (decreased appetite), difficulty chewing or

swallowing food, ptyalism (drooling), and even behavioral changes (lethargy, exercise intolerance, mood changes, etc.).

The whole body is affected One of the aspects of periodontal disease that many people do not consider seriously enough is the toxic effects oral cavity bacteria have on all body systems. Bacteria from the mouth enter the blood through inflamed gums or exposed blood vessels (tooth damage can expose the internal pulp cavity) and circulate throughout the body. “Dogs and cats having periodontal disease are more likely to have histopathologic changes in the heart, kidney and liver,” says veterinary dentist Dr. Curt Coffman. Histopathologic changes are cellular abnormalities. “Periodontal disease can shorten a pet’s life by affecting vital organ systems.”

Risk factors An improper diet and lack of regular dental care are two main causes of periodontal disease, but some dogs seem to have “bad teeth” despite efforts to promote better dental

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health. A predisposition to periodontal disease occurs for a variety of reasons.


A dog’s mouth conformation (the way it’s structured) may make him prone to dental problems. Dogs having wide mouths with irregularly positioned (rotated, etc.) teeth tend to be more prone to periodontal disease than dogs with longer or narrower mouths. The working theory is that the unusually placed teeth create a surface that more easily permits the accumulation of plaque and is less permissive to the potentially cleansing action of chewing.

2 3

Brachycephalic (short-faced) dogs have mouth conformations that cause a higher incidence of periodontal disease. The Brussels griffon, English and French bulldog, Shih tzu, Lhasa apso and pug – and their mixes – fit the short-faced mould and need extra dental care.

A dog’s genetics also plays a role in overall oral cavity health. Certain breeds and their mixes are well known to have periodontal disease, seemingly regardless of life stage. Have you ever heard the term “Yorkie mouth”? The Yorkshire terrier is known for severe dental issues, as are other small dogs like the Chihuahua, Pomeranian, poodle, and their mixes. Electing to adopt one of these petite pooches means you have to be especially vigilant in promoting periodontal health from as early an age as possible.

Don’t forget NUTRITION Unfortunately, many people have been deceived by marketing (and sometimes veterinary recommendations) into thinking that a diet based on commercial kibble helps keep teeth clean. Kibble shatters when teeth penetrate the surface, so it provides no substrate to scrape against the teeth while the dog chews. This is the case unless the kibble is specifically formulated to maintain its shape and have a cleansing effect during mastication. Additionally, many dogs don’t chew their food well, as mentioned above, and instead swallow the kibble pieces whole. In my practice, I’ve noted a correlation between the type of food my patients eat, and their periodontal health. Whatever their breed, dogs eating diets formulated with whole food-based ingredients including real meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, and whole grains tend to have a lower incidence of periodontal disease than those eating diets containing “meals and by-products”.


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Some dogs are avid chewers of food while others barely exert any effort when masticating (chewing) their meals and treats. The action of chewing can help remove plaque, tartar and even calculus from tooth surfaces. You can encourage chewing by providing your dog with the appropriate raw, meaty bones or safe, non-toxic chew toys. Ensure that any object chosen for chewing is non-traumatic to the teeth, and non-toxic to the internal organs.

Stage Name




Redness at the gum margin and bad breath


Early periodontitis

Less than 25% support loss


Established periodontitis

Between 25% and 50% support loss


Advanced periodontitis

Greater than 50% support loss

Keep on top of it The best practice is to prevent periodontal disease from happening instead of addressing it once bad breath or other associated health issues affect your dog. This takes dedication and consistency, especially if you have a breed that is prone to these problems. Parents brush their children’s teeth until they are old enough to do it on their own, but dogs never reach the stage of being able to provide their own dental care without human assistance. As a result, you need to engage in practices that promote your dog’s periodontal and whole body health on a daily, lifelong basis. Whether you have a greyhound or German shepherd, or an especially susceptible breed like a Yorkie or Chihuahua, start with home dental care as soon as possible, feed him a quality diet, encourage chewing, and take him to the vet for regular dental checkups.



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Lip smackin’, tail waggin’, healthy goodness in every bite of this inspiring collection of full color recipes for your beautiful pooch. The editors of Animal Wellness Magazine have poured the love into creating this cookbook and you don’t have to be Julia Child to make these recipes… the easy to understand instructions will have them begging for seconds in no time. Proceeds support Canine Cancer Research. ONLY $15 Order Online.


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Spring is on the way, and with it comes more time spent outdoors. Start getting your dog in shape with a calorie-smart diet and aerobic activity.

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er, DVM

By Karen Shaw Beck

Did you know that more than half of all dogs in the US are overweight or obese? This sobering statistic comes from a recent survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). Even more astonishing is that almost half of those people with overweight dogs believe their canines are a normal weight! If you’re not sure whether your own dog is overweight, you’re not alone. Many people can no longer discern the difference between a robust weight and too much weight. Sadly, so many dogs are obese these days that perceptions of body size have become distorted.


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The dog that once looked lean and fit now appears underfed. The dog that a few decades ago was clearly too heavy, now looks like the majority of his canine buddies at the dog park. “The disconnect between reality and what a pet parent thinks is obese makes having a conversation with their veterinarian more challenging,” says APOP founder Dr. Ernie Ward, who has dubbed this phenomenon the “fat gap”. “Many pet owners are shocked when their veterinarian informs them their pet needs to lose weight. They just don’t see it.”

An overweight dog can develop many of the same debilitating health problems as an overweight human, including arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory problems, and excessive wear and tear on joints and ligaments. Fortunately, these problems can be avoided by getting your dog’s weight down through diet and exercise.

Part 1: Diet

Determine his daily calorie requirement Once you know what your dog actually weighs, you need to determine what he should weigh. Here’s a good rule of thumb: don’t feed the overweight dog you see. Instead, feed the leaner dog living inside him. When setting a target weight for your dog, don’t be afraid to go a bit lower. If your 40-pound dog needs to lose five pounds, shoot for a seven or eight pound weight loss.


Let’s say your dog weighs 50 pounds. To calculate how many calories he needs each day to stay at his current weight, use this formula:

Daily calories = (body weight (kg) x 30) + 70

First, convert your dog’s weight from pounds to kilograms (kg). One kilogram is 2.2 pounds, so 50 pounds divided by 2.2 is 22.7 kilograms. Going by the formula, if your dog’s daily calories = (his weight (22.7) x 30) +70, then his total daily calories = 751. So if your dog eats about 750 calories a day, he’ll stay at his current weight. If he needs to lose weight, he must eat fewer calories. Let’s say you and your vet agree your dog should be 45 pounds. Let’s shave another three pounds off that to bring him down to a nice, lean 42 pounds. All we need to do is apply the above formula using 42 pounds instead of 50 pounds. Convert 42 pounds to kilograms (19.1). Then, (19.1 kg x 30) + 70 = 643 daily calories.


Next, you must determine how many calories are in the food and treats you’re feeding your dog, and adjust the amount downward as necessary. If you give him packaged pet food, don’t animal wellness


follow the label guidelines for how much to feed. Instead, find out how many calories are in a can or cup – this will vary by brand and flavor. You may need to visit the manufacturer’s website or call the toll free number on the label to get the information you need. If you prepare your dog’s food at home, the recipes you use to make her meals should contain calorie information.


Along with determining how many calories your dog needs each day to achieve or maintain his ideal weight, you need to feed it in controlled portions – usually half in the morning and the remainder in the evening. Don’t forget to factor treats into the daily calorie count. Note that free-feeding – also known as the all-day, all-youcan-eat-buffet – isn’t going to help your dog lose weight.

4 5

Here’s another very valuable tip. Use smaller bowls when serving your dog smaller portions of food. A big bowl with a relatively small amount of food in it has a way of looking too empty – a problem many people solve by adding “just a bit more” food. Don’t fall into this trap!

How to tell if he’s too


• One way to measure your dog’s fitness is by feel. Run your hands down his sides. You should be able to feel his ribs beneath a thin layer of fat, and his skin should move easily under your fingers. • Now take a step back and observe your dog. He should have a tuck-up at the rear of his ribs, and a visible waist when you stand over him looking down. • To weigh a small dog, weigh yourself first on your bathroom scale, then step back on the scale while holding your dog. The difference between the two numbers is his weight. • If your dog is too heavy to pick up, many veterinary clinics have scales in the reception area that you can just walk your dog on to get his weight. If you’re still unsure whether or not your dog is too heavy, schedule a visit with your veterinarian so he or she can help you assess the situation and decide what your dog’s ideal weight should be. It’s also a good idea, if your dog hasn’t been for a wellness visit recently, to schedule an appointment before you embark on a diet and exercise program with him.

Use the right measuring tools to portion out your dog’s meals. Grabbing whatever’s convenient, like a coffee mug or soup spoon, will not allow you to measure the portions correctly. Use standard kitchen measuring tools.

Feed him real food Overweight dogs on restricted calorie diets still need the protein, fats, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients essential for vibrant good health. When cutting the number of calories your dog consumes each day, make sure not to cut back on vital nutrition in the process. You can do this by skipping all the “low fat”, “weight control” and “prescription” processed commercial pet foods. Instead, feed your dog the highest quality, balanced, species-appropriate diet you can manage, and practice portion control with each meal.

Regular aerobic activity provides many benefits for your dog:

Aerobic activity is crucial

• Helps maintain a healthy weight • Keeps muscles supple and strong • Promotes organ health, including the heart, as well as the overall structural integrity of your dog’s body • Cures boredom and the undesirable behaviors that come along with it • Helps strengthen the bond you share with your dog

Animals are built for movement. Healthy canines in the wild are incredibly muscular and fit because they live the lifestyle they were designed for. There are no obese couch potato animals in the wild. Your dog is also a born athlete, but it’s up to you to provide him with opportunities to exercise and be physically active.

Your dog needs to elevate his heart rate for a minimum of 20 minutes consistently throughout the week, and the only way to do this is through heart-thumping, muscle-building, calorieburning aerobic exercise.

Part 2: Exercise


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Keep in mind that your dog wants to please you, so there’s really no limit – depending on his health and overall condition – to the kinds of exercise you can involve him in to help him lose weight. He’ll be happy to be with you and follow your lead. Use your imagination. Dogs can learn to walk on treadmills, and many enjoy swimming, which is a very beneficial physical activity for canines. He might enjoy retrieving balls or Frisbees, or try getting him involved in some other type of canine event that gets him moving, such as agility.

Beyond the label Coconut oil – a healthy choice! BY MICHELE DIXON

If your dog is very overweight or out of shape, take it slow in the beginning and build up gradually to a good daily workout. However you decide to meet his exercise requirements, just remember that his heart rate must be elevated for an adequate period several times a week in order to move his body into a fat-burning state. Give your chunky canine a combination of the right diet and regular aerobic exercise, and the lean, fit animal living inside him will soon be revealed!


cuts calories

Here are “before” and “after” pictures of one of my patients, Cal. He was a rescue who was obese and depressed at the time he was adopted by one of my clients. Cal’s new mom transitioned him to a balanced, species-appropriate raw diet. Once he was eating the right kind of food, he dropped the extra weight on his own.


It seems everyone is talking about the benefits of coconut oil, and for good reason! It tastes great and can improve your animal’s health. Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride (MCT). MCTs are made up of shorter chains of fatty acids, like lauric, capric and caprylic acid, which can be more easily digested and absorbed without the use of several digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas. This is especially important for dogs that suffer from digestive and metabolic problems as it puts less strain on the pancreas and digestive system. Lauric acid helps combat a variety of bacteria, yeast, fungi, and enveloped viruses. Capric and caprylic acid are best known for their anti-fungal effects. Coconut oil goes directly to the liver to be converted into energy, rather than being stored as fat for later use. This helps overweight dogs lose weight and feel more energetic, and improves athletic performance. Improves skin and coat • Infected cuts • Cracked paws • Hot spots Improves digestion and metabolism • Pancreatitis • Athletic performance • Weight loss • Boosts energy Supports immune function • Bacteria and fungi • Yeast infections • Arthritis


The recommended dose is one teaspoon of coconut oil per ten pounds of dog. Start with about 1/4 the recommended dosage and build up to the full dose over three to four weeks.

Michele Dixon is the Health and Nutrition Specialist with Petcurean Pet Nutrition (


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What NEW research REVEALS about SPAY and NEUTER

By Erin Mayo, DVM


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The latest research suggests that spay and neuter procedures are often done too EARLY in life, and may cause health ISSUES later on.

Most people would say that dog (and cat) overpopulation is a serious issue, and that all companion animals should be spayed or neutered. In North America, spay and neuter surgeries are routinely performed in most animal clinics. But in Europe, a much smaller percentage of animals are spayed or neutered. What’s the real truth about the benefits and risks of these surgeries? And does the increasingly frequent practice of early spay and neuter amplify the risks? Recent studies have uncovered some interesting results.

Are dogs being spayed/neutered

too young?

Conventional veterinary wisdom recommends that dogs be spayed or neutered between six and nine months of age, and preferably before the first estrus cycle in females. But this recommendation is based less on scientific fact and more on practicalities; younger puppies can be riskier candidates for anesthesia, though current drugs and methods are safer than they used to be. In other words, there is no scientific evidence for spaying or neutering at an early age. Opponents of early spay/neuter (especially younger than fiveand-a-half months) contend that a variety of orthopedic and other issues can result from these procedures. Deprivation of sexual hormones and development through puberty may create longlasting physical and psychological harm. Continued on page 26.

There is no scientific EVIDENCE for spaying or neutering at an EARLY age. animal wellness


Continued from page 25.


potential risks

Further recent studies have been finding some unpleasant effects stemming from spay/neuter procedures, especially when they are done before one year of age. • Higher risk of certain types of cancer – Some studies are finding that spayed and neutered animals may have a higher risk of certain types of cancer, such as prostatic adenocarcinoma, lymphoma, transitional cell carcinoma (the risk is two to four times higher in spayed females), and hemagiosarcoma. In the case of prostate cancer, researchers hypothesize that hormones may play a role in slowing the progression of the disease. • Orthopedic issues – The physes, or growth plates, of long bones generally close at one year of age. Spay and neuter procedures performed before this age delay the process, resulting in increased lengthening of long bones. The clinical significance of this is unknown, but opponents of early spay/ neuter claim that this abnormal bone length alters the angle of the joints, making injury and arthritis more likely. One study done on golden retrievers at the University of California, Davis, found that the risk of hip dysplasia doubled, and the disease occurred at a younger age in early-neutered dogs. The study also found an increased incidence of cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries. While the findings of this study are compelling, early spay/neuter proponents point out that the conclusions are only applicable to one breed, and those who have concerns about their animals’ development can wait until after physeal closure occurs to spay or neuter. • Obesity – It is well documented that spay and neuter procedures result in slower metabolism. It has also been observed that spayed females exhibit increased appetite and food intake. The role that sex hormones play in metabolism is not well understood, but this particular risk can be controlled with appropriate diet and adequate exercise. • Urinary issues – Spayed females have a higher risk of developing urinary tract infections and urethral sphincter mechanism incompetence (incontinence). The risk of incontinence may be even greater if the spay procedure is done before three months of age. The exact cause is unclear, but current research is looking at the possible role of a hormone called gonadotropin.

Spay/neuter also offers


Although research is showing that spay/neuter procedures can have risks attached to them whatever the dog’s age, they also offer some long-term benefits.


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Reduce behavioral problems: Spay and neuter procedures can improve or eliminate problem behaviors, such as mounting, marking and aggression. However, surgery does not help with non-sexual behavior problems, such as separation anxiety or food aggression. Prevent some cancers: These procedures can prevent some types of cancer, such as mammary gland tumors (50% are malignant in dogs), testicular tumors (the second most common tumor type in dogs), ovarian and uterine tumors. Additional benefits: a Neutering males decreases the incidence of benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostatitis, and may also cut down on risky behaviors, such as the tendency to wander and fight. b Studies have found that spayed and neutered dogs enjoy longer lifespans, though the exact reason remains unclear. It may simply be related to better husbandry – in other words, people who get their animals spayed or neutered take better overall care of their companions.

2) 3)

The risk of incontinence may be even GREATER if the spay procedure is done BEFORE three months of age. So what

should you do?

The latest studies may be uncovering some uncomfortable truths about the risks of spaying and neutering. There are both pros and cons surrounding the procedure. Talk to your veterinarian about your individual pup’s potential risk factors, and/or about spaying or neutering at a later age. For example, if you’re going to compete with your dog in physically demanding sports, you may want to wait until bone growth is complete before having him neutered, to decrease the potential for injury. Of course, until neutering or spaying takes place, you’ll need to carefully monitor your dog to ensure no unplanned pregnancies occur. At the end of the day, whether or not you spay or neuter your dog is a personal choice that depends on your own views, and your dog’s risk factors and lifestyle.




By Terri McCalla, DVM, MS, DACVO, Carmen Colitz, DVM, PhD, DACVO, and Johanna Mejia-Fava, DVM

Your dog’s immune system can be adversely affected by many factors. They include nutrition and stress, as well as certain medications, environmental toxins – and even obesity. Fat is the body’s largest endocrine organ. It secretes adipokines, proteins that normally regulate immunity, glucose metabolism and other functions. But excessive fat secretes pro-inflammatory adipokines that trigger generalized chronic inflammation and exacerbate diseases like arthritis and diabetes. Excess fat also contains a type of white blood cell called macrophages, which together with adipocytes (fat cells), secrete inflammatory and endocrine mediators. Because a third of our dogs are obese, this means at least 33% of our canine companions are in chronically inflamed states with compromised immune health! Enhancing immune function is a critical therapeutic goal in the management of all disease states. Besides therapeutic diets, treatment strategies can include polysaccharide nutraceuticals. Beta glucan is a polysaccharide found in plants and fungi. It has potent immune-enhancing activities – it fights fungal and viral diseases, boosts the production of antibodies and cytokines (proteins that act as messengers between cells), reduces tissue damage, increases the destruction of cancer cells, and provides antioxidant and free radical scavenging activities.

Dr. Terri McCalla is a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist and a member of Animal HealthQuest LLC. Dr. Carmen Colitz is one of the world’s leading veterinary ophthalmologists. Dr. Johanna Mejia-Fava is a graduate of the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine. animal wellness


Anesthesia-free dentistry By Ann Brightman

Many people feel anxious about having their dogs put under for teeth cleaning. Dentistry without anesthesia is a growing option, but it’s vital to find someone who is properly trained in the procedure.

Dental disease is the number one problem facing dogs. Regular veterinary cleanings are nearly always necessary to maintain canine tooth and gum health. Unfortunately, a lot of people avoid or postpone them because they feel nervous about having their dogs anesthetized. That means many dogs aren’t getting the dental care they need, and this can lead to severe discomfort and health problems down the road. In recent years, more and more people have been exploring the option of anesthesia-free dentistry. Although not widely available, this form of dentistry can be done by veterinarians, vet techs, or companies using properly-trained technicians.

The right training is crucial

Some veterinarians are opposed to dentistry without anesthesia, mainly because of the problems that arise from inadequate training among some laypeople offering the service. Other vets have found great satisfaction in a well-performed anesthesia-free dental done in the veterinary clinic – as long as it is done professionally.


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She polishes teeth with no problem, and can even occasionally pull teeth if they are very loose. Dr. Pema Malu of Veterinary Holistic Care in Maryland, for example, reports that their anesthesia-free service does an excellent job of cleaning teeth and caring for gums. They use hand instruments and an ultrasonic scaler, as well as ozonated water on the gums to promote healing. When they encounter more severe issues that require antibiotics or extractions, or spot severe periodontal disease, neck lesions or fractures, they refer to the veterinarian. Many clients opt for regular anesthesia-free dentistry, thus avoiding periodontal disease in the future. “Scaling teeth is a veterinary procedure, and should only be done with veterinary supervision,” adds Dr. Michael Borin of Animal Dental Care. “Often in pet stores, only superficial cosmetic cleanings are accomplished, and this can give people a very false sense of a healthy mouth. It can be very disheartening for someone to think that their animal’s mouth is clean, only to find out later that there is severe underlying disease.”

What are the benefits?

The primary benefit of anesthesia-free dentistry, of course, is that dogs don’t have to be put under, which can be an important consideration for at-risk animals. “Many people with older geriatric animals are extremely grateful to have access to this procedure,” says Dr. Borin. “People whose animals have cardiac or renal disease also greatly appreciate having this procedure to control plaque, calculus and bad breath.” Another benefit some veterinarians are seeing is that it’s cutting down on the incidence of advanced periodontal disease. Dr. Jennifer Ramelmeier, who has a

Can it be done on all dogs?

Depending on his temperament and health, not every dog may be a suitable choice for anesthesia-free dentistry. “Each potential patient is given an initial veterinary exam to determine if he is an appropriate candidate,” says Dr. Borin. “Patients are examined for appropriate behavior, physical health and the status of their oral health. A second exam is done by the technician to also check for potential discomfort or behavior issues, or oral disease that cannot be addressed by this procedure.”

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homeopathic and house call practice, does anesthesia-free dentistry at her monthly clinic. She says is very pleased with the improved dental health she sees in her patients and adds there is no difference in the tartar accumulation between dentals, with or without anesthesia.

spend a lot of time working to make the patient calm. Sometimes doctors will choose to try a light sedation to calm the animal. If the animal still cannot be calmed, we will stop and recommend anesthesia. If the animal is uncomfortable, we would not force the procedure. We use gentle, loving handling. We will not force it on a stressed animal.”

“Through this procedure, along with education and the support of other appropriate therapies, including treatment under anesthesia and radiology, we are improving and advancing the oral health of our hospital’s patients,” adds Dr. Borin. “We can keep calculus and plaque controlled and really cut down on the development of periodontal disease. In fact, it’s a tremendous step in the prevention and slowing of periodontal disease. There are many instances where people have had regular anesthesiafree cleanings done for their animals, and have greatly reduced tooth loss due to periodontal disease.”

What are the limitations?

What can be done during this procedure?

During an anesthesia-free dental, Dr. Ramelmeier chunks off big pieces from her patients’ teeth, then puts the scaler up into the gum to get the tartar off. She polishes teeth with no problem, and can even occasionally pull teeth if they are very loose.

Another benefit some veterinarians are seeing is that it’s cutting down on the incidence of advanced periodontal disease. “The intention of this procedure is to perform a dental prophylaxis cleaning to help prevent the development of periodontal disease,” says Dr. Borin. “Supra and sub-gingival scaling is performed on all tooth surfaces using either a hand scaler or an appropriate powered device followed by a hand instrument (i.e., scaler or curette). The teeth are then polished with a low speed hand piece using prophy dental paste. Next, sub-gingival irrigation is performed to remove all debris.”

How are animals kept calm during the procedure?

Dr. Ramelmeier says that if she feels an animal is too nervous during the procedure, she will give him herbal California poppy or Bach Rescue Remedy. “Our technicians are well trained in how to make the animal comfortable and relaxed,” says Dr. Borin. “They go through a minimum of six months of training before they work unsupervised. They are well trained in animal handling (they become dog/ cat whisperers), and they gain a thorough knowledge of dental anatomy and pathology. The technicians are very patient and


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In cases of severe disease or difficult extractions, anesthesiafree dentistry is not the best choice. In fact, one of the reasons Dr. Malu likes the anesthesia-free dental service that works with her practice is that they will refer to her for antibiotics, extractions, severe periodontal disease, neck lesions and fractures. “The technician may find pathology, such as severe periodontal disease where deep sub-gingival therapy and/or extractions are needed, that the doctor feels cannot be treated by this procedure, and anesthesia may be recommended,” says Dr. Borin. “Anesthesia-free dentistry should be used as an adjunctive therapy to a whole dental program that utilizes anesthesia and dental radiology.” Though it can’t be used for every procedure, anesthesia-free dentistry done by properly trained professionals is becoming more popular for regular cleaning. Because many people feel more comfortable with it, they’re less likely to avoid having their dog’s teeth looked after, and that leads to better overall dental health.

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special needs

for dogs with

By Audi Donamor

If she has a health issue such as arthritis, cancer or diabetes, you need to watch what she eats. This simple plan for home-baked treats can be adapted to accommodate her needs.

We are all different, with our own strengths, needs and health issues. And so are our dogs. It’s not unusual for me to receive a couple of requests a week from people who want recipes for dogs with various common health problems, from cancer to heart disease. If your dog has a health condition, you know you have to be careful what you feed him. But he still deserves treats from time to time. The treats in this article are easy to make – just refer to the chart on page 36 to find your dog’s condition, select from the ingredients specified, then follow the instructions for mixing and baking.


1 Choose four cups of whole flour. You can use one flour or a combination. 2 Choose 1½ cups of filling. Have fun with it. Depending on the flour/s used, additional liquid may be needed.


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3 Choose 2 teaspoons of healing spices. 4 Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. This recipe can also be mixed by hand. 5 Preheat your oven to 325°F. Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, for easy cleanup. 6 Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead well. 7 Roll out and cut the dough into desired shapes using cookie cutters or cut it into squares. You can also take small pieces of dough, roll them out to the thickness of a crayon, and use a sharp knife to cut pieces appropriate to the size of your dog. 8 Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 175°F and bake for 40 more minutes. Turn the oven off and allow biscuits to cool completely before removing. 9 Store in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

ingredients? Want to know more about the

A) Whole flours

Oats: A strength-giving cereal, oats are low in starch and high in mineral content, especially potassium and phosphorus. They also contain calcium, magnesium, B vitamins and iron. Oats offer 20 unique polyphenols called avenanthramides, which have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and even anti-itching properties. Oats support the gastrointestinal system by helping remove toxins from the body. Brown rice: It’s a good source of potassium, protein, iron, thiamine and niacin. Recent research conducted by the Medical College of Georgia reports that whole brown rice helps reduce nerve and blood vessel damage from diabetes. Chia: The word means “strength” and chia seeds are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods. The ancient Aztecs used chia seeds for the relief of joint pain and skin conditions. Chia seeds are gluten-free and a rich source of B vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, protein and zinc. They are packed with antioxidants and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based form of Omega-3. Quinoa: Long recognized as the “mother grain,” quinoa is an amino acid-packed protein seed; it is considered a complete protein, because it contains all nine essential amino acids, including lysine, which is essential to tissue growth and repair. Quinoa is gluten free, low in sugar and starch, and high in fiber and unsaturated fats. It contains vitamin B6, niacin, thiamin, potassium, riboflavin, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, folic acid and vitamin E. Coconut: It contains medium-chain saturated fats, which are transformed into energy and contain special properties that act as anti-inflammatory agents to decrease bacterial growth, irritation and inflammation of the body. Chickpea: The flour is gluten free and a good source of potassium, phosphorus, iron, foliate, copper and magnesium. It also contains unsaturated fatty acids and is high in fiber and protein. Its high protein content does not turn into glucose in the bloodstream, so it’s a great choice for dogs who need to lose weight, are diabetic or have been diagnosed with cancer. Sweet potato: They’re very rich in antioxidants, and are also referred to as an anti-diabetic food because they help stabilize blood sugar levels and lower insulin resistance. Sweet potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties and are soothing to the digestive tract. They contain vitamin A in the form of betacarotene, vitamins C, B6 and E, copper, dietary fiber, iron, manganese and potassium. Continued on page 34. animal wellness


Continued from page 33.

B) Fillings Pumpkin: Often called “medicine in a can”, pumpkin is another very healthy food. It helps strengthen the blood and soothe a sick stomach. It is very rich in fiber and contains many diseasefighting nutrients, including one of the most valuable sources of bioavailable carotenoids, as well as vitamins A, C, E and K, folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Pumpkin is great for both diarrhea and constipation. Applesauce: Apples are another of the world’s healthiest foods. Pectin, the fiber found in apple skins, is fermented in the intestines, producing short-chain fatty acids that help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and support the cells of the intestinal lining, making apples an excellent cancer-fighting whole food, as well as a “support system” for the gastrointestinal tract. Red delicious, northern spy and Ida red apples contain more potent diseasefighting antioxidants than other types of red apple. Blueberries and cranberries: These contain significant levels of resveratrol, a natural compound found to have anti-cancer properties and reported to reduce the risk of heart disease. The berries are packed with antioxidants that come from anthocyanins. They help prevent urinary tract infections because they contain condensed tannins, the compounds responsible for keeping bacteria from attaching to the bladder wall. Broccoli: This phytonutrient-dense member of the cruciferous family is one of the most important cancer-fighting vegetables. It contains at least three cancer-protective biochemicals, including sulforaphane, which supports the immune system. Broccoli contains lots of vitamin C

and beta-carotene, as well as vitamins A and D. It is also a low glycemic vegetable, which means it does not cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. Cooking cruciferous vegetables releases indole, a cancer-fighting enzyme. Carrots: This nutrient-dense root vegetable is related to fennel, parsnips, cumin and dill. Carrots contain pro-vitamin A, vitamins B, C, D, E and K, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, magnesium, manganese, sulphur, copper and iodine. Carrots support the immune system and aid digestion, and are recognized as a glandular tonic, skin cleanser and eye conditioner. Green beans: Referred to as “cardio protective”, they are an excellent source of vitamin A because of their concentration of carotenoids, including betacarotene. Green beans contain vitamins C and K, calcium, copper, fiber, folic acid, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin, thiamin and Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Shiitake mushrooms: They are a rich source of protein and contain vitamins A, B6 and C, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, pantothenic acid, potassium, riboflavin, selenium, thiamin, zinc and dietary fiber. Shiitake mushrooms contain more than 50 enzymes, including pepsin, which aids in digestion. They provide interferon, a protein that appears to induce immune response against cancer and viral diseases. Their eritadenine helps decrease fat and cholesterol in the blood, and their germanium supports cellular oxygenation and the immune response. They offer beta-glucan, a form of natural sugar with powerful immune-boosting and anti-cancer properties.

C) Healing spices Cinnamon: Ancient Chinese herbal references cite cinnamon’s use as early as 2700 BC, when it was recommended for the treatment of nausea, fever and diarrhea. Native American Indians used it for diarrhea and chills, and even to freshen breath. In China, cinnamon is recognized as an energizing herb, for kidney problems and even lung conditions. It is a carminative and is used as a digestive tonic when prepared as a tea. Carob: The pods were used as far back as ancient Egypt, where they were combined with porridge, honey and wax as a remedy for expelling worms.


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Carob is great for calming an upset tummy and helping cure diarrhea. It contains all the principal vitamins and minerals, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, magnesium and iron. Dill: One teaspoon of dill seeds contains calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium (trace amount), zinc, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, amino acids and dietary fiber. Dill also contains carvone, anethofuran and limonene, shown to increase the production of cancer-fighting enzymes known to react with certain types of carcinogenic chemicals and eliminate them Continued on page 36.

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Continued from page 34. from the body. Dill’s oil constituents combine to cause an anti-foaming action in the stomach, making it soothing to the digestive tract. It is a antispasmodic and helps reduce flatulence. It tonifies the liver and pancreas and dissolves uric acid accumulations in cases of kidney and bladder stones. Ginger: It has many healing properties, including its ability to cleanse the colon, reduce spasms and cramps, stimulate circulation and aid metabolism. It has also been used in the treatment of colitis, nausea, gas, indigestion, motion sickness and vomiting. Ginger helps protect the gastric system by supporting digestive enzyme activity. It is recognized as a strong antioxidant and an effective microbial agent for sores and wounds. Oregano: This herb is an excellent source of vitamin K as well as iron, manganese and dietary fiber. It also provides calcium, magnesium, vitamins A and C, and even Omega-3 essential fatty acids. Parsley: It improves digestion and is beneficial to kidney and urinary tract ailments. It contains vitamin C, pro-vitamin A, calcium, chlorophyll, iron and magnesium.

Thyme: This aromatic herb has antioxidant properties, and is well known for being antifungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial. Thyme acts as a carminative and antispasmodic, easing gastrointestinal problems like colitis and an irritable bowel. It also helps expel parasites, especially hookworms. Turmeric: This member of the ginger family contains a mix of phenolics called curcumin. The rhizome is used as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It’s a good choice for liver conditions, inflammatory bowel disease and other gastrointestinal problems. Turmeric is an antimicrobial and anti-carcinogen. It is also used for cardiovascular ailments; it lowers cholesterol levels, inhibits platelet aggregation, interferes with intestinal cholesterol uptake, increases conversion of cholesterol into bile acids, and increases excretion of bile acids. Green tea: The principal flavanol compounds found in green tea are called catechins. The primary compounds include catchin, epicatechin, epicatechin, gallate, epigallocatechin, and eipgallo catechin gallate (EGCG), which is thought to be the primary anti-cancer agent in green tea.

Treat ingredients for common conditions – use organic whenever possible


animal wellness

Health issue

Whole flour


Oats, brown rice, Pumpkin pureé chia, quinoa, coconut


Ginger, turmeric

Healing spices


Chickpea, sweet Fruit and/or potato, oats vegetable mash, including apples, blueberries, broccoli, carrots, green beans, pumpkin, and/or Shiitake mushrooms

Cinnamon, carob, turmeric, green tea


Brown rice, quinoa, oats

Applesauce, green vegetables, pumpkin pureé

Cinnamon, oregano, thyme

Gastrointestinal problems

Oats, chia, coconut

Applesauce, pumpkin pureé

Cinnamon, carob, ginger, turmeric, dill


Brown rice, oats, sweet potato

Broccoli, carrots, green beans, squash, blueberries

Cinnamon, oregano, turmeric, green tea


Brown rice, oats

Green beans, squash, turnips, zucchini, carrots, cranberries

Cinnamon, ginger, parsley


Quinoa, oats, coconut

Shiitake mushrooms, broccoli

Ginger, parsley, turmeric

– nat urally

Odor control By Charlotte Walker

Let’s face it – dogs can smell. But most commercial sprays and air fresheners just mask odor while pumping chemicals into the air. This non-toxic, earth-friendly alternative actually eliminates odor by using an oxidizing process.


ou love your dog, but you don’t always love the way he smells. That odor can permeate the house, but think twice before reaching for the synthetic air fresheners or sprays. Not only do they contain unhealthy toxins, but all they really do is mask the odors, not get rid of them. Know that there are safe, natural alternatives that will actually eliminate those doggy smells without artificial fragrances or eco-harmful chemicals and aerosols. One superior option is Nok Out from OdorTECH of Canada, a company based in Stratford, Ontario and founded in 1999 by Dennis Barnes. The long-time businessman, who worked in the service industry for many years, saw a need for a better odor eliminator. “I secured the distribution rights in Canada for a product called Amazing Nok Out,” he says. The line includes a wide range of products, not just for animals, but also for general, household and commercial use. When Dennis first started out, he had no customers. But now, 15 years later, the products are available in pet stores across the country and can also be ordered online. “Our goal is to provide people with reasonably priced true odor elimination products that work consistently, and are environmentally-friendly as well as user-friendly.”

Nok Out pet products include a versatile, multi-use odor eliminator, a broad spectrum disinfectant and odor eliminator, and even a phosphate-free shampoo. “They are not masking agents or enzymes,” explains Dennis. “Nok Out is an oxidizer. It eliminates odors by oxidizing the bacteria that causes odors at the source.” Dennis adds that the products are non-toxic, non-allergenic and biodegradable, and have no color or odor. Nor will they leave any stains behind; sometimes they can even remove stains. They can be used not only on carpeting and upholstery, but also in litter boxes and crates and on most washable surfaces. They’re effective against skunk odor too. Any shelter volunteer or rescue operator can tell you that odor control in these facilities can be a constant battle; Dennis and his company work with a number of animal rescues, helping them with odor problems and donating products. On the human side, “we work with the London Ice Dawgs, training children from three to seven years old on the proper way to sanitize their hockey equipment and promote clean and safe enjoyment of the sport.” It’s clear that Dennis stands 100% behind these natural and effective odor eliminators. “I really enjoy knowing that when we sell to a customer, that customer is going to be very satisfied with their purchase.”

animal wellness


Photo courtesy of Harness Lead

Photo courtesy of 2 Hounds Design

W ALKING YOUR PACK By Chamois Beal Lopez

Taking two or more dogs for a walk at once is a lot of fun, but it can be difficult and even dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here’s what you need to know before heading out. Linda has three dogs – a Rottweiler, retriever and a feisty border terrier mix. She walks all of them twice a day, at the same time. One afternoon, she found a lost shepherd mix in her office parking lot, and welcomed the stray into her household until she found her a permanent home.


All four dogs adapted relatively well to one another. Then, Linda took them out for their first walk as a pack. Things progressed smoothly until the shepherd mix laid eyes on another passing dog. Suddenly, she lunged at one of her fellow pack mates with shocking aggression. An experienced multi-dog walker, Linda was able to bring the situation under control, but in other hands, it could have been disastrous. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 43 million households have more than one dog. And caring canine parents want to exercise those dogs. When time is at a premium, as it so often is, walking two or more dogs at once seems like a great idea. But it can pose some problems if you’re not prepared. J.D. Antell, dog walking expert and author of The Dog Walker’s Start-up Guide, says that before a multi-dog walking experience, you need to make a plan that includes training, safety and proper equipment.

Training is paramount

Walking several untrained dogs at once can pose a danger not only to you, but to innocent bystanders as well. Training techniques should start as early as possible in a dog’s life. “It’s preferable to walk one dog at a time, particularly in the beginning stages of training, because having more than one dog around can be distracting while teaching,” says Mychelle Blake, a dog training expert and President of the Association of Pet


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Dog Trainers. She adds that training allows you to acclimatize to each dog’s temperament and agility. Although training should be consistent for satisfactory results, it doesn’t need to be elaborate. “Sit” and “stay” commands should be included, and a game called “no pull” can be very useful –if the dog walks forward and causes the leash to tighten, stop until he returns to walk at your side.

Gear for pack walking When you’re walking multiple canines, choose proper collars, harnesses and leashes for each dog’s specific needs and temperament. Collars – Look for sturdy, quality materials, and ensure that collars are neither too tight nor too loose on the dogs’ necks. If you have one or more dogs that insist on pulling, a harness might be a better bet. Do not use choke chains. Harness – Again, durable quality products are safer and more comfortable for the dog. A harness relieves neck pressure and avoids choking dogs with weak windpipes or respiratory problems. Leads – Choose a strong lead approximately 4’ to 6’ feet in length to provide reasonable security for a multi-dog walk. “Do not walk multiple dogs on flexible leads,” Mychelle says. “It’s a recipe for trouble.” Coupler – This nylon extension (designed for multidog walking) divides in two to separate each leash and reduce tangling.

Reconciling differences

A multi-dog walk may include canines of any size, age, personality and activity level. The idea of walking two terriers and a German shepherd together may tempt you to think twice, but these differences shouldn’t deter you. Nevertheless, it’s important to gauge each dog individually, as well as how he relates to the others in his pack. “Age is not so much a factor except when we are talking about puppies versus mature dogs,” says Antell. Puppies are generally more energetic than older dogs and their differences might create an alarming conflict unless the dogs have already adapted comfortably within the same household. “In most cases, you will be able to group dogs together by activity level,” Antell says. For instance, if a couple of dainty Pomeranians are going to walk with a Rottweiler and a Doberman, put the needs of the least physically able dog first. “Assuming they are social and friendly with each other, the specific method is to cater to the least physically capable among the group. Of course, this means the younger or more physically active dogs will not enjoy as active a walk as they might like, but you have not compromised the health of the most vulnerable dog either.”

Safety first

Safety is a top priority when walking multiple dogs, and you must factor in your own capabilities, such as fitness level, vigilance and speed. • Physics play a major role in keeping a pack under control. For example, a 120-pound woman should think twice about walking two 150-pound English mastiffs simultaneously. The weight of the woman compared to the dogs’ combined weight means they could easily drag her off her feet on a wild pursuit after a squirrel or rabbit. In a case like this, it is best to ask a partner or friend to walk one of the dogs. • If any of your dogs become easily agitated or even aggressive, scan the environment continuously during your walk. Go for walks during off-peak hours when there is less traffic or other dog walkers, to minimize your own dogs’ excitability. • “If you feel apprehensive about walking more than one dog at a time, I would suggest recruiting another person to walk with you as a backup,” says Mychelle. It doesn’t matter whether you have two dogs or six. If they’re trained, sociable and well behaved, and if you have the right gear and are keeping everyone’s safety and comfort in mind, it can be a wonderful way for you to step out together. Best of all, no one has to be left at home!

How harnesses can help “If you have dogs who like to pull, jump or lunge, a no pull harness can be very helpful,” says Alisha Navarro of 2 Hounds Design ( “Our harness allows you to connect to the front and back of the dog simultaneously, giving you a balanced connection with him. If you have two dogs pulling or jumping, it’s going to give you better and more balanced control.” “When walking multiple dogs, harnesses are a great choice because they allow the dog to feel more relaxed and comfortable, which is important in reducing anxiety and reactivity, especially in a pack situation,” adds Lisa Flynn of Harness Lead ( animal wellness


To the Rescue Patriot PAWS Service Dogs

– Animal Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code AWA179 to Patriot PAWS.

Location: Rockwall, TX Year established: 2006 Number of staff/volunteers/foster homes: 10 staff members, 140 volunteers, 42 puppy raisers Types of animal they work with: “We place service dogs with disabled veterans, and Labrador retrievers are our breed of choice,” says April Hull. “We acquire them as puppies and begin training immediately. Plans are being discussed to look at using rescue dogs from local shelters who will be evaluated for the ability to make good service dogs with proper training.” Fundraising initiatives: “We provide service dogs to veterans at no charge, and are funded 100% by private donations, so to continue acquiring and training dogs we are continually accepting invitations to do presentations and demonstrations with service dogs. People also organize golf tournaments on our behalf, invite us to car shows, 5K walks, parades, conferences, etc. We apply for grants from private foundations and talk to corporations about payroll deductions and matching gifts from their employees.” Favorite rescue story: “In July of 2011, veteran Richard Heath had a stroke while home alone with his service dog, Wendy. The Labradoodle was able to drag him to his chair in the next room so he could get himself off the floor. Wendy also brought Richard his phone without being told. When she realized his right hand was not working, she offered the phone to his left hand instead, something she had not been trained to do. Richard managed to call his wife for help. He has since mostly recovered from the effects of his stroke and credits Wendy with A well trained service dog can make a huge difference to a saving his life.” disabled veteran’s quality of life.


– Animal Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code AWA108 to BrightHaven.

Top: BrightHaven’s veterinary technician, Blanca Dominguez, gets up close and personal with Gem. Left: The organization’s founder and president, Gail Pope, comforts an ailing feline patient.


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Location: Santa Rosa and Oakland, CA Year established: 1990 Number of staff/volunteers/foster homes: 10 staff, over 50 volunteers, and more than 25 foster homes Types of animal they work with: “We rescue both farm and domestic animals of all breeds, with an emphasis on special needs and elderly animals at high risk for euthanasia,” says Mandy Schramm, Development and HR Director. Fundraising initiatives: “We are currently fundraising for our capital campaign. Our goal is to raise $2 million to purchase the land (ten acres) BrightHaven operates on, hire additional staff, and cover operational expenses including remodeling and upgrades.” Favorite rescue story: “Found as a stray after possibly being hit by a car, Daisy the Miracle Cat was diagnosed with dangerously high liver values, probable head trauma and other injuries. At the beginning of June, she collapsed and lay paralyzed in hospice care for three weeks; we were sure she would soon be leaving us for her next life. But Daisy is made of sterner stuff. Day by day, she grew a little stronger until she started moving her legs and lifting her head. Her vet urged her along with remedies, and she was surrounded with Reiki, until finally she got up and started strutting the house again, with strength, determination, a healthy appetite and a strong spirit.”

Animal Wellness has supported rescue efforts for almost 15 years and is a proud partner of Best Friends Animal Society. This column honors the work of shelters and rescues across North America. For their full stories, visit

Canine Assisted Therapy (C.A.T.) – Animal Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code AWA168 to Canine Assisted Therapy. Location: Oakland Park, FL Year established: 2009 Number of staff/volunteers/foster homes: 3 staff, 106 volunteers Types of animal they work with: “Over 80% of our therapy dogs are rescues,” says Courtney Trzcinski, Volunteer Coordinator. “Some are retired service dogs.” Fundraising initiatives: “We are fundraising to create curricula for incorporating therapy dogs into schools and other programs working with children with autism spectrum disorder. We also do general fundraising to help recruit new volunteer therapy teams.” Favorite rescue story: “Shoshana Rappaport and C.A.T. dog Macy were asked to go into a classroom of children on the autism spectrum. The teacher had a profoundly autistic little boy on her lap. She held his hand and helped him gently stroke Macy. Suddenly the teacher exclaimed, “Oh my god! He made eye contact!” In only a couple of minutes of interacting with Macy, this little boy made eye contact with two different people four times, something he had never done before with anyone. As the teacher and boy got up to let Shoshana and Macy go to another classroom, the little boy said, ‘Dog.’ It was the first word he had ever spoken.”


A C.A.T. therapy dog wins a big smile from a patient at the Ann Storck Center in Fort Lauderdale.

– Animal Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code AWA176 to GROWL.

Left: Jet was found wandering the runways of an airport, starving and shot. Now healthy and happy, he lives in Bayonne with his new forever family.

Location: No physical shelter; animals are fostered in private homes until adopted into forever homes, most of which are in NJ, NY, PA and CT. Year established: 2007 Number of staff/volunteers/foster homes: 5 volunteers, 3 to 5 foster homes at a time Types of animal they work with: Special needs and senior dogs Fundraising initiatives: “Senior dogs require a lot of medical attention so we are always doing fundraisers for expenses,” says founder Dawn Pennington. “We are also hoping in the near future to have an actual facility in which we can house more sanctuary and long term animals.” Favorite rescue story: “Britt is my first rescue, and my personal dog. He was rescued from South Carolina in 2000 and is now almost 18 years old.” Another amazing success story involves a dog name Jet. “He was rescued from the runways of Newark airport. He had been shot and was dragging a chain and a huge collar. He was emaciated, and bullet fragments were lodged in the rear of his body.” With lots of care and love, Jet recovered from the abuse and now has a loving forever home in Bayonne.

Right: Britt is Dawn’s first rescue, and is now 18 years old. animal wellness


The incidence of dog theft is rising, but you don’t have to become a victim. Take steps to protect your pooch, and know what to do if he ever does get taken.


STOLE my dog! By Tricia O’Malley

You open the back door to call your dog in, but he’s not there. Your heart pounding, you dash out to discover the gate gaping open, the latch and lock broken. With rising horror, you realize someone has entered your yard and stolen your best friend. Unfortunately, dog theft happens all the time. It happened to us once. A man snuck between the fences that separate our house from our neighbor’s, jumped onto our deck, grabbed our dog and shoved him in a waiting car. By a lucky chance, our neighbor was upstairs in her reading nook and saw it all happen.

Sound the alarm If you know your dog has definitely been stolen, use the clues you have gathered and get the word out quickly. Start with the police. Use Facebook and contact your local lost dogs website, Humane Society, Animal Control and other animal organizations. Their reach is far larger than yours. Create flyers – they reach far more people than you may realize. Not everyone is online. In fact, the majority of stolen dog cases are resolved through someone responding to a posted flyer.

Look at what’s been going on in your life For many of us, our dogs are like our children. When something like this occurs, it can drop you to your knees. Your first impulse is to panic, and because it’s so hard to think clearly, you may have no idea what to do or where to turn. Since our own dog was stolen – and later safely recovered, thankfully – I’ve become involved in stolen dog cases across the nation. Because of this, I have learned some helpful suggestions on how to handle a stolen dog situation.

Make sure your dog really has been stolen It may seem I’m stating the obvious, but it is vitally important that you make absolutely sure your dog was actually stolen. There is a huge difference between a “lost dog running scared” and a “victim of dog theft”. Look for clues, ask potential witnesses, and comb the surrounding area. Does it look like his leash was clipped? Is there a hole in your fence? Are there neighboring buildings with outdoor cameras that you can ask to check? Stay calm and gather as much information as you can.


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Are you going through a divorce? Do you have rough relations with your neighbors? Consider any uncomfortable situations you have been in lately and ask the tough questions – would someone you know steal your dog? Ask first. Now is not the time for making accusations.

Flyer some more As you can tell, I’m very serious when I say “post flyers”. Print hundreds. Buy a ton of tape. Painter’s tape and masking tape is much cheaper than shipping tape and holds up fairly well, but shipping/packing tape is the strongest. Get help posting the flyers.

Create a social media campaign Create a Facebook page specifically for help in saving your dog. Get support and thank people publicly on the Facebook page. If a company posts your stolen dog flyer, thank them. Create a jpeg (photo) and a PDF of your flyer. A PDF can be emailed to people and quickly printed. A jpeg is easy to share on social media. Talk about your emotions. Are you scared? Say so. You goal is to get people emotionally invested.

Don’t give up Persistence often pays off, so don’t give in to despair if your dog hasn’t been recovered in a few days. Continue getting the word out, put up more flyers, keep your Facebook page active, etc.

Preventing theft While dog theft is increasing, there are lots of things you can do to keep your own canine safe. An ounce of prevention makes all the difference. • Watch your dog. Keep an eye on him when he’s in your backyard. Theft can happen in the strangest ways. What if a passerby peeks over your fence and takes a shine to your dog? Perhaps someone saw you walking him and shadowed you home because he thinks your dog would make a nice gift for his girlfriend. You don’t want to become paranoid, but you need to be alert and aware. • Don’t tie your dog up outside a store. It may be fun to take your dog along when you’re walking downtown to run some errands. But don’t do it. A friend of mine came out of a Walgreen’s recently to see someone untying her dog from a post. Her boyfriend stopped the would-be thief, but if they’d been a few seconds more, it might have been too late. • Carry mace or pepper spray with you. I was recently involved in a stolen dog case in which a woman was jumped for her

The majority of stolen dog cases are resolved through someone responding to a posted flyer. four-month-old pit bull. She was attacked by two men and thrown to the ground, and her puppy shoved in a car. He was recovered a month later. Avoid walking in isolated or poorly-lit areas and be prepared to protect yourself. • Use a tie out, even in a fenced yard. If you are out with your dog in the backyard, and you have to go inside for a few minutes, either take him in with you, or use a tie out. I know this seems to defeat the purpose of having a fenced yard, but it can be one more deterrent to someone who comes over your fence and tries to grab your dog. Just don’t leave your dog tied up for more than a few minutes without supervision. Okay, now breathe. I know this all sounds scary, but it doesn’t mean you should keep your dog in a bubble and not live your life. Just take precautions and be aware of your surroundings. Dog theft can and does happen, but you can do a lot to discourage it.

animal wellness




s n i w my t r a e h

By Jody Smith

I never planned to have a dog. I’ve had cats most of my life, and always thought I preferred their self-contained demeanor. Cats don’t need much. Dogs, on the other hand, can be extremely needy. My familiarity with dogs was limited to a few canines that belonged to neighbors. So when my son and his girlfriend brought their new canine family member to visit, I was nervous and ready to jump out of her path. Would she bite, or chew my shoes? Would she make a mess in my living room? Would she smell…like a dog? My nervousness was increased by the dog’s size. Whitney was big – at least she looked so to me, since I was used to eightpound cats. Her age was estimated to be around four years.


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We don’t know what breeds are part of her heritage. We have guessed Lab, German shepherd and Doberman. But we’re not really sure. Whitney was adopted from the Humane Society. She’d been sighted running around in a fast food restaurant parking lot. Something was wrong with one of her back legs. An employee called the Humane Society and the injured dog was picked up. Her left back leg couldn’t be saved, and had to be amputated. My son and his girlfriend were at the Humane Society a few weeks later, interested in fostering a dog. This three-legged underdog seemed the perfect target for their compassionate hearts. Employees at the Humane Society had named her

Whitney, in honor of Whitney Houston who passed away the day the new dog was brought in.

Purica’s Recovery Corner

Whitney gradually won me over. As I said, I was used to the aloof independence and indifference of my cats. I was completely unprepared for the affection and attention that a rescued dog can offer. Over the summer, my son and his girlfriend came often, bringing Whitney. As I realized later, this frequency of visits was due to more than family togetherness. It also had a great deal to do with the fact that this dog could not be left alone. Ever. She was affectionate but docile, which my son and his girlfriend belatedly realized may have had more to do with her pain meds than her temperament. As she recuperated after her surgery, her robust vitality and excellent voice returned. She terrorized their three cats with her friendly outbursts, and crowded the Sheltie who shared her food bowl. And then there was her separation anxiety. After a few months, the out-of-control panic and shrilling proved too much for my son and his girlfriend, and for their other animals. They tried a number of things to try to deal with it, but her grief was unending and over the top whenever they had to leave her alone.

Does he have osteochondrosis? By Eryn Kirkwood If you have a large or giant breed puppy, osteochondrosis (OCD) is something you should know about. It’s a painful condition in which the supply of blood and nutrients to a bone is interrupted, causing the cartilage to become weak and susceptible to damage. The result is an overgrowth of cartilage that can break off into the joint space and cause malnourished cells, inflammation, and degenerative joint disease. In most cases, arthritis will develop. Genetic predisposition is a key indicator of OCD. Larger breed pups prone to growth spurts are at greater risk. To help prevent it:

Faced with the possibility that Whitney could wind up back at the Humane Society and given to someone else yet again, my husband, our younger son and I put our heads together. Our youngest had formed a bond with Whitney after spending considerable time doggy-sitting so she wouldn’t be alone when his big brother needed to go out.

• Encourage reasonable exercise without roughhousing or excessive running; early joint trauma increases the risk of OCD. • Ensure your pup maintains a healthy weight; don’t over-feed or give him high-calorie commercial foods.

It seemed wrong that a dog who had been so traumatized, and had lost her original family, should be sent away simply because she loved too much, missed her people too much. And after all...she was family now.

1 Restrict his exercise to shorter walks throughout the day. This

So we took her in. And she took us in as well.

If your vet has already diagnosed osteochondrosis, here’s how to minimize your dog’s discomfort.

will keep his joints mobile without overloading them.

2 Feed him a quality diet to ensure proper weight management and reduce inflammation.

3 A continuous supply of fresh pure water prevents dehydration and helps flush out toxins.

Recovery SA is a natural plant-based product for reducing chronic pain and inflammation. The active ingredient is Nutricol, a blend of plant compounds recognized for their anti-inflammatory effects. Recovery SA helps manage OCD by improving circulation and increasing cell stability, thereby speeding repair and inhibiting further degeneration.

Eryn Kirkwood is a freelance writer and editor residing in Ottawa, Canada. As an animal lover and health and wellness aficionado, Eryn publishes humorous and informative articles across a breadth of topics.

animal wellness


Zoonoses are diseases transmitted from animals to humans, or vice versa. There are more than you might think, but don’t panic – taking the right precautions can keep you both healthy.



SICK? By W. Jean Dodds, DVM


any of us assume that because dogs and people are different species, diseases can’t spread from one to the other. But the fact is, about 60% of the nearly 1,500 diseases recognized in humans are classified as having zoonotic potential, meaning they can be transmitted between species (not just canines), while about 75% of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic. But don’t get overly alarmed! Most of these zoonoses are rarely seen. In this article, we’ll just focus on the more common diseases that can be passed from dogs to people.

8 common zoonoses


Giardiasis This ubiquitous parasite is a leading cause of acute and chronic diarrhea in humans and dogs. It is often acquired from contaminated water and sewage. It can be transmitted from dogs to humans and vice versa. In dogs, it causes diarrhea that can be short-lived or long lasting, and can wax and wane.


Leptospirosis This is the most widespread zoonosis in the world. The source of infection in humans is usually direct or indirect contact with the urine of an infected animal. The incidence is significantly higher in countries with warm climates, and seasons of hot, humid weather. Leptospirosis infects domestic animals as well as livestock and wild or feral animals. The usual portal of entry is through abrasions or


animal wellness

cuts in the skin, via the conjunctiva of the eye; it can also be contracted through prolonged immersion in water. The disease causes chronic kidney infection in maintenance hosts. Infection in nature is endemic and transferred from animal to animal by direct contact. The most important maintenance hosts are small mammals, which may transfer infection to farm animals, dogs and humans. Humans are accidental (incidental) hosts and become infected by indirect or direct contact with a maintenance host, which can include dogs.


Lyme disease Caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a spirochete bacterium, Lyme disease is transmitted by a bite from an infected deer tick. It occurs in humans and dogs and occasionally in other domestic animals. Many wild animals and birds become sub-clinically infected and serve as reservoirs for deer tick infection. Lyme disease is now the most common arthropod-borne disease of humans in North America, and one of the most common in dogs. In contrast to the severe systemic illness it causes in humans, Lyme disease causes acute or sub-acute arthritis in dogs. Some have speculated that transmission to people can occur through the saliva or urine of infected dogs, but the organisms are rarely found in kidneys, and deteriorate quickly in urine and saliva. Thus, the chance of zoonotic infection is minimal.




Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) Although MRSA is a bacterial disease in people, it can also be found on the skin, nose and throat of some dogs, and can be passed quite easily to a person via a scratch, bite or other lesion. Fortunately, only some dogs harbor this organism. Rabies This fatal viral disease is usually transmitted through the saliva and bite of a rabid animal. Rabies virus infects the central nervous system, ultimately causing brain disease and death. Transmission can occasionally occur via other routes: contamination of mucous membranes (i.e., eyes, nose, mouth), wounds, aerosol transmission, corneal and organ transplants, and even between infected and non-infected people. The majority of reported rabies cases in the wild occur in raccoons, skunks, coyotes, bats and foxes. Ringworm This fungal disease appears as a circular rash on the skin or scalp. It can be wet or dry, scaly or crusty, and may be itchy. Ringworm is passed from dogs to humans by physical contact with the infected area.

What about West Nile virus?

Continued on page 48.

There is no documented evidence of person-toperson, animal-to-animal, or animal-to-person transmission of West Nile virus (WNV), but it’s worth mentioning because it can afflict a wide range of species, including humans and dogs. This mosquito-borne arbovirus causes encephalitis, primarily in humans and horses. It is most often carried by birds, especially crows; dead birds serve as public health surveillance markers for this disease. It is also carried by bats, chipmunks and tree squirrels, as well as a broad range of other potential mammalian hosts such as dogs, cats, deer, coyotes, foxes, opossums, raccoons, skunks, squirrels and rats. Dogs or cats may be infected with WNV after ingesting or coming into contact with an infected bird or small mammal. Signs include encephalitis, polyarthritis and myocarditis.




Creating a Fresh Whole Foods Diet for Your Dog’s Optimum Health! Special Cancer Formulation available •

A percentage of the proceeds from all Canine Life products is donated to The Smiling Blue Skies ® Cancer Fund.

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Continued from page 47. Diagnosis is confirmed with a Woods lamp, which fluorecses a bright apple green if ringworm is present.


Salmonellosis Caused by salmonella bacteria, this disease commonly afflicts people and animals with gastrointestinal symptoms (fever, abdominal cramps, diarrhea). It’s usually caused by eating contaminated food or by accidentally ingesting contaminated feces of any species. Insects can also pick it up on their feet and bodies and transmit it that way. In dogs, signs can include bloody stool, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy and fever. Keep in mind that salmonella bacteria are everywhere, and most of us and our animals harbor them at once time or another, with no ill effects.



Worms (hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm) Canine hookworms belong to the Ancylostoma family and attach to the bowel wall of infected dogs. They may also infect cats, foxes, and rarely, humans. Despite their small size, hookworms can siphon a large volume of blood and cause serious illness, especially in young dogs. Hookworms infect humans by burrowing through the skin. People are most often infected when lying, sitting or standing in or on moist soil or sand. Lesions appear as red lines under the skin and can break open on the skin’s surface. The condition causes severe itching, and usually disappears within several weeks as the larvae die.


Canine roundworms belong to the Ascarid worm family, which can infect dogs, foxes, cats and humans. These worms live and feed in the small intestine. Though all dogs are susceptible, puppies are generally hardest hit by infestations and may become seriously ill. The most common way for a dog to become infected is through his mother. Worm larvae incubating in the female migrate through the body and invade developing fetuses. Puppies are then born with worms already living in their intestines.

Zoonoses that may spread from dogs to humans Some of the diseases that humans (especially the very young or old, or those with immune dysfunction) can potentially catch from dogs include the following. Keep in mind, however, that most are rare.


• Brucellosis

• Lyme disease

• Campylobacteriosis

• Q-fever

• Cryptosporidiosis

• Rabies

• Giardiasis

• Rocky Mountain spotted fever

• Hookworm

• Roundworm

• Leishmaniasis

• Salmonellosis

• Leptospirosis

• Tapeworm (from fleas)

animal wellness

Always practice general cleanliness such as hand-washing with hot soapy water. In addition, larvae may also be passed from an infected mother to her offspring via milk. Roundworms can infect children that ingest the eggs found in soil, dog feces, or other contaminated substances. Once in the body, the eggs can hatch and cause visceral larval migrans, a disease arising from the larvae migrating through the liver, eyes or nervous system. Fortunately, such infections are rare.


Canine tapeworms belong to the Cestode parasite family. As the worms mature in a dog’s intestines, they shed mobile segments that are then passed in the feces and may be seen around the anus, on the dog’s coat, or in bedding. The segments dry out and release their eggs, which are then eaten by flea larvae on the dog or in the environment. Dogs chewing and licking themselves can ingest the fleas, setting up a cycle of re-infection. Human infection is rare and unlikely, however, since an infected flea must be eaten.

How to protect yourself and your dog • Protect yourself when handling any animal suspected to have a zoonotic disease, especially if you work at a vet’s office or shelter; use gloves, a mask and goggles. Always practice general cleanliness such as hand-washing with hot soapy water. Keep pet food and water dishes clean (don’t wash them in the kitchen sink), and thoroughly wash any area contaminated with canine fecal matter, even after it has been cleaned up and disposed of. • Flea control is important for preventing tapeworm infestation. For giardia and other parasites, have routine fecal examinations done on your dog, and de-worm if necessary. • Canine vaccines are available for leptospirosis and Lyme disease (currently, West Nile virus vaccine is only available for horses). If the former two diseases are endemic in your area, ask your veterinarian about these vaccines. Rabies vaccination is currently required by law in most areas. Last but far from least, ensure that you and your dog enjoy healthy lifestyles that will keep your immune systems strong and less susceptible to zoonotic and other diseases. A good diet, plenty of pure water, adequate exercise and rest, regular checkups, and minimal exposure to vaccines, stress and environmental toxins will go a long way towards keeping you both well.

PRODUCT PICKS Simple and nutritious

No more


Smooth floors and older/arthritic dogs aren’t a good combination – until now. Dr. Buzby’s Toe Grips are natural rubber cylinders that slide onto a dog’s nails to prevent slipping and falling. They adhere by friction and use the dog’s natural bio-mechanics to provide traction. Ideal for any hard surface, including wood, tile, linoleum, etc., they improve your dog’s mobility, stability – and confidence. Sizes XS – XXL: $29


dental care

Do you avoid taking your dog or cat in to have his teeth cleaned, because you don’t want him put under? Animal Dental Care provides anesthesia-free dental care in conjunction with over 300 licensed veterinarians across the western US. Their proprietary seven-step cleaning process is performed by qualified dental technicians whose patience, gentleness and compassion make the experience as stress-free as possible. Available through participating veterinarians

To stay healthy and active, your dog needs top nutrition – but what if you don’t have time to make his meals? New from Dr. Harvey’s, Oracle offers all the health benefits of a fresh, homemade meal in a simple “just add water” formula. This minimallyprocessed food contains whole raw freeze-dried meats with vegetables, herbs and other vitaminpacked ingredients. Available in grain-free formulas. 3lb – 6lb bags: $48.95 – $103.95

Poop pickup made easy

Responsible dog guardians clean up after their pals while out for a walk, but no one likes the feeling of picking up poop with a thin plastic bag. The Easy Scoop A Poop takes the yuck out of waste cleanup by shielding your hand from even indirect contact with your dog’s poop. Made in the USA, this product is compact and convenient enough to carry in a pocket, or clip to a leash. $14.99 (includes ten refill bags)

animal wellness



Photo courtesy of Petco

pickup products By Sandra Murphy

Amy Burkert, owner of the website, can sympathize. “A few irresponsible people can ruin it for everyone,” she says. “In fact, the most common reason business, attractions, and even city and state parks don’t allow dogs is that their owners don’t pick up after them.” The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates there are 70 million dogs living in 49 million households across the US. That’s a lot of poop in one year! And failing to dispose of dog waste isn’t just irresponsible; it’s also bad for the environment. “Pet waste left on lawns, beaches, trails and sidewalks contains pathogens such as bacteria, parasites and viruses,” says Sarah Rossetto of the City of San Diego. “When not picked up, the waste can get washed down and flow directly into streams, lakes and the ocean, creating harm to human health and the environment. Properly disposing of pet waste prevents pollutants from potentially entering the storm drain system.” The good news is that cleaning up after your dog is a lot easier and, well, less yucky, than it used to be, thank to the growing number of products specifically designed for the job.

SCOOP IT! Even picking up poop with a plastic bag can make the squeamish shudder. And what if there’s a hole in the bag that you didn’t


animal wellness

notice? A well-designed scooper ensures your hands don’t come in contact with your dog’s waste, even through a layer of plastic. The Easy Scoop a Poop is one example. You simply put a bag in the jaws of the scoop, secure the bag to the outside of the scoop, and place it over Sparky’s offering to pick up. Your hands are on the scoop, never the bag, so they remain clean. For the more dexterous, the Catch-a-Poop is just what it sounds like. It’s reminiscent of a butterfly net, with a biodegradable bag in place of the net. When your dog is ready to do the deed, position the bag behind him and catch the waste. No need to bend over or handle the waste – the bag pulls off the handle for easy disposal. Your dog may take some time to get used to this method. ogo Stick

, but she’s not happy when she steps in a pile of poop someone else’s canine has left behind. “Our local park is full of it,” she says. “You really have to watch where you’re walking, and I also have to be careful that my own dog doesn’t get into it. One of these days, I expect to see a sign at the gate saying dogs aren’t allowed anymore.”

Photo courtesy of Po

Katie loves dogs

Photo cour y of Easy Scooptes a Poop

Thanks to all the COOL scoopers and bags on the market, there’s NO excuse for NOT cleaning up after Fido.

Yet another innovative solution that does away with bending over is the PoogoStick. It works by sliding underneath the dog’s waste, and lifting and pushing it into the accompanying pan. You just squeeze the handle, scoop and release.



Ask your city or park to encourage people to clean up after their canines by installing bag dispensers and waste cans for easy disposal. The city of San Diego, for example, provides bag dispensers in parks and also distributes mini-dispensers for leashes.

While a lot of people use plastic bags to pick up their dogs’ waste, many are opting for more eco-friendly options. For example, BioBag products use no polyethylene in the production process and are fully certified as 100% biodegradable by the Biodegradable Products Institute. Petco, meanwhile, has introduced Earth Rated Poop Bags, made with recycled materials (including the packaging). The bags are lightly scented with lavender to mask bad odors, and are extra thick, strong and long so your hands and sleeves don’t make unwanted contact with the waste. They are also leak proof and come in big sizes for larger dogs or backyard cleanups. To make life even simpler, the Poop Bag Club offers a variety of plans for monthly delivery of bags complete with a dispenser. You can choose from a range of bag sizes, or create a custom plan based on the number and size of dogs in your household. One reason some people don’t pick up after their dogs is because they don’t want to carry a bag of poop around. The sturdy Zippity-Poo-Da Portable Poo Pouch solves that problem. It dispenses bags from the lower pocket, while the top compartment holds the used bag. The pouch attaches to the leash so your dog is in charge of transporting his own waste to the trash can.

Taking poop transport to the next level, Angela Bartol designed the Poopie Purse for female dog lovers, and the Doo Doo Duffle for males. These stylish products have a pocket for hand sanitizer, keys and cell phone, another for treats – and in the main compartment, room for spare poop bags. You simply use a liner, pop in the used bag, close the purse or duffle, and no one’s the wiser. They’re washable and available in several styles and colors. Waste cleanup is a part of life when you have a dog, but it doesn’t have to be an unpleasant part. With all the innovative new products out there, there’s sure to be something that will suit you and your dog, and make walks simpler as well as healthier and more fun!

Let’s go shopping! BioBag, Catch-a-Poop, Earth Rated Poop Bags, Easy Scoop a Poop, Poogo Stick, Poop Bag Club, Poopie Purse and Doo Doo Duffle, Zippity-Poo-Da Pouch,

animal wellness


Photos courtesy of Poopie Purse



animal wellness

animal wellness


It’s another great day in

Tugger Town! By Jasmine Cabanaw and Dana Cox



a canine social media STAR with a special ZEST for life.


animal wellness


ove over, Biebs. There’s a new Facebook phenomenon in town. He’s blonde, muscular and his infectious grin is capturing the hearts of thousands of fans every day. Meet Tugger, social media’s newest darling and the star of TuggerTails, the Facebook page that follows the antics of this adventure-loving yellow Lab as he runs, jumps and now dances his way through life. Human mom Brennan Clipp knew early on she was in for something special with Tugger, who got her attention, and subsequently his moniker, from insistently pulling on her pant leg. “Tugger has an energy level that I have never experienced with a dog,” laughs Brennan. “I’ve had Labs my entire life and they were energetic, but on a scale of one to ten, Tugger is a 12. He has so much enthusiasm, and such an adventurous spirit.” Brennan knew she had to channel Tugger’s energy in the right direction. After bringing this cute Lab home, she immediately enrolled him in puppy socialization classes. She took a positive training approach right from the start and quickly discovered that Tugger loved to “work”, especially in agility, and excelled in a variety of sports. Brennan knew she had to share Tugger’s love of life with others so she started a Facebook page, TuggerTails, which now boasts over 400,000 fans and climbing. The page is narrated in Tugger’s voice and almost every morning he greets his fans with a hearty, “Hello TuggerTroopies! It’s a beautiful day in TuggerTown!” The page is filled with amazing photos of Tugger’s daily adventures that showcase his healthy and active lifestyle, as well as his good nature. Tugger gets along well with almost any dog he meets and has several good buddies that he plays with on a weekly basis. This rambunctious pack meets at a dog park, lake, or Tugger’s training center, What a Great Dog. It’s like a little doggy social club. Continued on page 56.



In addition to lots of exercise, natural nutrition is a big part of Tugger’s life. Along with a well-balanced dog food, Tugger receives fish oil, probiotics, and coconut oil, which Brennan believes has cured his allergies. Of course, healthy treats are often used as training awards, and Tugger loves cake from the dog food bakery. Little does he know the “cake” is actually good for him! animal wellness


, which

deal of exercise Tugger gets a great shape, too. in helps get his mom

Tugger loves competing in a variety of sp Tugger, go! orts. Go,

Continued from page 55. When he’s not hanging with his pals, Tugger is engaged in competitive obedience, rally practice, and agility. He is also quite the twinkle toes and does canine freestyle dancing with Brennan. “We’ve been working on our Tugger Two-Step and we’re hoping to compete next year,” she says. While he loves most sports, Tugger’s favorite pastime is swimming. “Whether it’s his cement pond, the ocean, a river, lake, pond, big puddle after the rain or a fountain – if there is water, Tugger wants to be in it,” Brennan explains. And that’s a-okay with his human mom, who loves to spend time with Tugger at the beach. While Tugger certainly succeeds at being the star of his show, sometimes his foster brother, Beau, takes the spotlight. Animal rescue is something that has always been important to Brennan so when Duck Team 6, a local rescue organization, called about


Positive direction

Brennan’s relationship with Tugger is more than just fun and games. Raising a healthy dog takes work. “Tugger has a tremendous amount of drive and if he wasn’t active and didn’t have the training, that energy would most likely come out in an adverse way and he would be destructive,” explains Brennan. “Many people don’t understand that dogs need to have their bodies and minds exercised. Most ‘bad’ behavior happens simply because the dogs don’t have an outlet for all their energy.”


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fostering a Labrador no one else could take, she agreed to try and help. The rescue dog, Beau, was so unresponsive and terrified he wouldn’t even walk. He had to be carried out of his kennel and refused to engage in any human contact. When he arrived at Brennan’s, Beau was terrified and shut down. But Tugger went right to work. The first few days, Tugger sat by Beau’s crate and stayed with him all night. Beau started to come around, began to eat, and within two days, the two dogs were out in the yard playing together. A week later, Beau let Brennan pet him, even giving her some tail wags. It was an incredible time, says Brennan. “Tugger was so patient with Beau; he would sit for hours and bring him toys, share his bones with him and really taught him how to be a trusting dog again.” Thanks to Tugger’s special brand of therapy and Brennan’s positive training methods, Beau is now a healthy, active dog. Brennan is even considering taking her Lab’s skill set to the next level – as a therapy dog for children. The two are already involved with an organization called Patriot Paws Service Dogs (see page 40), where they regularly witness the healing effects canines have on people with post traumatic stress disorder and other disabilities. Helping children just seems a natural next step for this “can-do” team. While Tugger may be an internet sensation, he’s definitely not just another pretty face. He exudes wellness and an attitude people admire in any species. There are even talks of a Tugger children’s book and a Tugger television show. For now, though, we’ll tune into TuggerTails to see what this adventurous, inspiring spirit has in store for us next.

Ballantrae Animal Hospital Margaret Hacking, DVM Stouffville, ON Canada Phone: (905) 640-6809 Website:


Beechmount Animal Hospital Waterloo, ON Canada Phone: (519) 888-6590 Website:


Family Veterinary Center Haydenville, MA USA Phone: (413) 268-8387 Website:

HOLISTIC HEALTHCARE • In home support by RVTs •Senior pets • Special needs • Hospice Santa Rosa, CA, (707) 695-2500

INTEGRATIVE VETS Affordable Holistic Animal Therapies West Hollywood, CA USA Phone: 323-304-2984 Animal Holistic Care Mark Haimann, DVM Floral Park, NY USA Phone: 718-631-1396

Janice DeFonda Can We Talk Fayetteville, NY USA Phone: (315) 329-0116 Email: Website:

Advertise your business in the Wellness Resource Guide 1-866-764-1212

Dr. Autumn Drouin, DVM, ND and Dr. Sasan Haghighat (Hyatt), DVM, CVA North-East Newmarket Veterinary Service Newmarket, ON Canada Phone: (905) 830-1030 Email: Website:

Gail Jewell, DVM Kelowna, BC Canada Phone: (888) 622-8300 Website:

Individualized, Integrative Veterinary Care • Acupuncture • Chiropractic •Conventional Medicine •Therapeutic Nutrition •Traditional Chinese Medicine Guelph, Ontario, Canada (519)836-2782 Harwood Oaks Animal Clinic Bedford, TX USA Phone: 817-354-7676 Website: Hawks Prairie Veterinary Hospital Lacey, WA USA Phone: (360) 459-6556 Email: Website: Holistic Animal Care Stephanie Chalmers, DVM, CVH Santa Rosa, CA USA Phone: (707) 538-4643 Home Vet Weston , CT USA Phone: (203) 222-7979 Website:

ESSEX ANIMAL HOSPITAL • Chiropractic • Aqua-Therapy • Acupuncture • Chinese Herbalist • Alternative Medicine • Holistic consults • Physical Rehab Dr. Janice Huntingford, DVM, CCRT, CVA, CAVCA 355 Talbot St. N. Essex, ON N8M 2W3 (519) 776-7325 |

Horizon Veterinary Services Susan Maier, DVM Simpsonville, KY USA Phone: (502) 722-8231 Email: Website: Integrated Veterinary Clinic Sacramento, CA USA Phone: 916-454-1825

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chiropractic - communicators - holistic healthcare - integrative vets - natural products Reiki therapy - resource directory - schools & wellness education - shelters & rescues

Dr. Shawn Messonnier Paws and Claws Vet Clinic Plano, TX USA Phone: (972) 712-0893 Email: Website:


Alaskan Malamute Mt. Gilead, OH USA Phone: (419) 512-2423 Email:

Steven Marsden, DVM Edmonton Holistic Veterinary Clinic Edmonton, AB Canada Phone: 780-436-4944

Animal Avengers Los Angeles, CA USA Phone: (323) 655-4220 Email: Website:



Boston Terrier Club of America PA USA Phone: (724) 883-4732 Email:

SCHOOLS & WELLNESS EDUCATION NATURAL PRODUCT RETAILERS DERMagic Skin Care for Animals, Inc. Kingston, WA USA Phone: (425) 637-4643 Email: Website:

PetMassage, Ltd. Toledo, OH USA Toll Free: (800) 779-1001 Phone: (419) 475-3539 Email: Website:

Dog Gone Dirt All Natural Dog & Horse Skin Care Products Crescent City, FL USA Phone: (386) 559-3454 Email: Website:

Columbia-Willamette Beagle Rescue Portland, OR USA Phone: (503) 243-4619 Golden Retriever Club of Greater LA Rescue Los Angeles, CA USA Phone: (818) 700-5200 Email: Website:

Greyhound Rescue & Rehabilitation Cross River, NY USA Phone: (914) 763-2221 Email:

Treetops Rocklyn Limited Alliston, ON Canada Toll Free: (866) 919-8733 Phone: (705) 735-6174 Email: Website: Well Animal Institute Brighton, CO USA Phone: (303) 514-0076 Email: Website:

Advertise your business in the Wellness Resource Guide 1-866-764-1212 animal wellness

California Coastal Horse Rescue Ojai, CA USA Phone: (805) 649-1090 Website:

Grey2K USA Somerville, MA USA Toll Free: (866) 2-GREY2K Phone: (617) 666-3526 Email: Website:




New England Brittany Rescue Perkasie, PA USA Phone: (781) 275-0630 Website: Pets & People Homefinders Culver City, CA USA Phone: (310) 398-6683 Email: Website: Golden Retriever Club of Greater LA Rescue Los Angeles, CA USA Phone: (818) 700-5200 Email: Website:

feline WELLNESS Hip, cool and healthy!

5DENTAL steps to




These non-toxic solutions can help

Kitten kindergarten A new phenomenon for socializing and training cats

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5 steps to


HEALTH Keep your kitty’s teeth white and her breath fresh with these simple tips for oral wellness.

By Ann Brightman

“Horace has terrible breath,”

Tammy says of her friendly black-and-white domestic shorthair. “I love to have him cuddle up with me on the bed at night, but if he yawns or comes close to lick my face, I can hardly stand it.”

tooth loss. And since the harmful bacteria in a diseased mouth can spread to other parts of the body via the blood, her heart, kidneys and other organs may eventually be affected. In other words, dental disease that is left untreated may ultimately shorten your cat’s life.

Chances are, Horace has periodontal disease. Bad breath is one of the main signs that a cat’s teeth and gums aren’t in the best of shape. If your cat’s breath is foul, take a look in her mouth. If you see brownish teeth or reddened gums, it’s time for a visit to the vet.

What you can do

Other signs of periodontal issues are difficulty eating, dropping food or failing to chew it properly, drooling or pawing at the mouth. Any or all of these clues mean your cat is in discomfort and needs attention, even if she otherwise seems fine. Remember that cats are good at hiding pain. Ignoring the symptoms of periodontal disease can lead to more serious problems down the road, such as painful abscesses and


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If your cat has existing signs of dental disease, take her to the vet to have her teeth professionally cleaned. It’ll help her feel better, sweeten her breath, and provide you with a good foundation on which to base a treatment program to prevent or minimize further problems. Make sure she gets a dental checkup at least once a year thereafter.

Look at your cat’s diet. If she’s eating poor quality food, make it a priority to switch her to healthier fare. Most cats don’t like change, so you’ll have to take your time and perhaps try a variety of different new foods, but go for the

Other signs of periodontal issues aredifficulty eating, dropping food or failing to chew it properly, drooling or pawing at the mouth. highest quality premium product you can afford. Make sure it contains no harmful additives. Also give her some chunks of raw meat, or raw (not cooked) chicken necks – these will encourage your cat to chew and will help keep her teeth clean.

Toss the commercial cat treats, especially the semi-moist ones that are full of artificial colors and other chemicals. Your kitty may love them, but they’re not good for her. Buy her natural products – freeze-dried or dehydrated treats made from real meat are a good choice. Just make sure the company’s ingredients are domestically sourced. Steer well clear of jerky treats made in China.

See if you can brush your cat’s teeth. Not all kitties will allow this, but if you have a kitten or young cat, make an effort to get her accustomed to having her mouth handled on a regular basis. Start by gently opening her mouth and putting a finger inside, rubbing her teeth and gums. Be calm and patient. If she begins struggling, stop and try again another time. If she accepts the handling, reward her with praise or a healthy treat after each session, so she will learn to associate tooth-brushing with something positive. When brushing a cat’s teeth, be sure to use toothpaste formulated for animals – never use human toothpaste. You can also buy brushes made specifically for animals, or use a rubber finger glove.

If your cat won’t accept brushing (and don’t force it if she won’t), check out the variety of brushless dental products on the market. These gels and sprays can be applied directly in the mouth, or added to water, depending on the company. Again, be sure to buy a quality product such as Leba III ( or VetzLife Oral Care (

Poor diet is a PRIMARY culprit Unfortunately, most cats develop some degree of dental disease by the time they’re around three years of age. One of the main causes is poor diet. Although commercial pet food companies claim that kibble cleans teeth, the opposite is actually true. Poor quality dry food tends to shatter into pieces when the cat bites down on it, so it really doesn’t do much to help abrade plaque from tooth surfaces. Not only that, but softened kibble can get stuck between the teeth, increasing the risk of dental issues.

Preventing or reducing dental problems in your cat isn’t that challenging. The younger your kitty is when you start, the better – but cats of any age can benefit. Remember…a pain-free mouth means better overall health and a happier, more contented kitty.

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feline By Nadia Ali

If money was no object, what would you buy for your kitty? Here’s a fun look at some of the most expensive – and offbeat – feline accessories out there.

Crystal collars

A lot of cat lovers buy fancy collars and charms for their feline friends, but how about collars made with fine cultured pearls or encrusted with precious stones? The designer’s choice is Swarovski crystals, but those in the market for a collar like this are advised to look for tiny crystals – cats can’t function with a heavy weight around their necks, so smaller, lighter collars with elastic inserts to allow for stretch are better. For the ultimate in feline jewellery, Diamond Dogs offers a three-row crystal cat collar for $195.


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Cats love to loll and lie about, and luxurious cat furniture satisfies that need while adding an innovative touch to home décor. For example, the Rondo Cat Stand features a retro style and is elevated to cater to the feline desire to be up high (and to put her up on a pedestal where she belongs!). It has a contemporary look with its simple yet organic design, and is offered in a variety of designs, colors and fabrics. The starting price is $929.



When it comes to cat beds, you need only walk down the aisle of a large pet supply store to see a great selection, but what about those looking for the height of luxury and comfort? Cat beds made in the style of human sofas, chaise longues, four-poster beds and other lavish furnishings are coveted by many well-to-do cat folks. The

Photo courtesy of Petiture

Photo courtesy of Diamond Dogs

But it doesn’t end there. For those who have money to burn, there’s a whole range of high-end cat accessories to choose from. Some are the epitome of luxury, while others are funky, eccentric and even bizarre!

On a

Photo courtesy of Pet-Interiors


e’re a nation of cat lovers. According to the American Pet Products Association, more than 95 million cats make their homes in US households. Most of our spending on all those cats goes to basic needs such as food or vet visits. And many of us like to pamper our kitties with toys, scratching posts and grooming tools.

Photo courtesy of Pet Tree Houses

handcrafted Petiture Sofa, for example, is an elegant kitty sofa that sells for $1,681. Sweet dreams!

When money

grows on trees

High end bathroom

Photo courtesy of Five Pet Place

A limitless budget can yield limitless choices for a cat tree, and they come in a vast array of configurations, sizes and shapes. Most are covered with sisal or carpeting, but how about one that actually looks like a real tree? Priced at $1,299, this model from Pet Tree Houses looks like it was built in an actual tree. It features tree bark, multiple levels for a kitty to sit and sleep on, and realistic-looking “foliage” to help him feel like a true king – or queen – of the jungle.

Just like people, cats prefer a private spot to do their business in. Covered litter boxes are a prime choice for many kitties, but how about this one from Five Pet Place? Designed to look like an upscale piece of furniture, this chic wooden litter cabinet easily blends into surrounding décor, and a choice of colors and finishes are available for the style-conscious. The starting price tag for these pieces is $475.

Did you say

“cat wigs”? Here’s a weird one. Believe it or not, a recent craze for cat wigs has raised its head (no pun intended), especially in Japan. Just when you thought brushing a cat’s soft, natural coat couldn’t be more enjoyable, styling these feline wigs seems to bring out the inner celebrity in some cat people. You can choose from a range of lengths and colors, from brunette to blonde to red, and the wigs are designed to fit snugly on a cat’s head. Prices start at around $60.

We all like to pamper our kitties, though these items may go above and beyond what most of us would choose or are able to invest in. Whether you think they’re cool, or simply over the top, there’s no denying that cats occupy an extra-special place in our hearts, no matter the size of our wallets.

A mouthful of


This precious metal is a symbol of wealth, but would you ever consider gold teeth for your kitty? Dentist Dr. D. Steele did. His cat Sebastian is the proud owner of 14K gold-plated crowns. This purebred black Persian was born with teeth protruding on the outside of his mouth, so Dr. Steele decided that gold-plated crowns would offer an attractive solution. Sebastian is the world’s first cat to have a “gold smile”, but he likely won’t be the last. The estimated cost? About $900 per tooth. feline wellness



ODOR getting you down?

The smell of cat urine can be incredibly strong and stubborn, but these non-toxic solutions can help.


anet has six cats. She loves them all, even though two of the males persist in urinating outside the litter boxes. Janet took them to the vet, but no physical problems were found. She’s now working with an animal behaviorist to resolve the problem, but in the meantime, her only recourse is to regularly scrub the spots the cats use as their bathrooms. “I’ve used every cleaner I can think of, even bleach, but the smell just hangs around,” she says. Janet adds that the three litter boxes sometimes smell too, even though she scoops them daily. “I’m sure people notice it as soon as they walk in the door.”

Why is it so strong?

“Cat urine odor comes from bacteria that forms three or more days after the cat urinates,” say Mark Ventura,


feline wellness

By Charlotte Walker

Product Development Manager for Arm & Hammer ( “If some of the urine is not removed from the litter box, it will eventually collect on the bottom of the tray underneath the litter and form bacteria that emits a very strong odor. If a cat urinates on the floor, the same process can occur, leading to strong bacteria-driven odors.” “Cats [also] have much more concentrated urine than dogs,” veterinarian Dr. Justine Lee writes on her website ( “The normal concentration of urine is based on specific gravity...which measures the density of a liquid.... Normal cat urine specific gravity is greater than 1.040, while a dog’s specific gravity is normally 1.025 to 1.040.... What it boils down to is that dogs have much Continued on page 66.

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Continued from page 64.

Why won’t he use the litter box? Inappropriate urination can have many causes, including physical conditions such as urinary tract disease, kidney failure or diabetes. According to Best Friends Animal Society, even arthritis can prompt a cat to avoid the litter box, since it may be less painful for him or her to eliminate on a flat surface rather than climb in and out of the box. The first step when your cat stops using the litter box is to take him to the veterinarian for a check-up. If he receives a clean bill of health, then the problem is behavioral or emotional. Stress generated by changes within the household, such as renovations, the addition or loss of another cat or human companion, or moving the litter box to another location, can trigger inappropriate urination. If possible, removing or minimizing the stressor can often fix the problem. But if you have no control over the stressor, for example, in the case of grief over the death of a household member, alternative remedies such as flower essences can help. Sometimes, the advice of an animal behaviorist may be needed to resolve the issue.

more dilute urine, which means it is less foul, less concentrated, and less yellow in color than cats’.” Dr. Lee adds that the reason cats have concentrated urine is because they were originally desert animals with little access to water. “They have a very long ‘loop of Henle’, the part of the kidney that results in filtration and concentration,” she explains. “It’s so good at squeezing every last drop of absorbable water out that it makes the urine smell quite foul. Cats absorb a large amount of water from their urine to maintain their hydration, which also explains why you hardly ever see them drink – they’re so effective at concentrating.”

Effective odor removal

There are a lot of products on the market touted to get rid of smells of all kinds, including urine odors, but many of them contain toxic synthetic fragrances that can cause or exacerbate sensitivities in both people and cats. As well, a strong artificial perfume sprayed in or around the litter box may actually make the whole situation worse by driving the cat away from the tray. “One safe, non-toxic way to remove odors from litter boxes is to use natural cat litter deodorizers, a class of products often sprinkled on top of the litter to remove odors,” says Mark. The deodorizer made by Arm & Hammer, for example, contains baking soda. “The baking soda chemically reacts with cat urine malodors such as ammonia, and neutralizes them,” explains Mark. “If the odor is on a carpet or floor, then a pet odor and stain eliminator product that contains hydrogen peroxide would be a good, non-toxic way to remove it,” he adds. “The hydrogen peroxide oxidizes and destroys the odor molecules.” Choose a product that can be used on a variety of surfaces, including carpets, upholstery, linoleum or tile. “When purchasing non-toxic odor removal products, look for references for odor-removing technologies,” advises Mark. Another option for odor elimination is to use an enzyme-based cleaner. The enzymes in these products actually eat and break down the urine, helping to get rid of the smell while they do so. There’s no denying that cat pee has a powerful and persistent smell. But these non-toxic solutions mean you can eliminate the problem without resorting to masking fragrances or other chemicals.


feline wellness

feline wellness


Welcome to

Kitten Kindergarten By Darlene Arden, CABC

If a cat grows up with undesirable traits like unsociability, biting, fear or aggression, it can be very difficult to do anything about them. Here’s a way to prevent these problems from the start, and ensure a happy, sociable, well-adjusted kitty. We’ve all heard about training classes and obedience schools for puppies. But what about kindergarten for kittens? Contrary to popular belief, it’s every bit as important for kittens to be properly socialized and trained as it is for pups. Kitten kindergarten is a concept created less than ten years ago by Dr. Kersti Seksel, an Australian veterinary behaviorist. The idea soon spread and caught on, and now numerous Humane Societies, SPCAs, veterinary clinics and animal behaviorists across North America offer variations of this training, socialization and education program for kittens and their adopters.

What you and your kitten will learn Kitten kindergarten is for kittens aged eight to 15 weeks, when they are most impressionable


feline wellness

and open to teaching, training and bonding. Before starting classes, your kitten must be veterinarian checked, have a health certificate, and have received his first set of kitten vaccines. Kitten kindergarten allows young cats to interact and play with people and other kittens in a social setting. Assorted toys and scratching posts are part of the class setting, and there may also be games to help teach kittens correct social and play behavior. This is important, especially for kittens who were removed from their mother and littermates too soon, and never had the opportunity to learn the oh-so-important lesson of bite inhibition. Kitten kindergarten helps teach other positive behaviors and thereby eliminate potential problems later on. You can learn to shape

Photo courtesy of Steve Dale’s Kitty-K

Cats like company too

Many people think cats are independent and aloof. This misconception arose because they are solitary hunters. But that’s the only time cats are solitary by preference. Just like people and dogs, cats want companionship. How else would you explain why your cat is on top of your newspaper when you’re reading, or walking across your keyboard when you’re at the computer? Or sleeping on top of you? He’s seeking your attention because you are part of his “clowder” (the word for a group of cats). Even feral cats form colonies.

Kitten kindergarten allows young cats to socialize, play and learn together.

Family members are encouraged to attend but if there are children under seven, they must be supervised by a second adult so the first adult is free to work with the kitten. Photos courtesy of Steve Dale’s Kitty-K

behavior with clicker training, an excellent and easy way to train a cat. Since the classes generally take place over a period of weeks, they help acclimatize kittens to carriers and car travel. Facility staff or other experts are on hand to answer your questions about kitten care, including diet, grooming, training, play and behavior. Classes held at a veterinary office are a great way to help get kittens accustomed to the clinic environment, exam table and equipment, and being handled by strangers, so these things aren’t so stressful to them when they grow up. Like any other “school” experience, you’ll need supplies. In this case, a cat harness and leash, a brush, and a carrier for safely transporting your kitten to classes. Before the kindergarten starts, you may receive a preliminary handout on how to acclimatize your kitten to his carrier. The facility hosting the kitten kindergarten will provide litter boxes and scoops so kittens who feel the need can relieve themselves. (Kittens should not be fed within four hours of class.) Brushes won’t be shared so be sure to remember to bring your kitten’s own brush to class. Grooming is another kitten essential. It not only serves a practical purpose but is also a wonderful opportunity for bonding with your kitten.

Two young graduates proudly display their certificate.

Interaction and training are part of the cirriculum.

If there is no kitten kindergarten in your area, ask your veterinarian or a local shelter if they’d be interested in starting one up. Not only is it fun for both kittens and people, it’s a wonderful way to get your new friend trained and socialized, and on the way to a happy and balanced life.

Class is in session!

Lots of facilities offer kitten kindergarten classes. Here’s just a sampling. Animal Humane Society, Animal Medical Center, Atlanta Humane Society, Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS, Heart 2 Heart Veterinary Hospital, Maryland SPCA, San Francisco SPCA, Steve Dale’s Kitty-K, Westgate Pet Clinic,

feline wellness


How do dogs

RECOGNIZE other dogs? By Eleanore Griffin

Louise’s daughter asked her an interesting question one

A new study reveals that canines use both VISUAL and COGNITIVE cues to identify others of their species, no matter how different the breed.

day while they were walking their dog. The friendly golden retriever had just stopped to say hello to a passing pug. “How does Kiefer know that’s another dog?” the little girl asked.

Dr. Dominique Autier-Derian of the National Veterinary School in Lyons, France, dog breeds show the largest morphological variety of any animal species, which means visual recognition represents a true cognitive challenge for individual canines.

It’s a good question, especially when you consider the huge physical diversity of different breeds. According to veterinarian

For example, compare a great Dane, mastiff, Chihuahua and an Irish wolfhound. Given the huge differences between these


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breeds in size and shape, not to mention coat type, color and muzzle length, they don’t look like they’re even from the same species. Unlike wolves, foxes or other wild canines, domestic dogs present a huge phenotypic diversity. With so much variation in size, shape and appearance, how do dogs know when they’re interacting with other dogs? In any social interaction, dogs need to first determine whether the other animal belongs to his own species. This can be done by smell, sight and hearing, but it can also involve cognitive processes such as discrimination and categorization. In a recent innovative study, Dr. Autier-Derian found that, using visual cues alone, dogs are able to pick out the faces of other dogs (regardless of breed) from other animal species, and group them into a category of their own. Nine adult dogs (five females and four males owned by students at the National Veterinary School) took part in this study. Two of the nine dogs were purebred (one a Labrador, one a border collie), and seven were cross breeds. None had the same morphotype in terms of form, color, marking, hair length and ear type, whether upright or drooping. All the dogs were between two and five years of age, had extensive prior experience of visual interspecific and intraspecific interactions, and basic obedience training. They also underwent ophthalmological and behavioral examinations.

How the study worked Dr. Autier-Derian and her fellow researchers wanted to observe whether the nine dogs could discriminate any breed of dog from other species of animal, including humans, and whether they could group all dogs together, regardless of breed, into a single category. The dogs were shown 144 pairs of colored digital head pictures depicting various dogs, animals and humans. The images were displayed on a pair of computer screens at animal wellness


“Dogs display a very efficient visual communication system toward conspecifics [same species], and also to human beings.” the dogs’ own eye level. Each image pair included the face of an unfamiliar dog, and the face of an animal of a different species, including humans. The dog images encompassed many purebreds and mixed breeds and were picked to illustrate the wide variability of canine morphotypes, with different head shapes, hair length, color, and ear positions. The non-dog photos included people as well as 40 different species of both domestic and wild cats, rabbits and birds. The dogs were trained to sit in front of an experimenter, on a line between the two screens. Upon hearing a command, each dog would make a selection between the two images in front of him by going to one of the screens and putting his paw in front of the chosen image.

Compelling results All nine dogs in the study were able to group all the dog images, regardless of breed, into the same category. According to Dr. Autier-Derian, these results show that dogs do form a visual category of other dog faces, and that they group pictures of very different dogs into a single category despite the diversity of breeds. “Dogs display a very efficient visual communication system toward conspecifics [same species], and also to human beings,” she says. “The fact that they are able to recognize their own species visually, and that they have great olfactory discriminative capacities, ensures that social behavior and mating between different breeds is still potentially possible. Although humans have stretched the canis familiaris species to its morphological limits, its biological entity has been preserved.” We already know that dogs are smarter than most people think, but this study demonstrates they’re even more intelligent when it comes to knowing how to recognize their own species, whether it’s a toy poodle or a great Pyrenees.


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Top: The nine dogs from the National Veterinary School study take a break in the fresh air. Bottom: Between sessions, the dogs were given social interaction time.

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pearly whites Brush his

By Janice Huntingford, DVM


ost people know that bad breath in dogs is very common. What they may not know is that it’s often a sign of dental disease. The fact is, 85% of all dogs have periodontal disease by the age of just two years!

Periodontal disease starts with plaque accumulating on the teeth. If the plaque is not removed, it hardens into tartar. Accumulations of tartar lead to swollen and sensitive gums and gingivitis. By this time, the dog has advanced dental disease. This isn’t just a cosmetic issue – it can have negative effects on many internal organs. Scientific evidence has shown that bad teeth can cause heart, lung, and even kidney disease. Poor dental care can actually shorten a dog’s life. The speed with which dental disease progresses depends on the breed of dog and his diet. Smaller breeds seem to have more dental problems earlier in life than larger breeds. When I was in veterinary school many years ago, we were taught that dogs and cats should be fed dry food to help remove tartar from their teeth. In general, this is not true. The Veterinary Dental Society states that dogs eating dry food do not have better dental health than those fed exclusively canned food. Just as with humans, daily home dental care for dogs can prevent the development of periodontal disease, control plaque development and maintain fresh breath.

Where do you start?

Brushing your dog’s teeth can be a challenging task, but this step-by-step guide helps make it easier.


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Look into your dog’s mouth and determine if he already has periodontal disease. Look for swollen red gums, pus along the gum line, cracked teeth or a foul odor. If you find any of these things, he needs a trip to the veterinarian to determine if a professional dental cleaning is needed, before you start home dental care. Beginning dental care at home if your dog already has a problem can worsen the condition and be painful to the dog. This could make him reluctant to allow you to brush his teeth in future. If everything is fine with your dog’s teeth, then you can start a daily brushing routine.

Brushing your dog’s teeth every day is important because plaque can form on a clean tooth surface within hours, and can mineralize to tartar in a few days. Brushing removes plaque before it has a chance to become tartar. You can use daily tooth brushing sessions as an opportunity to spend more time with your dog.

5 steps to successful brushing

  

Start slowly. Ideally, you should start brushing a dog’s teeth when he is a puppy, between eight and 12 weeks of age. If you start early, he’ll be used to it by the time his permanent teeth come in. You can also start with an older dog, but it will take longer for him to accept the brushing. It is important that you try to make it a positive experience. Do not over-restrain your dog. Make the sessions short and rewarding. It is important that your dog learns to see the brushing as a pleasant experience. If your dog is small, hold him/her in your lap and praise and reassure him throughout the procedure. Get your dog used to having his mouth touched. Lift the lips, put your fingers in the mouth and rub the teeth with

your fingers. Do this daily, in short sessions, at the same time every day so your dog comes to expect this extra attention. Once he likes the idea of your fingers in his mouth and playing with his teeth, you can introduce some toothpaste. Use toothpaste made for dogs. Human toothpaste foams up and can give your dog an upset stomach. Initially, put the toothpaste on your finger and rub it on the dog’s teeth. Gently rub the teeth with a circular motion. Start with the front teeth and work towards the back. Keep this session short and repeat on a daily basis until your dog is used to his “tooth rubs” and accepts them without complaint. Next, introduce a soft bristled tooth brush designed for animals, or graduate to a finger brush. Be careful not to brush too hard. It is normal for dogs to want to chew on the tooth brush. Brush in circles and from side to side. It’s the action of bristles on the teeth that removes the plaque. Focus on the gum line, as this is where plaque tends to accumulate.

Dental homecare for your dog means some extra work, but the more you can do, the healthier he will be – and the fewer professional cleanings he will need.

What else can you do? In addition to brushing, there are a couple of other things you can do to improve your dog’s oral health. • Dogs fed raw diets actually have the best teeth. Dogs that have one to two raw bones weekly have better teeth than those who only eat commercial kibble. Large beef bones can be used with larger dogs but you do run the risk of breaking teeth. These bones can be given frozen to the dog and taken away after about an hour. I recommend feeding them outside as they do make a mess. • Oral rinses and mouth sprays are available for dogs. These can be used in addition to brushing. Be careful when purchasing these products, however, as some contain xylitol or alcohol, which are toxic to your dog. There are some natural herbal remedies that can be used for periodontal disease as well. They help with gum infections and are made to be used as part of a complete oral hygiene program.

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What a


This entrepreneurial family has a for producing healthy, dog treats made from ingredients sourced right here at home.



been a lot in the media lately about dicey dog treats made in China, and how they’re making some animals sick. The good news is that there are companies using natural, domestically-sourced ingredients to create wholesome choices. Joe and Margot Crump, founders of The Crump Group, produce meat and sweet potato dog treats, made from North American ingredients. The entrepreneurial couple purchased the company in 2006. At the time, it was a very small business, which meant they started out with very little. “What we did have was lots of energy and enthusiasm and a two-car garage for production,” says Joe. “The first few years were a bit scary, but also exciting.” Since those days, Crumps has moved twice, and the family-run company, now situated in Brampton, Ontario, is selling its products to specialty pet retailers all over North America. The Crumps’ Naturals line of treats includes a range of healthy goodies designed to appeal to all canine tastes. They’re made from simple, wholesome ingredients sourced in North America, and contain no coloring, preservatives or additives. The company’s Traditional Liver Fillets, for example, are made from Canadian federally-inspected liver. And forget about commercial rawhide – Crumps’ Sweet Potato Rawhide is a safe, healthy, digestible alternative made from Ontario sweet potatoes. If your dog prefers a softer snack, Beef Tendersticks contain only pure beef.


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“Each and every new product is tirelessly scrutinized in three areas,” explains Joe. “One is palatability and the second is ingredients. The ingredients must be kept to a minimum and sourced in North America. In fact, our most complex product to date only has three ingredients. Thirdly, the product has to fit into our healthy, all-natural set.” Family is very important to Joe and Margot, and it’s reflected in their lives both at work and at home. The couple, who live in Caledon, Ontario, have four teenage children, and also share their lives with two companion animals – Alice, a twoyear-old Labradoodle, and Cuddles, a three-year-old calico cat. Employees are also treated like family. “Our greatest asset is our people,” says Joe. “Every team member in the company cares about the entire process – from producing a quality product to communicating with customers. We maintain a very open culture where all input is valued and everyone has a voice. Everyone in management is often out on the floor working with staff, and more importantly, listening. “With a number of food safety issues surfacing in the market, we have dedicated numerous resources, time and training in an effort to become a globally recognized ‘food safe’ manufacturer,” concludes Joe. “In fact, our current manufacturing facility has been completely retrofitted with food safety in mind, and we recently received our Global Food Safety Certification.” Tasty treats that are healthy and safe – now that’s a great combination.

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and your dog Learn how





and what CAN DO

about it. By Noa Martinsen and Julie Casper, LAc


t’s a fact that our air, soil, water and food are contaminated with manmade toxins that have a negative impact on our health – and on our dogs’. Indeed, our canine companions are on the frontline in the battle against environmental toxicity, because their bodies absorb higher levels of contamination than ours do. In the first study of its kind, the Environmental Working Group found that American companion animals are polluted with higher levels of many of the same synthetic industrial chemicals that researchers have recently found in people, including newborns. The research results show that our dogs are serving as involuntary sentinels of the widespread chemical contamination that scientists increasingly link to a growing array of health problems across a wide range of animals – wild, domesticated and human. “Like humans, pets are also exposed to toxic chemicals on a daily basis, and as this investigation found, are contaminated at higher levels,” says Jane Houlihan, vice president for research at the Environmental Working Group. “The presence of chemicals in dogs and cats sounds a cautionary warning for the present and future health of children as well. This study demonstrating the chemical body burden of dogs and cats is a wake-up call for stronger safety standards from industrial chemical exposures that will protect all members of our families, including our pets.”


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Heavy metals are major culprits Some of the most physically and neurologically damaging toxins are the metals: aluminum, lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. They contribute to everything from tooth problems and bad breath, to worsening allergies and skin diseases, and serious life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, arthritis, kidney failure, congestive heart disease, liver diseases and diabetes. They damage the immune system, reducing defenses against infections as well as bacterial, viral and fungal diseases. Toxic metals are abundant in the environment. Canine toxicity results from exposure to a multitude of industrial and common household chemicals coming from coal smoke, metal smelting, mining, exhaust fumes, landfills, chemicals, fertilizers, pharmaceutical drugs, vaccines, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, even house dust and drinking water – just to name a few. The excessive production and use of heavy metals in our environment can cause acute cases of heavy metal poisoning in dogs, but this article is not about that. Instead, we’re focusing on the health impacts of persistent exposure to low levels of heavy metals, because nearly all dogs are victims of this insidious type of exposure.

Lead Aluminum powder

Liquid mercury

The most common heavy metals causing health problems for dogs are directly toxic to cells, meaning their presence in the body is always negative. They also compete with nutritional minerals in the body. An interesting phenomenon occurs when the proper nutritional minerals are not available in adequate amounts: the body will actually substitute them with toxic metals (minerals). If levels of toxic metals are too high in the body’s soft tissues, they will displace vital nutrient minerals, leading to cellular dysfunction, disease and death.

Toxicovigilance explained Toxicovigilance is the active process of identifying and evaluating toxic risks, based on an in-depth medical assessment of acute

Heavy metals and dental health The bones and teeth are storage areas for calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. When there is a deficiency of these minerals in the body, it extracts them from these storage sites and distributes them elsewhere via the blood. Both the calcium to phosphorus and calcium to magnesium ratios are important for overall bodily health, and not just the bones, teeth and gums. Toxic heavy metals can interfere with the absorption and retention of these important minerals. For example, lead can displace calcium and antagonize magnesium. With chronic exposure, tissue levels of heavy metals will often become elevated. Lead and cadmium are attracted to bone tissue, so eventually these metals will be sequestered into bones and teeth. Over time, as bone turnover occurs, lead and cadmium will be released back into circulation. Heavy metals and other toxins can also cause inflammation of the soft tissues, leading to gum disease.

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or chronic toxin exposure, as well as assessing the measures taken to reduce or eliminate them. It can contribute to health assessment by providing medically validated data, which is often overlooked in the process of diagnosis. • In conventional medicine, metal “toxicity” is designated by a measurable amount above a predetermined clinical level for some heavy metals (when indicated using tissue sampling and testing). Clinical determination is based on this tissue level elevation, combined with accompanying signs and symptoms related to the specific metal in question. Symptoms can range from diminished scent ability, fear, confusion, behavior swings and agitation, to physical problems such as skin disorders, digestive problems and all forms of cancer. In fact, cancer is now the leading cause of death in dogs two years of age and older. • In contrast, a “toxic burden” actually falls below a defined limit and exists without the signs and symptoms commonly associated with that specific metal. Under these circumstances, it should be termed a burden or increased burden and not regarded as a toxicity. This doesn’t mean a particular metal is not having a metabolic impact, or that it should not be addressed. A dog can have a heavy metal burden but still manifest many signs and symptoms due to an adverse or allergic reaction to that metal. Tissues used to test for toxic levels of heavy metals in dogs include blood, urine, hair, claws and fecal samples. Most veterinary offices are not equipped to perform these tests, so samples must be sent to laboratories that perform such testing. To measure effects due to acute exposures, blood, urine and fecal analyses are the most accurate. For long term and cumulative body burden effects, hair and claw (toenail) tests are most accurate.


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Managing toxicity in your dog It’s important to take proactive measures to minimize toxin exposure wherever you can. Detoxification is a normal physiological process and is occurring all the time. But in today’s environment, the body’s natural defense mechanisms are overwhelmed, so we need to support the detoxification process.


Chelating agents are typically administered in cases of acute toxicity. The removal of heavy metals through chelation therapy can be extremely difficult for a dog’s body and must be done under the care of a qualified physician familiar with the process of toxin removal. The tests and therapy can be expensive and risky, and the therapy’s progress must be properly monitored for signs of complications.

Chelation therapy can be effective, and is often necessary for acute poisoning. But what about therapy for the chronic toxin exposure your dog faces every day? Nutritional therapy guided by a laboratory hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (hTMA) is a safe and effective way to detoxify and manage toxicity.


Since poor diet is associated with more heavy metal accumulation, clinical therapeutic nutrition can relieve and prevent low level metal toxicities and the disorders that accompany them. When nutrient minerals are available at optimal levels and ratios, they help protect against the absorption of toxic metals, and also hasten their removal. Start with the highest quality dog food you can afford – one that’s free of by-products, chemical preservatives, colors and flavors – and check to see where the company sources its ingredients and how it processes the food.


Nutrients known to protect against heavy metal accumulation include: a) Calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, selenium, vitamins A, C, E, B6 and B12, pectin, lecithin, glutathione and other antioxidants. b) Essential amino acids found in whole unprocessed foods. c) Foods like kelp, garlic and brewer’s yeast.

Soothing solution

Giving your dog protective nutrients in optimal amounts and ratios will prevent him from becoming undernourished and susceptible to the accumulation of toxic metals in his body tissues. A biologically appropriate diet, balanced biochemistry and manageable levels of toxins all directly impact your dog’s ability to remain well, from the cellular level on up. Avoid or minimize obvious sources of toxicity and feed him a good diet with properly balanced mineral ratios. That way, your dog can stay as healthy as possible, and express himself with optimal physical and emotional health.

Toxins accumulate over time Heavy metals can easily enter the body through inhalation, intestinal absorption and even through the skin. Once inside the body, heavy metals are widely distributed to various organs and glands and throughout the central nervous system. Some metals are bone seekers and ultimately settle into the teeth and skeletal system. Others have an affinity for the central nervous system or specific organs and glands. Heavy metals can then effectively poison enzyme systems, increase free radical production, and compete with the absorption of nutritional minerals. Toxin levels in body tissues increase with every generation, even when exposure levels stay the same. This is because the growing fetus is far more vulnerable than the adult, and most toxins pass through the placenta in-utero. Since dogs have a much shorter lifespan than humans, this increased concentration over generations happens much more quickly than in people. Dogs also live close to the ground; they roll around, and lick and eat toxins and heavy metals that have settled on lawns, floors, streets and parks. On top of this persistent environmental exposure, most commercial pet foods, when tested, show high levels of toxins from both ingredients and processing.

The winter months can be hard on your dog’s paws, skin and nose. Road salt can irritate his delicate paws, ice and crusty snow may result in cuts and scrapes, and cold, dry air can chap his nose. Indoors, central heating dries out his skin and paw pads, and can even cause the latter to crack. Potential skin issues don’t end with winter. If your dog has allergies or sensitive skin, hot spots and other skin eruptions can make his life miserable during warm weather and/or flea season. And don’t forget the minor abrasions and scratches he can experience through daily play and rough-housing, whether he’s indoors or out. There are many ways to help ease, hydrate and heal dry or irritated skin or paws, but it’s always best to choose a product that’s as natural as possible, and free of harmful chemicals that can sometimes make the problem worse. Bag Balm ( is a tried-and-true remedy that helps protect and soothe paw pads, chapped noses and minor abrasions. Its long history began over a century ago, when it was created to soothe and protect the udders of milking cows. It wasn’t long before farmers discovered it had applications for dogs as well, and it continues to be a favorite today because the product stays in place better than others. Bag Balm is available at drug stores, typically in the skin care aisle, as well as pet stores, farm stores, hardware stores and feed and tack shops. animal wellness




Internationally known homeopathic veterinarian,

Dr. Christina Chambreau,

is a lecturer and author of the Healthy Animal’s Journal. She is also the editor of our Integrative Veterinary Care Journal. Ask her a question by leaving a comment on the Animal Wellness Magazine Facebook page. She’ll choose two questions to answer every week!


FACEBOOK : RESCUE OF THE MONTH Do you know what happens on our Facebook page on the 1st of every month? We announce our Rescue of the Month! All of the chosen rescue organizations are Animal Wellness Ambassadors and we donate 40% when people subscribe using the rescue’s promo code. Our December Rescue of the Month was TRIUMPHANT TAILS INC. This network of foster homes rescues all breeds of dogs, in all conditions, including street dogs. Their promo code is AWA162 . For January, we chose GIANT PAW PRINTS RESCUE. This all-breed organization specializes in the giant breeds, such as Great Danes, Mastiffs, and St. Bernards. Their promo code is AWA164. Thank you to Ascenta Canine Omega3, Bistro Bites and Herbsmith for donating to our Rescues of the Month with us! We’re so happy to partner with companies like these in order to save more animals.


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Animal Wellness Magazine is a proud sponsor of the Amazing Pet Expos! We have booths at 23 shows, and 40% of all subscriptions purchased during the shows is donated to a local animal rescue organization. Below: Ambassador Program Manager, Natasha Roulston, with Shorty Rossi at the Portland Pet Expo.

Above: Orlando Pet Expo. Right: Shirley Scott from Rocky Mountain Animal Rescue Ranch.


Models Supporting Animals is an organization of models dedicated to the wellbeing of animals through education, raising funds and creating striking visuals that inspire people to follow beauty into action. Both male and female models come together to use their love of fashion to make life better for animals of all species, including wildlife as well as dogs, cats and horses.

Photo credits (left): Photography: John Ellis (J’s Photography) Models: Dawn Blar, Karen Rosen, Nadine Rich Makeup Artist: Makeup by Krista Rose Dogs: Sergio and Pilar, provided by Leon Wiley Photo credits (right): Photography: John Ellis (J’s Photography) Models: Tomas G and McGill Jackson Makeup Artist: Makeup by Krista Rose Horse: Buck, provided by Jessica Spencer

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for pooches

When Nikita was facing her final weeks after a battle with cancer, her guardian and veterinarian Dr. Doug Kramer eased her discomfort with medical marijuana. The Siberian husky soon stopped whimpering with pain and began eating, gaining weight and even meeting Dr. Kramer at the door the way she used to. While the marijuana didn’t extend her life, it definitely improved the quality of the life she had left. After his experience with Nikita, Dr. Kramer dedicated himself to achieving safe dosage guidelines for medical marijuana in animals. Sadly, he passed away himself last summer, but his interest in the uses of cannabis to treat and ease animals didn’t die with him.

For the first time in more than four decades, many Americans are in favor of legalizing marijuana. It’s becoming more widely accepted for its potential medical uses, not just for people, but for companion animals too. Scientists have so far recognized up to 60 important chemicals, or cannabinoids, unique to marijuana.1 According to the National Cancer Institute, “cannabinoids activate specific receptors found throughout the body to produce pharmacologic effects, particularly in the central nervous system and the immune system.”2 These natural chemicals may be helpful in treating cancer-related symptoms such as pain. “Dogs prescribed medical marijuana have definitely benefitted,” says Darlene Arden, a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant. “The results are almost immediate. Elderly dogs are running around like puppies, and their last months or years are far more comfortable. Those with cancer are no longer in any sort of pain. It increases the appetite. In other words it improves the quality of life. Not surprisingly, few veterinarians are prescribing


animal wellness

By Claudia Bensimoun


controversial, and more research is needed on its use, but it’s showing promise as an effective natural pain reliever for dogs with cancer.

medical marijuana yet, but I think we’ll see a trend that way once some testing is done.”

More study needed One of the drawbacks of medical marijuana for dogs is that it hasn’t been studied enough yet. Many veterinarians are in favor of further research on cannabis, but they urge caution until there’s more science behind its use. Dr. Duncan Lascelles, Professor of Surgery and Pain Management at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine has spent 22 years of his professional career researching how to better alleviate pain in animals. He firmly believes that medical marijuana has a lot of potential, but there needs to be more research done. “Just because it’s natural, does not mean it’s safe,” says. “There are many natural products that are toxic in certain quantities, or when presented as certain extracts or preparations, and we need to remember there are many, many different formulations and strengths of marijuana. “However, dogs do have the same natural cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system as humans,” Dr. Lascelles adds. (The endocannabinoid system involves physiological processes such as appetite, pain sensation, mood and memory.) These receptors are found in the dog’s brain and peripheral nervous system. In fact, scientific research has confirmed that cannabis receptors exist in many different species, including dogs. But not enough study has been done on how to administer medical marijuana to dogs. “Veterinarians and animal parents do not know how much to use, and we don’t know all the possible side effects or

interactions with other medications,” says Dr. Lascelles. “It would be irresponsible to prescribe medical marijuana without knowing more about it. Veterinarians need to be able to carefully inform people about the benefits and side effects, and that information is currently lacking.”

Correct dosage is crucial It’s important to realize that medical marijuana for dogs is not administered through the smoke or by eating the plant. Dr. Kramer suggested using a glycerin cannabis tincture.

Legal complications

Temporary side effects of medical marijuana could include mild behavioral effects, decreased appetite, vomiting, drooling, excitation, twitching, tremors and convulsions. “The side effects would last somewhere between six to 12 hours after ingestion, although if a dog ingested a single ‘human hit’, he would be unlikely to die,” explains Dr. Lascelles.

Although medical marijuana is legal for humans in 20 states and the District of Columbia, it’s still considered an illicit drug under federal law.* Human physicians in states where medical use is sanctioned can recommend it to their patients, but such protection doesn’t apply to veterinarians.

An overdose, on the other hand, could be dangerous. “Accidental marijuana overdoses have increased over the past couple of years,” says Dr. Lascelles. “Some dogs may have hallucinogenic reactions, which may cause them to have a higher pulse rate, and muscle weakness with loss of coordination.”

To make things even more difficult, marijuana is still a Schedule One Controlled Substance, and even in states where it has been approved for medical use, officers with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration often raid and sometimes even temporarily shut down medical marijuana dispensaries.

With this in mind, a safe dosing protocol needs to be established. As well, one must take into account that to successfully treat chronic or cancer pain, repeated dosing over time would be needed. Dr. Lascelles adds that scientific research on how a dog’s metabolism would react to this repeated dosing is crucial. “Dog parents should never administer medical marijuana,” he cautions. Darlene agrees: “Marijuana should be dispensed under medical care.” It may take some time, if ever, before medical marijuana becomes a mainstream pain reliever for dogs. More studies have to be done on its effects and dosing, and the legal complications must be overcome (see sidebar). But it’s showing a lot of promise. Darlene says, “I think the benefits far outweigh any negative connotations, if it’s used judiciously, people are educated about how to use and store it, and it is carefully dosed to the size of the dog.”

“What I don’t understand is why people ignore the comparison to Prohibition,” says Darlene. “The major difference is that alcohol only creates alcoholics. There really are no significant medicinal advantages to alcohol. But marijuana has proven medicinal value and were it legalized, it would not only help people and dogs, but would increase revenue for the government in taxes. So it’s a win-win.” * In Canada, under the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR), humans may be permitted to use, produce and store marijuana. It is considered a Schedule II substance. marijuana 2 1

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finding Kona

By Melissa Beveridge

family recently underwent the unpleasant and heartbreaking experience of putting our nineyear-old golden retriever, Bailey, to sleep. She was our second golden retriever. A few months after our first golden passed on, we decided to bring another dog into our lives. I took on the responsibility of finding a puppy for our family. I had two younger siblings at the time who had loved our old dog, and I really couldn’t think of living without one. I did some research, and Bailey became a beloved part of our family, for many years.

Doing the right thing When you see someone you love going through pain, you just want to take that pain away. On that fateful day almost a decade later when we had to let Bailey go, she experienced two debilitating strokes from the growing tumor on her sinuses. One left her blind and the second left her in even worse shape. There was nothing more we could do to keep her going. At that point, you just wish they were able to talk, so they could let you know about the pain they’re in, and that you’re doing the right thing.


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We stayed with Bailey until her last breath. The vet assured us that we had made the right decision, but it didn’t make us feel any better. She told us the strokes signified that the tumor had entered Bailey’s brain and that she was in pain, even though she didn’t seem to be. “That’s golden retrievers for you,” she told us. “They never show pain and just keep smiling.” Death is always surreal to me. One minute they are there and the next they’re gone. It’s hard to grasp, and it doesn’t hit me until I’m looking for them, then am forced to come to the realization that they just aren’t there anymore. I hugged my husband and family constantly that night, and then cuddled with my other dog, Layla, who I knew felt the loss too.

Bailey’s divine idea? The next morning, I planned a quiet day at the beach with my husband. But our plans were shattered by a phone call from my brother, letting me know that our sister’s five-month-old black Lab mix, Kona, had escaped her yard.

We jumped in the car and headed over. We searched the entire neighborhood, spoke with neighbors, called the police, and contacted every shelter in the area. Eight hours later, we still didn’t have him, though at one point we missed him by mere minutes. I’m not sure if this was Bailey’s divine way of keeping our minds off her passing, but it worked. Over the four days that Kona was missing, I went all out in a desperate attempt not to lose another dog. I couldn’t save Bailey, but I was saving Kona. Flyers went up on telephone poles and into every mailbox in the neighborhood. Pictures and information went up on every social media site there was, and I spoke with anyone I saw walking around the area. I called every local business, including the mall, the new development, the school. We branched out within a couple of miles from home and contacted more businesses. After four days of constant searching, day and night, we got a call that Kona had been seen two streets away in someone’s back yard, which was in dense woods. My sister went over and sat, staring at an open can of dog food, hoping Kona would come. When I arrived, I realized we needed to catch him, so I rented a large live trap. It was then that we saw Kona in the woods, staring right back at us. It was the first time in four days that I saw him moving instead of in a picture. My heart jumped. Unfortunately, he got spooked and ran, but we were hopeful. We set the trap and crossed our fingers. Later that night, my dad and brother headed over to sit in the car, hoping the stillness would bring Kona out. It did. Afraid of

thor the au racted t is d a n for Ko ooking Top: L d. f. the en her grie life to d e y o ey enj m: Bail Botto


scaring him away, they called me for backup. Kona had gone back into the woods by the time we got there, but I called his name and then had my dad bring Layla out. Kona loved Layla and I could only hope he would smell her. Very soon, I heard my dad calling my name in a hushed but urgent way. He had Layla in the driveway with the leash and Kona was jumping around her. I slowly walked up and Kona ran, but not far. Layla was too tempting. A minute later, Kona came back and I grabbed his collar. Relief flooded through me. We had found him.

Captio n: The autho Kona. r sha

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Even though this four-day ordeal was difficult, daunting, and full of tears, it gave me something to focus on that kept my mind off Bailey’s passing. While it didn’t get rid of my grief, it made me remember that we all need a purpose in life – and a purpose for each day. My purpose in the days following Bailey’s passing was to find Kona – and our persistence paid off. We didn’t have to go through losing another dog. g,

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THE SCOOP READY, SET, SMILE! February is animal dental month, and PetzLife is celebrating by running its annual Best Smile Contest. Get out your camera, snap a photo of your dog or cat during his happiest moment, and you could win a year’s supply of the company’s all natural products. The winning photo will also be used in PetzLife’s Nationwide Ad Campaigns.

NO MORE PULLING A dog that pulls takes a lot of fun out of walks. Harness Lead is a leash and harness combo that reduces pull. It utilizes a dog’s own pressure against the leash to remind him to slow his pace. It’s also escape proof, and can additionally be used as slip lead or collar lead. Handcrafted in the USA.

CARING FOR CANCER PATIENTS As of last September, Zuke’s has donated more than $175,000 to the Dog and Cat Cancer Fund (DCCFund), a non-profit organization dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing canine and feline cancer. The Fund works with animal parents in need of financial assistance by paying their veterinarians for cancer related care.

TRAINING SUPPORT HOTLINE The American Kennel Club recently launched a new service – the GoodDog!SM Helpline. It’s designed to give you live telephone support from expert trainers when you’re at your wit’s end with difficult behaviors in your dog. Available six days a week, the trainers will help you understand your dog’s actions and provide solutions to the problem.


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peachy! By Ann Brightman

These attractive, modern furnishings for dogs and cats are both stylish and sustainable.

Georgia Barbush was working as a registered vet tech at a local shelter when she and her husband, Mike, came up with the idea of creating furniture for dogs and cats. “For just over a year, Mike had been designing clean, modern furniture for our own animals,” Georgia explains. “We hung up some of his little fabric hammocks for the shelter cats and they really loved them.” Inspired by the cats’ response, Georgia and Mike founded Peach Industries just over a year ago. “We want to create furniture that people can love as much as their animals do,” says Georgia. The company makes attractive, quality cat hammocks and dog mats in a variety of colors and patterns to suit a range of home decors. Along with being stylish, the furnishings are also sustainable. “It’s especially hard to find pet furniture that is made in the US with toxin-free, environmentally conscious, domestically sourced materials,” says Georgia. “We wanted this for our own animals and we want to provide it for others. We are dedicated to keeping our sourcing and manufacturing entirely in the US.” Products include the Kitty Lounger, a cotton hammock on a durable but lightweight frame made from birch plywood. “Our cotton is grown, woven, and printed or dyed in Mississippi,” adds Georgia. “Our wood is sustainably forested in the Pacific Northwest and contains only formaldehyde-free, soy-based glue. Many people don’t realize that standard plywood contains formaldehyde.”

Georgia and Mike love making quality eco-friendly furniture for animals.

The Park It Mat for dogs, meanwhile, is a travel mat and companion bag made from the same quality cotton. The mat also features a slim but dense CFC- and HCFC-free foam for the padding, and is water-resistant on the underside, making it ideal for travel or use outdoors. “For the future, we are working on a larger hammock design for medium to large dogs,” says Georgia. As a former shelter vet tech, Georgia knows how important these organizations are for animal welfare. “We are always working with shelters and rescues, most often through product donations to raise funds,” she says. “I am particularly aware of the great need for these organizations and the vital importance of providing assistance to them. We’ve personally fostered animals, and volunteer with a local rescue to provide the dogs there with some basic training and socialization.” While starting Peach Industries has been a learning experience for Georgia and Mike, they love every minute of it. “It’s always exciting to find new materials, improve our design, and develop the new skills we’ve picked up,” says Georiga. “Mike has particularly enjoyed learning to sew; he taught himself! As well, happy customers make our day and we really love seeing photos. Knowing that our work has made an animal so happy and comfortable is a wonderful feeling.”

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– it’s good for his brain! By Shawn Messonnier, DVM


This versatile supplement offers many benefits. Among other things, it can help treat and even prevent “doggy dementia”.

s we age, our brains often don’t function as well as they did when we were younger. The same is true of dogs. While aging is normal, none of us likes to see the effects it has on our canine companions. One of the more common and troubling aspects of aging involves the central nervous system, specifically the brain. Senility, dementia and Alzheimer’s are all terms used to describe the clinical signs seen in aging dogs and people. While drug therapy may temporarily halt the progression of aging signs, they don’t address the underlying problem or try to restore normal function.

• I t is a source of methyl-groups for the formation of the amino acid methionine, and the conversion of the toxic compound homocysteine to methionine, possibly reducing cardiac disease. • Choline helps control cell growth and gene expression. • It is a component of liquid surfactant to keep the lungs healthy. In both people and dogs, general uses for phosphatidylcholine include improving memory, treating high cholesterol, and protecting the liver from toxicity (without adequate phosphatidylcholine, fat and cholesterol accumulate in the liver due to reduced low density lipoprotein levels).

Supplementation with various natural remedies, however, focuses on restoring health whenever possible, in addition to improving clinical signs. Fortunately, one great nutritional supplement not only provides food for the aging canine, but also helps restore normal brain function and health.

For dogs, choline may prevent fatty liver syndrome and support normal liver function, reduce insulin requirements in diabetics, and reduce seizure frequency, making it useful in the treatment of epilepsy.

Phosphatidylcholine, also called choline, lecithin or tetramethylglycine, is a supplement I have used for many years as part of my anti-aging regimen for patients. It’s a component of several major cell membrane lipids that are critical for normal cell membrane structure and function. While foods such as milk, eggs, liver and peanuts are rich in choline, clinical benefits can only be achieved with a supplement.

Regular choline supplementation may help prevent or treat canine cognitive disorder (doggie Alzheimer’s disease). In clinical practice, choline is mostly prescribed for older dogs to reduce the incidence of cognitive disorder, or to treat dogs with existing cognitive disorder.

A multi-functional supplement The body uses choline for a variety of functions that benefit not only the brain, but other systems as well. • Most importantly for aging dogs, choline produces the major nerve transmitter, acetylcholine. • It helps the body maintain water balance.


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Treats canine cognitive disorder

Choline has shown effectiveness in treating canine cognitive disorder at 20 to 40 mg given one to two times daily. It can also be dosed at 0.5 to 1 mg per pound of the dog’s body weight one to two times daily.

Are there any side effects? Choline supplementation is very safe and usually devoid of side effects. In dogs, rare instances of excitability/nervousness

While foods such as milk, eggs, liver and peanuts are rich in choline, clinical benefits can only be achieved with a supplement. have been reported due to increased acetylcholine formation. Lowering the dosage has resolved this side effect. In people taking large doses of choline, rare side effects include low blood pressure, gastrointestinal discomfort, increased salivation, decreased appetite, sweating, and a “fishy� body odor (from excessive production and excretion of trimethylamine, a metabolite of choline). I have not seen any of these side effects in my animal patients. While there are no reported negative interactions when choline is used with other natural remedies or prescription medications, it is prudent to use natural remedies under the supervision of your veterinarian. To sum up, I have found phosphatidylcholine to be quite beneficial in my practice. I find it helpful as part of my therapy for dogs with cognitive disorder as well as seizures, diabetes, liver disease and adrenal disease. All middle-aged and older dogs can benefit from supplementation; those supplemented before clinical signs of cognitive disorder are seen almost never develop it. Side effects are rare, the benefits are numerous, and supplementation is very inexpensive.

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animal wellness

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Animal Communicators

Holistic Veterinarians

CAROL LYNN ANDERSON (SCHULTZ) – Animal Communicator/Intuitive Healing Support. Interactive, compassionate and insightful Consultations and Guidance for all animal species (including humans). Assistance with emotional, behaviorial, physical, end of life, in spirit, plus lost animals. (815) 531-2850 and SKYPE or

BEECHMOUNT ANIMAL HOSPITAL - Dr. Kirsten Anderson, DVM. Offering Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Medical Massage, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Cold Laser Therapy. 355 Erb Street W., Waterloo, ON. (519) 888-6590,

SHIRLEY SCOTT – Internationally known Animal Communicator & Clairvoyant connects with your pets here or in spirit. She reads emotional/behavior/health problems, provides classes & workshops in animal communication & training. (541) 577-3051,,

Associations INTERNATIONAL ASS’N OF ANIMAL MASSAGE & BODYWORK/ASS’N OF CANINE WATER THERAPY – Welcome trained practitioners of Animal Massage and Bodywork. The IAAMB/ACWT supports and promotes the practitioners of complementary care for animals through networking, continuing education, website, online referrals, newsletters, insurance, annual educational conferences, lobbying and credentialing of schools.

Books & Publications 1000’s OF DOG BOOKS, DVD’S AND TRAINING TOOLS IN STOCK – Ready to ship. Dogwise has what you want! (800) 776-2665;

Chiropractic ANIMAL CHIROPRACTIC – Contact Dr. Pip Penrose for your large and small animal’s chiropractic care at, (519) 276-8800, Caring chiropractic for animals and humans in Stratford and surrounding area.

Distributors/Retailers Wanted CANINE LIGHT THERAPY – Many veterinarians and therapists offer their clients the healing benefits of photonic energy with our Equine Light Therapy Pads! Contact us to learn more about the advantages of offering them through your practice! According to “Gospel”…Equine Light Therapy/Canine Light Therapy.,, (615) 293-3025

EAST YORK ANIMAL CLINIC HOLISTIC CENTRE – Dr. Paul McCutcheon, Dr. Cindy Kneebone & Dr. Candice Chiu. The first and oldest integrative veterinary clinic in Ontario with over fifty years of service to the community and our collective veterinarian experience of 95 years. We provide a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic methods utilizing the latest research in integrative medicine. Please visit our website to explore our services. www. (416) 757-3569, 805 O’Connor Drive, Toronto, ON, M4B 2S7 ESSEX ANIMAL HOSPITAL, REHAB & K9 FITNESS CENTRE – Dr. Janice Huntingford practices integrative medicine for optimal pet health. Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Physical Rehab, Therapy pool and underwater treadmill, Alternative Medicine, Chinese Herbs, Holistic Consults. Please visit our website and facebook page. (519) 776-7325 Essex, ON. GUELPH ANIMAL HOSPITAL – Offers a full range of conventional veterinary services as well as acupuncture, chiropractic, massage, herbal and nutritional. Dr. Rob Butler is certified in Veterinary Acupuncture and is also trained in Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine. Dr. Smolkin is certified in Animal Chiropractic. By integrating conventional and complementary therapies, treatments can be tailored to the individual’s needs and preferences. Contact Guelph Animal Hospital at (519) 836-2781 or

Rescues & Shelters GREY2K USA Education Fund – National greyhound protection group working to end dog racing nationwide. Join our team, support us and buy fun dog-themed gifts at

Schools & Training ANIMAL SPIRIT NETWORK (ASN) – Is the premier school for Animal Communication training, offering a Professional Mastery Program as well as a Personal Enrichment Program. Our courses are taught by experts in this growing field and provide rich hands-on, comprehensive skills training for professional animal communicators and anyone passionate about deepening their bond with animals and nature. Learn more at www.animalspiritnetwork. com or INTEGRATED TOUCH THERAPY, INC. – Has taught animal massage to thousands of students from all over the world for over 17 years. Offering intensive, hands-on workshops. Free Brochure: (800) 251-0007 PETMASSAGE TRAINING AND RESEARCH INSTITUTE – On-site workshops for canine massage and PetMassage WaterWork. Vocational training to work in vet offices, dog day cares, agility events, and with private clients. Curricula for children’s canine massage programs. Workshops approved for CEs for MT’s and RVT’s.,, (800) 779-1001 WALKS ‘N’ WAGS PET FIRST AID – National Leaders in Pet First Aid Certification Courses for dogs and cats. Learn preventative skills and practice emergency bandaging with live wiggly pets. Distance Learning also available. or (800) 298-1152

Natural Product Retailers PETS GO NATURAL – Safe toys, eco-friendly beds and collars, natural vitamins and supplements, natural, organic and grain-free food. Feel good about what you buy your pet. Go natural!

Pet Portraits ANNIEO’S PET PORTRAITS – Specializing in oil painting for 31 years. Nationwide clientele. Portraits of any pet of your choice. Credit card, personal check or money order. 44 Church St., Tilton, NH 03276. (603) 524-3778 Website:

Animal Wellness Regional Advertising Sales Reps Wanted! • NY • MA

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EVENTS Southern California Pet Expo February 1, 2014 – Long Beach, CA

Dog Training 101: What All Beginning Trainers Should Know February 17 - April 2, 2014 – eLearning Certificate Course

Fabulous Prize Giveaways & Fun for both the Two-Legged AND Four-Legged!

Attendees of this course can expect to evaluate the evolution and behavior of the domestic dog as well as assess the advantages and disadvantages of various dog training techniques.

Dozens of Rescue Groups and a Mega-Adoption Event, Discounted Vaccinations, Micro-chipping and Heartworm & Flea Preventatives, Free Nail Trims, Agility Demonstrations, Live Entertainment, Obedience Demonstrations, Author Readings/ Book Signings. The Latest & Greatest Pet Products! Learn About Pet Care, Volunteerism, Grooming, Pet Behavior & Training, Traveling with your Pet, How You Can Make a Difference, Different Types of Pets/Breeds, Veterinarian FAQ, Fun Activities for You & Your Pet And MUCH MORE! For more information: (800) 977-3609

For more information: (800) 738-3647 Healing Touch for Animals® Level 1 Course February 28 - March 2, 2014 – Phoenix, AZ Introduction to Healing Touch: Friday / 6:00pm - 10:00pm This class is a prerequisite of the Small Animal Class.

Las Vegas Pet Expo February 8, 2014 – Las Vegas, NV You will find tons of exhibitors and demonstrations as well as free nail trims. There will be prize giveaways and live entertainment. You can adopt from one of the many Rescue groups and also learn about pet care, volunteerism, grooming, training and much more! Be sure to check out other Amazing Pet Expo events all year around at For more information: (800) 977-3609

Small Animal Class: Saturday / 9:00am - 6:00pm This class is a prerequisite of the Large Animal Class. Large Animal Class: Sunday / 9:00am - 6:00pm This class is required in order to apply to become a Healing Touch for Animals® Certified Practitioner. Working with the horses’ large energy systems benefits students with greater energetic awareness and a well-rounded experience. Registrations & payments in full must be received and/or postmarked by February 2, 2014, to qualify for the Early Bird Tuition prices. For more information: (602) 502-3065

Pet Lover Show February 15 - 16, 2014 – Abbotsford, BC Celebrating animal lovers, this show has now doubled in size and includes informative seminars and exhibits by top professionals. Some of the featured attractions include rabbit and dog agility shows, horse clinics and K9 detection demonstrations as well as rescue animals for adoptions and so much more. For more information: (888) 960-7584

The instructor for this course will be Sarah Filipiak, CDBC. To view more details about this course, the instructor and other courses available, please visit the APDT website.

Global Pet Expo March 12 - 14, 2014 – Orlando, FL The pet industry’s largest annual trade show, Global Pet Expo is open to independent retailers, distributors, mass-market buyers and other qualified professionals. The 2013 show featured over 900 exhibitors and more than 3000 new product launches with almost 6000 pet product buyers from around the world attending. This event is presented by the American Pet Products Association and Pet Industry Distributors Association. For more information: (203) 532-0000 Are You Ready for a “Brick & Mortar” Facility? Taking Your Dog Training Business to the Next Level March 19 - April 22, 2014 – eLearning Certificate Course This course is designed for dog trainers who are looking to grow their business.

internal procedures for success and more. Each attendant will finish with a plan for growth in their business and with a mini-business plan that can be used as the starting point to apply for private loans, leases and more. For more information: (800) 738-3647 South Florida Pet Expo March 15, 2014 – West Palm Beach, FL You will find tons of exhibitors and demonstrations as well as free nail trims. There will be prize giveaways and live entertainment. You can adopt from one of the many Rescue groups and also learn about pet care, volunteerism, grooming, training and much more! Be sure to check out other Amazing Pet Expo events all year around at For more information: (800) 977-3609 Whiskers Wine & Dine 2014 March 22, 2014 – Lakewood, WA In its 10th year, this annual fundraisers’ goal is to help raise money to end pet overpopulation. This event will be held at the Sharon McGavick Convention Center and includes dinner as well as a silent, live and dessert auction. Proceeds support Northwest Spay and Neuter Center, a local nonprofit providing affordable spay and neuter services for cats, dogs and rabbits. For more information: 2014 All About Pets Show April 18 - 20, 2014 – Toronto, ON This event features more than 160 exhibitors and has had over 25, 000 visitors in attendance for 19 years. You will meet representatives from the pet industry showcasing their products and services. Many of the exhibitors include manufacturers, distributors, retailers, rescue organizations, breeders and breed clubs as well as reptiles, fish and horses. Also featuring Ontario’s Mane Event as well as incredible feature areas you won’t want to miss, including the Dog Demonstration Ring, Parade of Breeds, World of Cats, Ask the Vet and so much more!! For more information: (877) 340-7387

Amber Burckhalter will be the instructor for this course and will cover all aspects of this possible period of growth including: knowing your business’ current financial health, what type of facility suits your needs now and into the future, designing


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Wally’s sock By Janet Caplan

“Grab him. Grab Wally…he’s got another sock!”

He slips right through my fingers, charging for the stairs, teeth clenching his prize. How could I have missed it? He must have jumped into our suitcase while I was returning T-shirts to a drawer.

On the morning of day two, Donny took Wally outside for his usual bathroom requirements. “Yes, yes!” he shouted.

I run down the stairs in pursuit and grab my husband Donny. Together, we try to corner Wally. Donny manages to latch on to his collar, and as I coo and cajole, he works on prying Wally’s teeth open. After some thrashing around and growling, Wally’s cocker spaniel body relaxes. He takes a long, deep swallow and a wad, presumably the sock, makes its way down his esophagus and into his digestive tract.

Running outside, I found Donny grinning and pointing to Wally’s little pile. There in the middle of it sat the white and pink sock.

After a trip to the kitchen for a drink, Wally jumps into his favorite chair where he sits contentedly. We stand looking at him…looking at each other.

Wally must have experienced some discomfort and retained some memory of the event. Maybe he even learned something from it, I thought.

“Not again,” Donny says. “I can’t believe he did this again. The dog is crazy.”

Well…no. A year later, we’re dealing with a repeat performance. This time we don’t panic; we do the salt treatment and wait. Within two days, the sock makes its way back – orally this time.

“You know what the vet told us last time. Wait it out for a couple of days. If the sock hasn’t made an appearance, from one end or the other, we’ll take him in and let them handle it.” I feel calm and rational: no panic, no “call the vet” reaction. I’m used to Wally’s escapades. Chances are, whatever he does, it’s not the first time. I try to roll with the punches. Flashback to last year when Wally, whom I thought was quietly watching me unpack again, suddenly became agitated, racing around and trying to attract my attention. I glimpsed something white hanging from his mouth, something white with pink trim. I chased him, commanding him to drop it…no results. Donny to the rescue didn’t help either, except it allowed me to pause long enough to recognize that Wally was clamping down on one of my socks. Our attempts to catch Wally having failed, we called our vet. She calmed us down and told us to administer either salt or syrup of ipecac and expect some results within a couple of days. If nothing emerged, we were to bring Wally in to have the sock surgically removed. She advised us of behavioral changes to watch for. We felt better.


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“Thank God,” I said, hugging Wally. “I can’t believe it,” Donny responded. “I thought for sure we’d need the vet for this. Crazy dog.”

That’s one crazy dog.

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animal wellness

AWM Vol.16 Issue 1  
AWM Vol.16 Issue 1