SPECIAL DOG ISSUE!
PET GUIDE SPRING/SUMMER 2016
‘Secret Lifeof Pets’ BEHIND THE SCENES
GREAT GAMES & GEAR FOR FIDO SOCIAL-MEDIA DARLINGS PUPS WITH POWER
THE SCOOP ON CANINE CALORIES
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Don’t let your best friend get sick. Canine ﬂu is a highly contagious respiratory disease for dogs* Possible symptoms: coughing, sneezing, loss of appetite, lethargy, fever Spreads directly from dog to dog and via sneeze droplets through the air Can be transmitted indirectly (water bowls, toys, collars, leashes, hands, shoes, and clothing)
Social dogs are most at risk Dog parks Boarding facilities
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Pet shows/sporting events Groomers
Other facts Unlike human ﬂu, canine ﬂu can strike all-year round Dogs can spread canine ﬂu before showing any symptoms Can cause pneumonia, with the potential to be fatal
DON’T WAIT, VACCINATE WWW.DOGINFLUENZA.COM ASK YOUR VET TODAY! *Canine ﬂu is not infectious to humans.
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Since 1999, the Petco Foundation has helped more than 4.5 million pets find loving homes.
Love Changes Everything Learn more at petcofoundation.org facebook.com/PetcoFoundation
PET GUIDE SPRING/SUMMER 2016
UP FRONT TRENDS 8 Our staff’s top picks 10 Fun products for summer 12 Stylish collars
FOOD 14 Biscuits they’ll beg for
TRAVEL 17 Dog-friendly venues
THINKSTOCK; PITTSBURGH PIRATES; ILLUMINATION ENTERTAINMENT AND UNIVERSAL PICTURES
Why we love beagles!
FEATURES 32 38 44 ON THE COVER: Mel, Max and
Gidget are the animated stars of The Secret Life of Pets, which opens July 8. COVER ILLUSTRATION:
Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures
A LIFELONG COMPANION The joys and challenges of some top breeds: What you should know
NO MORE SHAMING Learn to understand — and then change — unacceptable behavior
MONEY 22 Low-cost clinics 28 Save on pet care
Today’s Wrangler grows up
BEHIND THE SCENES How moviemakers drew from real life to create The Secret Life of Pets
MY HERO Dogs who use their super powers to care for humans
DOG DÉCOR TO DIE FOR Design trends focus on functional and sensational spaces for canines 3
HUNGRY DOG 63 Count calories to help your dog stay trim 66 Why sloppy drinking is normal 68 Three cool and easy popsicle recipes
HEALTHY DOG 71
Research offers new hope for cancer treatment 74 Learn the basics of canine CPR
HIGH-TECH DOG 76 Keep an eye on the action while you’re out
68 I have tons of followers on Instagram!
80 Make your pup a social media sensation 86 Tests help unravel a mixed breed’s heritage
GOOD DOG! 88 Volunteering for therapy service benefits everyone 90 Why crate training makes sense for a happy home 94 Try these seven ideas to entertain your dog
96 A special day encourages taking your dog to work
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PET GUIDE 2016
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JERALD COUNCIL; AMBER CHAVEZ; THINKSTOCK
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UP FRONT PET GUIDE
Come On In!
MARK RALSTON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
For dogs who love to combine water and throw toys, consider the thrilling aquatic sport of canine dock diving. In impressive displays of determination and athleticism, any pup willing to take the plunge can compete in contests that include who can jump the farthest and who can retrieve the quickest. Groups such as DockDogs (dockdogs.com) and North America Diving Dogs (northamericadivingdogs.com) hold events and provide information to get started. Cochiti, above, a whippet from Olympia, Wash., shown taking a looong leap during an event, is a top-ranked DockDogs competitor.
MAX, 7 Director Jeanette Barrett-Stokes uses the PetSafe Gentle Leader head collar, which controls Max without choking and prevents pulling, lunging and jumping. Several colors and sizes. From $19.99, store.petsafe.net
GLORY, 4 It’s a nightly ritual — Glory flips her Starmark Treat Dispensing Chewball into editor Chris Garsson’s lap as a not-so-subtle hint that it’s time to fill the ball. Soft yet durable, it dispenses treats as it’s rolled along the floor. Three sizes. $5.99 to $11.99, chewy.com
What We Love
ZOEY, 10 Contributing writer Nancy Monson couldn’t live without Nature’s Miracle Stain & Odor Remover, an enzymatic cleaner that removes pet stains and eliminates odors instead of masking them. $8.39, petco.com
The USA TODAY team and their pets share products that have won them over
The GoPro Fetch dog harness allows editor Hannah Prince and her husband to see the world from Captain’s point of view. They love getting a new perspective on his interaction with other dogs when they visit the park or pet-friendly events. GoPro camera sold separately. $39.99, amazon.com
ELLIE, 1½ Triple Action Pedigree Dentastix freshen breath, reduce tartar and clean teeth, and Ellie patiently waits for hers every morning before designer Miranda Pellicano heads to work. $14.99 for a box of 28 large treats, petsmart.com
PET GUIDE 2016
COURTESY OF THE COMPANIES AND THE PET OWNERS
g Days o D When it comes to spending time outdoors, every canine has a different definition of fun BY MAISY FERNANDEZ
Move in tandem with the Runner’s Choice handsfree leash, a strong bungee with a belt, sliding snap buckle and hold-knots that allow more control of your pet when needed. $47.95, irondoggy.com
PET GUIDE 2016
Take your little guy along for the ride in the Snoozer Buddy Bike basket, which features a padded chin rest, harness clip and rain cover with an opening for his head. In gray or pink. $49.95, petco.com
Make warm days more comfortable for your laid-back buddy with the pressure-activated self-cooling pet pad from The Green Pet Shop. Cools for three to four hours; wipes clean. Five sizes. $15.75 to $40.98, amazon.com
Tackle trails together while she carries her own treats in the lightweight Kurgo Baxter dog backpack with ergonomic padded spine support. Two sizes. $45 to $50, kurgo.com
The Zisc flying disc can survive the chase — it’s made of a durable yet pliable material that bounces and floats and cleans up in the dishwasher. Two sizes. $11.95 to $15.95, westpawdesign. com
COURTESY OF THE COMPANIES; THINKSTOCK
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PET GUIDE 2016
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PET GUIDE 2016
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T R AV E L
Where the Dogs Are Entertainment for the two of you
PITTSBURGH PIRATES; THINKSTOCK
BY STACEY FREED
here’s no need to leave your dog home when you’re out and about. “Traveling with their pets has become a way of life for a lot of people,” says Amy Burkert, pet travel expert and owner of gopetfriendly.com. In acknowledgement of the close bond between owners and their canine buddies, a variety of venues are going to the dogs. Here are three great pastimes that are available around the country.
MAJ OR LEAGUE BASEBALL “Pup Night” at They come wearing jerseys the Pittsburgh and caps, settled in strollers Pirates’ PNC or bouncing on all four paws. Park means Big dogs, small dogs and owners can bring every-sized canine in between along fourare ready for a day, or night, legged fans to at the ballpark. watch the action. At the Pittsburgh Pirates’ PNC Park, it’s “Pup Night” for 10 crazy nights (Tuesdays beginning May 3), when dogs bring their owners to the Miller Light Rooftop — under the scoreboard in left field — to catch a game. Sponsored by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition and Rachael Ray’s Nutrish, some of Pup Night’s proceeds go to local animal shelters. And this year, each week, one of Pennsylvania’s animal friends’ societies will bring a dog available for adoption. “If someone adopts the dog at the game, Ainsworth will provide food for a year,” says Cassie Wilkinson, director of group sales and hospitality for the Pirates.
Go to gopetfriendlyblog.com for a list of dog-friendly MLB games around the U.S. 17
T R AV E L
V I N E YA RD S If you love wine but hate to leave Visitors at Fox your dog at home, here’s good news: Run Vineyards A number of wineries, like Fox Run in New York can Vineyards (foxrunvineyards.com), bring their dogs allow dogs in their tasting rooms. into the winery’s Known for its chardonnay, tasting room. riesling and cabernet franc, Fox Run overlooks Seneca Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region and is a gorgeous spot to enjoy a glass of wine with your dog (for legal reasons, dogs aren’t permitted in the café-restaurant area). Understanding that owners like having their dogs with them, winery and dog owner Scott Osborn says, “People who visit with their dogs are more relaxed, and getting people to relax and enjoy themselves is our goal.” To find a winery that’s pet-friendly (many wineries allow dogs only on the grounds, so check before you go), here are helpful links: California: dogtrekker.com Oregon: goodwinedog.com Virginia: virginiawine.org Washington’s Yakima Valley: winedoggies.com
PET GUIDE 2016
COMMUNITY PO OLS Dogs rule many public pools after they close for the season. “It’s crazy. There are kids and dogs, running from pool to pool. It’s quite a sight,” Kyle Henke, superintendent of recreation for Kirkwood, Mo., says of the yearly dog swim at the city’s Recreation Station Aquatic Center. Held as a fundraiser for the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation for nearly a decade, the event attracts hundreds of dogs on two evenings just after Labor Day (Sept. 6 and 8 this year). Chemicals are dialed down for the animals. Public pools are also open to dogs at summer’s end in Avon Lake, Ohio; Appleton, Wis.; St. Louis; Boulder, Colo.; and Alexandria, Va., to name a few. Or check to see if your town has a swim day planned. j
Before you go
As with any activity, be sure your dog is healthy, up to date on required vaccinations and is well-behaved in public settings.
COURTESY OF FOX RUN VINEYARDS; THINKSTOCK
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MON E Y
A Good Cause National efforts by pet supply giants provide affordable alternatives for owners
he rewards of owning a dog are plentiful, but the cost of care can be high. A little bit of help, however, may be no farther than your nearest pet supply store. Here’s how three popular national retailers are making a difference.
PETCO In place at almost 1,200 Petco and Unleashed by Petco locations, Vetco clinics offer low-cost options and alternative hours for preventative pet care. Without the overhead costs of maintaining a physical location — most clinics set up temporarily in the store when their veterinarians and support staff arrive — Vetco does away
PET GUIDE 2016
VETCO SERVICES INCLUDE: A $64 healthy dog/puppy package with a distemper/ parvovirus vaccination combo, bordetella and leptospirosis vaccines and dewormer if necessary.
Vetco clinics with office visit fees and can offer lower prices (vetcoclinics. on services including vaccinations, screenings com) provide and tests and microchipping. An individual affordable rabies vaccine, for instance, is $19, and $10 if it’s veterinary added onto a vaccination package. services inside Petco stores. No appointments are necessary at the clinics, and their evening and weekend hours are convenient for many owners. After checking in, owners and their pets are free to shop or step outside until a text message summons them to the clinic. Debbie Bell, market manager for Vetco in San Diego, says she often hears from grateful customers. “I had a customer thank me for holding the night clinics. (Her pets) were behind on their vaccines and the county was after her to renew their pet licenses, impossible without current vaccines,” says Bell. “With the evening clinic, she was able to update their vaccines and license her pets.” The clinics are also an opportunity to educate and inform
THINKSTOCK; COURTESY OF PETCO
BY DEBBIE SWANSON
MON E Y
owners about issues such as heartworm prevention. “We’re excited to give pet parents an alternative path for managing their pet’s wellness,” says Vetco president Craig Niebur. “Once the pet is here and on the table, it also gives (owners) a chance to ask questions. Issues that might not have been identified otherwise can be looked at and referred out, if necessary.” Many of the licensed veterinarians who staff Vetco clinics are drawn to the clinic’s alternative hours. “They’re from every background, from those running their own practices or hospitals, to semi-retired, to stayat-home parents working on the weekends,” says Niebur. “We’re excited about 2016 and beyond, getting the model out there and helping those who may not have been able to get their pet care otherwise.”
TRACTOR SUPPLY CO.
PET GUIDE 2016
PETVET SERVICES INCLUDE: Dog and puppy packages with some vaccinations, from $58 to $69; microchipping, $15 (excludes Florida); and individual vaccinations and package add-ons such as $10 for an add-on rabies vaccination.
the quality of care provided, at a great value.” Branded vans carry equipment and materials for the clinics to each store. Once the clinic sets up at a Tractor Supply, customers sign in electronically and receive a text when it’s their turn. Digital record-keeping allows for follow-up email notifications when a pet is due for care.
Tractor Supply Co. caters to pet-loving customers with PetVet clinics (petvet. vippetcare. com).
PETSMART Fueled by a desire to end animal homelessness, PetSmart founders Jim and Janice Dougherty decided in the early 1990s that their stores would never sell cats or dogs. Instead, they created PetSmart Charities, a separate nonprofit animal welfare organization. Adoption is a major focus of the charity. Using donated space at PetSmart retail locations, PetSmart Charities teams up with local rescue groups and shelters to feature cats and dogs looking for a new home. The program made history in 2015 when Blu, a 1-year-old terrier mix, found his forever family at an adoption event, becoming the 500,000th pet adopted in a single year. Nearly 517,000 animals were adopted through PetSmart stores in 2015.
THINKSTOCK; COURTESY OF TRACTOR SUPPLY CO.
PetVet clinics, which operate in more than 900 Tractor Supply Co. locations, are “a natural fit” for the store, says Christi Korzekwa, senior vice president of marketing for Tractor Supply. “Pets are an important part of both our customers’ and team members’ lives, as well as our store experience.” Run by licensed veterinarians, the clinics offer reduced-cost, appointment-free services, including heartworm prevention, cat and dog vaccinations, microchipping, deworming, flea and tick control, routine screenings and disease testing. “The clinics enable the store to meet the needs of pet-loving customers, beyond merchandise,” says Korzekwa. “Our customers appreciate the convenience, and
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MON E Y
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Organizations supported by PetSmart Charities (pet smartcharities. org) include spay/neuter clinics.
The nonprofit also provides grants to help spay/neuter clinics and animal welfare groups perform surgeries and provide education across the U.S. and Canada. Through PetSmart Charities, $32 million in funding was granted to more than 3,000 animal welfare groups in 2014 in all 50 U.S. states and a number of Canadian provinces. The organization provided funding for more than 214,000 spay/neuter surgeries in 2015. “PetSmart Charities uses 90 cents of every dollar” to help pets in need, says Mardi Larson, director of public relations for PetSmart Charitable Programs. “(The organization) grants more money to
PET GUIDE 2016
PETSMART CHARITIES PROGRAMS INCLUDE: Facilitating the adoption of homeless animals and funding spay/ neuter clinics.
directly help pets in need than any other animal welfare group in North America, with a focus on funding adoption and spay/ neuter programs.” Through its support of the Pets for Life program run by the Humane Society of the United States, PetSmart Charities has also focused on bringing veterinary care and training and education to underserved communities. j
COURTESY OF PETSMART CHARITIES; THINKSTOCK
Sometimes, dogs take it upon themselves to get the help they need. In Monticello, Ky., a little dog wandered into the Tractor Supply Co. store after a local Christmas parade. Manager Derrick Pyles assumed he’d been separated from his owner and let the dog wait inside the store. “By the time everyone left, he was still here,” recalls Pyles. “The (next) morning was our PetVet clinic, so we had him checked out. He received a clean bill of health, estimated (to be) about 1 year old.” Another family visiting the clinic took a liking to the dog, and when no one came forward to claim him, he was on his way to a new home.
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MON E Y
COMPARISON SHOP Many pharmacies, including CVS and Target, will fill prescriptions for your pet, so use comparison-shopping sites and apps such as GoodRx. com to determine who stocks the medication and to locate the best price.
FEED LITTLE BITS Half a biscuit is better than one (especially if the plan is to save on calories, too) and makes the box last longer. Your dog’s tail-wagging show of appreciation won’t diminish by one iota if you break that treat in half, or thirds.
Pet Hacks 5 easy ways to save BY CHRIS GARSSON
CLIP COUPONS Periodically search the Internet for manufacturers’ dog food coupons — your brand might be available. Among those offering coupons recently: Hills, Rachael Ray Nutrish and Iams.
FOLLOW THE BOUNCING BALL
PET GUIDE 2016
SCHEDULE IT Depending on the brand, sites such as petco.com and chewy.com typically offer discounts and incentives if you set up an automatic delivery schedule for dog food. No more lugging cumbersome bags, and you’re saving a few dollars, too.
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Off to a Great Start Wrangler bids farewell to Today and signs on for guide-dog training BY LAMBETH HOCHWALD
t’s been a pretty hectic year for Wrangler, the Today show’s guide-dogin-training who garnered more than 250,000 Twitter and Instagram followers during his stint on primetime TV. In mid-March, after a year spent socializing with the NBC morning show’s hosts and guests and working with his puppy raiser, all in partnership with Guiding Eyes for the Blind, the Labrador retriever has
Today co-anchor Matt Lauer, who developed a special attachment to Wrangler, was especially hopeful that Wrangler would pass this critical test. “A lot of people asked if we secretly hoped he’d fail so he would come back to the studio,” he says jokingly. “That’s absolutely not the case. We’re like proud parents. We want him to go off and fulfill
A puppy when he began appearing on the Today show last year, left, Wrangler said good-bye to the hosts, including Matt Lauer, right, in March, to begin formal training as a guide dog.
“graduated” from his on-air role. Wrangler aced his critical In-For-Training (IFT) evaluation, in which he was tested for suitable temperament and his ability to focus. He’s now officially on his way to becoming a full-fledged guide dog. “During that IFT test, our experts watch as the dogs react to such things as rattling cans, knocks on the window and other extreme noises,” says Thomas Panek, president and CEO of Guiding Eyes in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., which provides guide dogs to people with vision loss and service dogs to children with autism.
his mission and be of service to a person who really needs him.” Wrangler will help to fill a rising demand for service dogs. To prepare, he’s spending a few months in formal training on the Guiding Eyes campus, says Stephanie Koret, Wrangler’s trainer and a Guiding Eyes instructor. Training will include an introduction to curbs, working with a trainer who is blindfolded, learning to get on and off an escalator and navigating busy subway platforms and city streets. j
IN IT FOR LIFE Top breeds can capture our hearts, but do your research before your find your furever friend BY NANCY MONSON
PET GUIDE 2016
f you’ve fallen in love with a popular dog breed, it’s wise to remember that “popular” doesn’t always mean “compatible.” Before you open your home to a roly-poly Lab puppy or a sweet-faced beagle, help ensure that the two of you will be a lifelong match. As many rescue groups can attest, the road to the animal shelter can be paved with good intentions. To begin, research the breed’s personality traits, potential health issues, energy levels and trainability to determine if the dog will likely fit your lifestyle, interests and budget. We talked to the experts for some insights into several breeds that America adores. Here’s a look at some of the most endearing — and challenging — characteristics of five breeds on the top 10 list of most popular dogs, as determined by the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) registration statistics for 2015.
LABRADOR RETRIEVERS WHY WE LOVE THEM: Labs, be they black, yellow or chocolate, are friendly, joyful, high-energy animals who make great companions for kids and adults alike. “Every day is an adventure for Labs. Their souls are so open and pure,” says Eleanor Blakeney, adoption placement coordinator for the nonprofit Labrador Retriever Rescue Inc. in New England. Topping the AKC list of most popular dogs for 25 years running, Labs are eager to please, so they’re not difficult to train and are consistently used as therapy and guide dogs.
WHAT TO CONSIDER: These exuberant retrievers, who were bred as sporting dogs, need lots of exercise and social interaction, and tend to be “kids” longer than many other breeds. If your family enjoys the outdoors, this breed could be the dog for you. If you’re a couch potato, think twice. Labs with too much energy to burn might get into trouble and go on a chewing spree. They also can grow rather large (averaging 55 to 80 pounds), so they may not be the best choice for tight quarters. The breed is prone to health issues, such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy and skin allergies, which, like all medical conditions, require care and lead to vet bills. They also tend to shed, so take note if you’re looking for a breed that won’t trigger allergies.
IN IT FO R L I F E
GERMAN SHEPHERDS WHY WE LOVE THEM: Loyal to a fault, devoted and courageous, German shepherds are smart and easy to train, says Debbie Marson, who has fostered more than 300 dogs for Virginia German Shepherd Rescue, which serves the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The second-most-popular dog in the country since 2012, these versatile shepherds make excellent family pets with the proper upbringing or participate heroically in military and police service. They also take quickly to agility training, says Gina DiNardo, vice president of the AKC. WHAT TO CONSIDER: Large dogs (averaging 75 to 90 pounds) who were bred to work, German shepherds require a substantial amount of exercise or they can become destructive. They tend to bond closely with their owners, and might be protective and aggressive toward outsiders unless socialized and trained properly. (Their guard-dog reputation is why some insurance companies and condo/apartment complexes ban them.) German shepherds shed a lot and need weekly grooming. On the health front, indiscriminate breeding can result in hip and elbow dysplasia, blood disorders, digestive problems and epilepsy, according to Joanne Yohannan, senior vice president of operations for the North Shore Animal League America, a no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization in Port Washington, N.Y.
PET GUIDE 2016
BULLDOGS WHY WE LOVE THEM: “Bulldogs are two-year-olds in fur suits,” says Diana Engeszer, president of the board of directors of the Bulldog Club of America Rescue Network. “They’re very busy, delightful, friendly dogs. They don’t see themselves as dogs but as kids, and they make excellent family pets.” With a muscular build and a
signature underbite, bulldogs weigh in at about 40 to 50 pounds. They don’t crave exercise the way some of their other companions on the top 10 list do, so if you’re not highenergy yourself, they may be a breed to consider. (Though keep in mind that they need some regular activity to avoid excess weight gain.) Bulldogs, who ranked fourth in popularity in 2015, are usually calm and gentle in personality and have short coats that are easy to care for.
WHAT TO CONSIDER: “Bulldogs are a high-maintenance and high-care breed,” Engeszer explains. They can be willful and manipulative, demand attention and can be challenging to train. They’re prone to breathing issues due to their flat, “smooshed” faces and, as a result, may overheat quickly in hot weather. They may develop skin and orthopedic problems, and their face wrinkles and ears — while super cute — need daily cleaning.
TO THE RESCUE
To find out more about dogs who need new homes, contact one of the organizations below or another reputable rescue group in your area.
SOS Beagle Rescue Inc., which has chapters in Alabama, New Jersey and Tennessee sosbeagles.org
Virginia German Shepherd Rescue shepherdrescue.org
Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue Inc. yorkierescue.com
Bulldog Club of America Rescue Network and Saint Louis English Bulldog Rescue rescuebulldogs.org stlbulldogrescue.org
Labrador Retriever Rescue Inc. labrescue.com
IN IT FO R L I F E
BEAGLES WHY WE LOVE THEM: One look into a beagle’s limpid brown eyes and any number of potential owners are understandably smitten. Cute and smart with a signature howl (“Aroo!”), they’re also friendly, curious and outgoing, says Beth Schultheis, director of the Tennessee chapter of SOS Beagle Rescue Inc. “They are generally good with other dogs, kids and even cats if raised with them,” she says. The fifth-most-popular dog, beagles typically range from 15 to 35 pounds, just the right size for many owners. WHAT TO CONSIDER: That same “aroo” bark can drive many people crazy! In addition, beagles follow their nose, says Schultheis. They can easily stray when on the scent — they were bred as hunting dogs, after all — so it’s particularly important that they be leashed or fenced in. They can be stubborn, which makes them challenging to train, and they’re very food-motivated and thus prone to obesity, as well as ear infections and skin allergies, Yohannan says. And because they’re quick and energetic, they need a decent amount of exercise.
ALWAYS PURCHASE A PUREBRED DOG FROM A REPUTABLE BREEDER WHO HAS PERFORMED HEALTH TESTING AND SOCIALIZED THE PUPPY PROPERLY, SAYS GINA DINARDO, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB. GO TO AKC.ORG FOR MORE INFORMATION.
PET GUIDE 2016
YORKSHIRE TERRIERS WHY WE LOVE THEM: A toy dog with spunk and vigor, the tiny Yorkie (generally weighing from 3 to 13 pounds) makes for an intelligent companion who can be a particularly good match for owners in small spaces. The AKC’s Gina DiNardo calls them “big dogs in a little dog package.” They’re perfect for your lap and for cuddling, yet they’re also sturdy, smart and feisty, and can be trained to respond to commands and to do tricks. It’s also not uncommon to find these pint-sized competitors on the agility course. Yorkies, who ranked seventh in popularity in 2015, have hair rather than fur and shed very little, so they can be suitable for owners with allergies, adds Yohannan.
WHAT TO CONSIDER: Yorkies can be yappy, and those whose hair is kept long must be groomed frequently. Yohannan notes that they have a high prey drive (as many terriers do) and will go after other pets (cats, hamsters) if you don’t introduce them properly. Yorkies are prone to congenital bone and joint issues as well as liver disease, but the good news is that they typically live from 12 to 18 years, says MaryElizabeth Dugmore, president of Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue Inc. j
N SHAMING ALLOWED How to work with your dog to achieve better behavior
o you understand your dog’s behavior? Probably not. “We’re not taught how dogs communicate so we make false assumptions based on how we interact with other people,” says John Ciribassi, a veterinarian and co-editor of Decoding Your Dog from the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. “The fact is, dogs do what they do for entirely different reasons.” Say, for instance, you discover that your dog has chewed your shoe; you might think her submissive posture is an admission of guilt. But the fact is, she doesn’t remember what she did and is only taking her cues from your angry posture or expression. “So many animals suffer because their owners don’t understand them,” says Lisa Radosta, a veterinary behaviorist, writer and lecturer based in Florida. “Your dog doesn’t need to be punished; he needs unconditional love and compassion in order to make positive behavioral changes.” For many common issues, such as jumping, barking and chewing, solutions may include positive reinforcement for good behavior. You can provide something that the dog appreciates — attention, play, a reward
PET GUIDE 2016
— immediately after the desired behavior occurs, says Ciribassi. Some behaviors, however, are more complicated and may stem from emotional disorders. “A large percentage of dogs with emotional disorders act out of self-preservation,” says Ciribassi. “They’re not ‘bad’ dogs or ‘mean’ dogs. The behavior is the dog’s way of trying to cope and to feel better.” As a first step, talk to your vet, who may also refer you to a board-certified veterinary behaviorist. Sometimes a combination of medication or supplements and behavior modification or reward-based training will be necessary. The important thing is that you take positive action; problem behaviors only grow worse over time. “Dogs require kind and compassionate guidance to help them learn a different way of responding in a given scenario,” says Mikkel Becker, a certified trainer for VetStreet.com. “A dog’s love is totally pure and unconditional — he loves you for you. We owe it to them to do our best to understand them.” Here are five common behavioral issues and expert tips to put you both on a path toward a happier home.
BY C H R YST L E F I E D L E R
HI! HI! HI!
Jumping on people As puppies, dogs jump on their mother to get attention and get fed. “It’s an instinctual behavior,” says Becker. “It can also be a sign of anxiety that you’ve been gone. Dogs just can’t contain their emotions.”
SOLUTION Don’t push the dog away. Instead, ask her to “sit” and give you a doggy handshake. Or peek in the door so the dog can see you. Ask her to “sit” and then throw a toy with a treat inside and encourage her to find it. Or give her a toy or treat to chew. A front-clip harness can also help you maintain gentle control with a larger dog. “It’s (in) the first 30 seconds that a dog is most likely to jump, so using a diversion gets you through this time,” advises Becker. In other words, make it fun.
TRAINING TIPS From trainer Mikkel Becker of Vetstreet.com
BE POSITIVE. Incorporate a variety of rewards to reinforce desired manners throughout the day.
MONITOR YOUR DOG’S EMOTIONAL STATE. Many problem behaviors occur because a dog is fearful, anxious, frustrated or upset. Addressing your dog’s emotions, with your vet’s help, can help change behavior for the better. 39
Chewing Puppies chew when they are teething, but older dogs often like it, too. “It feels good. It’s soothing, and it’s a stress reliever,” says Becker.
SOLUTION “Offer toys with a variety of textures that they really like and praise them like crazy when they chew it,” says Becker. “Show your dog that they are doing something right.” To be proactive, put any items you want to keep safe in a secure area. Dogs can be really skilled at finding things to chew, so use child locks and baby gates if necessary, or create a dog-proof area free of temptations.
SCHEDULE REGULAR CHECK-UPS. Your vet can help you find any possible links between behavior issues and medical conditions. 40
PET GUIDE 2016
“Dogs bark because it’s their way of talking,” says Ciribassi. “Or because of territoriality when people or dogs go by the home, to gain attention to be fed or petted, and fear of strangers.”
SOLUTION First, have your veterinarian rule out any medical issues. Pain, such as ear problems or chronic arthritis, or separation anxiety can prompt dogs to bark. To discourage a fuss over territory, engage him in other activities in your yard. In the house, keep him away from the front windows or the door where he’s more likely to see or hear strangers and other dogs. If he does bark, divert his attention, and reward the positive behavior with a treat.
BOND WITH YOUR DOG IN WAYS THAT FIT HIS PERSONALITY. Play fetch or take a walk, try interactive food puzzles or create a canine treasure hunt to mimic scavenging for food in the wild. Take a book outside and enjoy the sunshine with an older dog. And remember to include exercise that’s appropriate to his physical needs.
Share Curiosity. Read Together. w w w. r e a d . g o v
PLEA S E COM E HOM E. . .
Dogs who can’t deal with being left alone are in real distress and, in some cases, will panic. They may stick to you like glue when you are home, or if you leave the house, they’ll dig, scratch at doors or windows, chew up furniture, bark, howl and whine or urinate and defecate in the house. The disorder is “caused by an underlying genetic abnormality that manifests itself in fear-based behavior,” Ciribassi says.
If your dog is engaging in excessive repetitive behaviors with no obvious purpose, such as spinning, tail-chasing or continual licking, he may be suffering from a compulsive disorder.
SOLUTION Separation anxiety only worsens, so treatment is necessary. As a first step, record your dog after you leave; most canines exhibit symptoms within the first 20 to 30 minutes of you being gone, but they can also stop and start. If you suspect separation anxiety, talk to your vet. Treatment options often include anti-anxiety drugs. “The majority of dogs with separation anxiety need medication … because we’re addressing an underlying medical abnormality,” Ciribassi says.
BE PATIENT. Remain loving, calm and consistent with your expectations. A variety of resources are available to help with dog behavior issues. The gold standard of care is a veterinary behaviorist. 42
PET GUIDE 2016
Compulsive disorders, which may have a genetic component, can be due to conflict, stress or frustration. “When your dog is stressed, his brain releases certain neurotransmitters,” says Radosta. “So he may hold a toy in his mouth or perform another behavior to relieve that stress.” Treatments can include eliminating triggers that prompt the activity as well as behavior modification techniques and medication. Take note that the most common cause of excessive self-grooming is a medical condition such as allergies, says Ciribassi. In all cases, consult with your vet to get to the root of the problem. j
DON’T USE PUNISHMENT OR FORCE. Intimidation tactics don’t resolve the problem behavior, are cruel, destroy trust and increase aggression and feelings of anxiety and fear.
Want to understand your dog better? Talk to your vet or contact the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (dacvb.org).
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The animated stars of The Secret Life of Pets are brought to life through the voices of Eric Stonestreet as Duke, Jenny Slate as Gidget, Hannibal Buress as Buddy and Louis C.K. as Max.
PET GUIDE 2016
JASON MERRITT/GETTY IMAGES; KEVIN WINTER/GETTY IMAGES; JESSE GRANT/GETTY IMAGES FOR COMEDY CENTRAL
ILLUMINATION ENTERTAINMENT AND UNIVERSAL PICTURES
A C E LE B R ATIO N O F
New animated film takes an introspective look into their ‘secret’ lives BY M ARY HE L E N B E RG
As you close the door to leave the house, your dog makes sad puppy eyes, silently willing you to return. When you come home, he’s snoring on top of the kitchen table. But what happened during the hours in between? That question led film producer Chris Meledandri to develop The Secret Life of Pets, the fifth animated feature from the creators of the hit Despicable Me franchise. The movie opens July 8 with a pet’s-eye view of what they really do when we’re not looking. “This notion of what your pet is doing when you’re not home is something that’s been kicking around my head for years,” says Meledandri, founder and
TA L K I N G P E T S W I T H
LAKE BELL, ‘ C H LO E ’
Tell us about the dog in your life. In my heart, I will forever have my blue nose rescue pit bull, Margaret, who recently passed away after 17 years of love. She is survived by our family dog, Texas, who’s 4 years old and can only be described as an elegant mutt. How did the two of you find each other? How would you describe your relationship? What does your pet mean to you?
What do you know about the secret life of your pet? What’s one secret you can share about your pet or your relationship with your pet? When I first got Margaret she had a talent for decimating expensive shoes while I was gone, but that was an anxiety disorder that soon dissipated when she realized I was her forever person and I wasn’t going anywhere. I also suspect that she had an ongoing Bridge game with the “mature” neighborhood hounds. Margaret, who was always sort of voluptuous in shape, definitely indulged in butter biscuits in the elaborate tea parties that I fantasized she hosted while I was at work. Do you look at your pet any differently after getting inside the head of a pet while making the movie? No; I’ve always lived my entire life knowing that all animals talk once we leave the room. Lake Bell also appears in the television and Web series Children’s Hospital.
PET GUIDE 2016
THE CREATIVE TEAM SPENT HOURS TALKING OVER PERSONAL ANIMAL EXPERIENCES
CEO of Illumination Entertainment, the production company for The Secret Life of Pets. “But the reason I think it’s a good idea for a movie is because I don’t think I’m the only one that thinks that way.” Interest in the concept is high. The movie’s clever trailers have attracted more than 32 million views, a fact filmmakers believe shows broad appeal and the potential to reach beyond the children’s market to the 65 percent of U.S. households that own pets. “Obviously, the adults in the household love their pets as much as the kids,” says Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, The Lorax, Despicable Me 2) who co-directs the film with Yarrow Cheney. “And heck, there’s a lot of single adults and couples that own pets that
FRAZER HARRISON/GETTY IMAGES; ILLUMINATION ENTERTAINMENT AND UNIVERSAL PICTURES
Margaret was the first animal I had ever fostered but there was no way in hell I was giving her back. We were meant to be together.
TA L K I N G P E T S W I T H
ERIC STONESTREET, ‘ D U K E ’
Tell us about the dog in your life. Coleman Hawkins, aka Bubba, is a 15-year-old beagle/Jack Russell terrier and a rescue. I’ve had him since he was 12 months old. I grew up with many pets (dogs, cats), but also raised pigs and cows that I quickly learned not to make my pets.
JASON MERRITT/GETTY IMAGES
How did the two of you find each other? How would you describe your relationship? What does he mean to you?
In a scene familiar don’t even have kids that to many households, this will appeal to.” Max, left, gets a The movie stars Max, a surprise when his devoted terrier mix, voiced beloved owner by comedian Louis C.K. in brings home Duke, a rescue dog. his first animated feature. Max considers himself “the luckiest dog in New York” until his owner, Katie (Ellie Kemper, Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt), comes home with a slobbering, enormous and overbearing rescue dog named Duke (Eric Stonestreet, ABC’s Modern Family). “He’s going to be your brother!” Katie enthuses as she introduces the two. Although Max would prefer to remain an only child, the two dogs must unite to survive the dangerous city and defeat The Flushed Pets, a gang of abandoned animals who live in the sewers and plot revenge against happy pets and their owners. The story is told from the pets’ perspective with characters that should feel familiar and
I rescued Coleman at a place called Beagles and Buddies. I was living in an apartment at the time and knew I was ready for a dog, but didn’t want to get a big one. When his picture came up on the website for the rescue I knew he was the guy for me. It was love at first sight, for both of us, I’d like to think. Coleman has meant everything to me. He’s been my constant through the ups and downs of my career. Before big auditions I would tell him, “I’m off to go get you a yard!” Relationship-wise I think I like Coleman more than he likes me. He’s an independent guy. What do you know about the secret life of your pet? What’s one secret you can
share about your pet or your relationship with your pet? He pretends to be asleep. I’ve seen him looking out the window to the driveway as I pull in. When I get inside he’s jumped back into his bed and acts as if he’d been there the whole time. One secret I keep from him is that he’s a little guy. I think he would be shocked if he found out he was only 22 pounds, because I’m pretty sure he thinks he’s a 150-pound Rottweiler. Does your own pet have a quirk, habit or a story that you think would have made a good addition to the movie? Coleman takes special care of toys that have faces. If it’s a fuzzy bone or some other object, it’ll be torn to pieces, the stuffing will be everywhere and the squeaker pulled out. If it has a face, it’ll be loved and coddled. Do you look at your pet any differently after getting inside the head of a pet while making the movie? No; if anything it just affirmed everything I thought of animals’ lives already. They’re as complex and particular as we are. I really think Coleman is going to like the movie.
Emmy-award-winning actor Eric Stonestreet also stars in the ABC comedy series Modern Family.
THE ANIMALS BEHIND THE MOVIE Real animals, including personal pets, inspired the look and behavior of Secret Life’s animated characters, say the filmmakers, who hoped to enrich the story and bring dimension and authenticity to the animation.
u Norman, the lost and confused guinea pig in the film, was inspired by co-director Chris Renaud’s roving pet gerbils and guinea pigs who always seem to disappear from their cages — and reappear in the strangest places. u Tiberius, the lonely bird of prey voiced by Albert Brooks, is based on the hawks in New York City, Renaud says, particularly a red-tailed hawk named Pale Male that once nested on a Fifth Avenue building near Central Park. u The look of the “budgie” parakeet in the movie, Sweet Pea, was modeled loosely after the Meledandri family’s pet bird, Swiz. u A Chihuahua that piddles in excitement when its owner returns home is based on an Irish setter Renaud had as a kid. “That’s definitely my dog.” — Mary Helen Berg
Producer Chris Meledandri, left, and codirector Chris Renaud are bringing a pet’s-eye view of life to the big screen.
authentic to pet lovers, says Renaud, who has always lived with a dog, cat, guinea pig or fish, and who recently acquired Mimi, a 5-month-old Pomeranian. “We tried to be very true to who they are, maybe how they see the world,” Renaud says. “Whether it’s not understanding time or numbers, or how they always, particularly in the case of a dog when you leave just for a minute, you come back and they’re so excited to see you, it’s like you’ve been gone five years.” To fill the movie with moments pet lovers would relate to, the creative team first spent hours talking over personal animal experiences and collected anecdotes from friends and family to include in the story. They also brought dogs into the studio to study the rapport between large and small breeds. Animators tried to re-create the movement and attitude of actual pets instead of attaching human traits to cartoon animal bodies. Bryan Lynch, who co-wrote the movie with Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, and often types with one of his two dogs on his lap, hopes this attention to detail helps give a realistic feel to the characters and inspires viewers to love their animals just a little more — or rescue one. “First and foremost, (the movie) is the celebration of the love we have for them and definitely the overwhelming love they have for us,” he says. “I honestly think that there are so many amazing animals out there and so many with fantastic personalities out there.” An all-star cast brings the characters to life with comedian Kevin Hart as Snowball (the diabolical bunny leader of The Flushed Pets) and Lake Bell as Chloe, a cat with attitude to spare. Hannibal Buress, Albert Brooks, Dana
ILLUMINATION ENTERTAINMENT AND UNIVERSAL PICTURES; GABRIEL OLSEN/GETTY IMAGES
u Producer Chris Meledandri’s terriers influenced the look of the character Max, a terrier mix. “I think I found myself not consciously pushing (the character design of) Max towards a terrier but kind of unconsciously pushing Max towards a terrier,” he says.
The Secret Life of Pets takes a lighthearted look at what animals may do while their owners are out, from Chloe raiding the fridge, far left, to Buddy sneaking a kitchen massage.
COURTESY OF PETSMART; ILLUMINATION ENTERTAINMENT AND UNIVERSAL PICTURES
The Secret Life of Pets pet products will be available at PetSmart beginning May 31, including:
Buddy the bungee-body toy, $9.99
Duke and Max Fetch tee, $13.99
Max, the six-squeaker toy, $12.99
THE CHARACTERS SHOULD FEEL FAMILIAR TO MOVIEGOERS, SAY THE FILMMAKERS
Carvey, Steve Coogan, Bobby Moynihan and Jenny Slate fill out the company. With the cast scattered around the U.S., and Illumination Entertainment production offices in both Santa Monica, Calif., and Paris, Renaud says he often directed via Skype, encouraging each actor to find his or her inner animal. “What’s it sound like when you’re eating a big bowl of kibble?” Renaud recalls coaching Stonestreet, who learned to pant, lick and growl. Louis C.K. proved to be a natural canine, sometimes ad-libbing dog-appropriate lines, Renaud recalls. “He would always think of his dialogue from the perspective of a dog and how a dog thinks,” Renaud says. Dogs are welcome at Illumination’s offices, where bright yellow Minions (from the Despicable Me franchise) hang from the rafters and fluffy Truffula trees from The Lorax movie “grow” in the reception area. Since Meledandri founded Illumination in 2007, the company’s first five movies in partnership with Universal Pictures have earned more than $3 billion worldwide and two 2014 Oscar nominations for Despicable Me 2. This year, four new movies, including The Secret Life of Pets, are in production simultaneously, Meledandri says. As owner of “supremely naughty” 7-year-old wire-haired terriers Olive and Dash, Meledandri believes his latest film will resonate with anyone who suspects that their animal’s everyday life is richer and more complicated than it appears. “That also extends into ‘What is my pet thinking,’ and ‘How much does my pet love me? How much does my pet miss me?’” he says. “I think these are all very natural extensions for all of us who have ever owned and loved pets.” j
HERO BY STEPHANIE ANDERSON WITMER
FROM DOGS WHO OFFER COMFORT TO ONE WHO LAYS HIS LIFE ON THE LINE, MEET FIVE SPECIAL CANINES WHOâ€™VE MADE A CAREER OUT OF CARING FOR HUMANS
HEIDI HUEBNER; DAVID MORSE
MIXED BREED, AGE 3
AIRPORTS CAN BE HIGH-STRESS environments, with passengers hustling to gates, fuming over missed connections or feeling anxious about flying. That’s where Oliver comes in. He’s one of about 50 dogs in the Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUP) program at Los Angeles International Airport. Volunteers Jill and David Morse of Santa Monica, Calif., stroll the terminals with Oliver so he can cheer up and calm down hurried, harried travelers. Oliver lets people pet and hug him, gives them “kisses” and even poses for pictures. “He’ll sit immediately and almost smile for the camera,” Jill says. “He’s like Santa Claus at the mall.” Oliver, a rescue believed to be part Australian red heeler, is an especially welcome sight for passengers who are missing their own pets or traveling for
Through the Pets Unstressing Passengers program at LAX, Oliver greets and befriends travelers in the terminals.
challenging reasons. “There was a man who was about to see his son in the hospital, with some very, very difficult decisions ahead,” David recalls. “He sat down with Oliver and almost cried at how it helped him to touch something warm and soft and take his mind off a little bit of what was ahead of him. It was incredibly touching.” The use of comfort dogs at airports is becoming popular — United Airlines even provided professionally trained comfort canines at seven of its hubs in December to help ease passenger stress. The Morses didn’t anticipate just how much their dog would help total strangers simply by being himself. “It’s unbelievable,” says Jill. “This is much more important than what we thought it was going to be.”
MILITARY WORKING DOG
RROBIEK WAS BORN TO be a hero. A military working dog for the U.S. Army, he was bred and trained to serve and protect his human counterparts. As a member of the 947th Military Regiment Police Detachment Kennel, Rrobiek is a patrol explosive detector dog working at Fort Belvoir and Joint Base Fort Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia with his handler, Staff Sgt. Matthew Holley. Their duties include sweeping for explosives during visits by foreign dignitaries and other VIPs, and doing the same for the president and vice president when they travel. In 2014, Rrobiek and Holley were deployed to Kunar province, Afghanistan. They led troop formations, allowing Rrobiek to use his powerful sense of smell and rigorous training to locate
PET GUIDE 2016
A patrol explosive detector dog for the U.S. Army, Rrobiek and his handler, Staff Sgt. Matthew Holley, also served in Afghanistan.
improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and other weapons hidden in their path. During that year, Rrobiek found about 60 IEDs and 12 caches of weapons, Holley says. While he’ll never know for sure, Holley estimates that for every IED Rrobiek discovered, the dog saved the lives of about a dozen soldiers. The Belgian Malinois is one of several breeds highly favored as military working dogs; their enormous contributions are memorialized by the Military Working Dog Teams National Monument at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. “He loves his job and wants to search for explosives to basically make me happy,” Holley says of the bond between them. Whether stateside or overseas, “there’s not a product out there that can find explosives like a dog can.”
BELGIAN MALINOIS, AGE 4
Chivas is a therapy dog who looks forward to visiting with those in need of a little TLC.
TOY SHETLAND SHEEPDOG, AGE 5
FOUR YEARS AGO, TINA Currie had hoped her new sheltie, Chivas, could become a volunteer therapy pet like her older dog, but the puppy seemed too high-spirited for the job. But after her older dog died, Currie gave Chivas another chance, and was pleasantly surprised when he excelled during training. Now, Chivas, of Birmingham, Ala., makes three to four therapy visits a week for Hand in Paw, an animal-assisted therapy organization. He cheers up patients, assists with therapy or sits while students learning English read aloud to him. “He loves to go,” Currie says. “He’s been known to go into my closet and pull at my uniform shirt, like, ‘Can we please go to work?’” Hand in Paw screens, evaluates and connects owners and their pets with opportunities for
volunteer therapy visits. One stop for Chivas is the pediatric hospital Children’s of Alabama, where in 2015, Chivas met Hunter Towe, 15, who suffers from dilated cardiomyopathy and needs a heart transplant. Confined to his bed, the teen felt defeated and depressed, says his mother, Sherry Towe. But after Hunter met Chivas, his demeanor improved, and his doctors turned visits with Chivas into rewards for meeting physical therapy and other goals. Hunter’s condition improved. Sherry calls Chivas her son’s “saving grace … That dog, he changed the game.” “Each time we visited, you could see a difference,” Currie says. “(The visits) motivated Hunter. It gave him something to look forward to,” Sherry adds.
L.D. (LITTLE DUDE) may be a small dog, but his sense of smell is practically Herculean. As part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s “Beagle Brigade,” L.D. sniffs out prohibited agricultural and meat products entering Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. The job is an important one — something as innocuous as an apple brought in from another country could carry pests or pathogens harmful to American trees, crops or animals. Like L.D., many of the dogs in the program are rescues. They spend two months in basic training, learning to detect odors such as beef, pork, apple, mango and citrus, then log 10 more weeks training with handlers. By the time the dogs retire, at age 8, they’ll be able to detect more than 50 different scents.
PET GUIDE 2016
L.D. and agriculture specialist Nancy Withrow patrol LAX, where he sniffs out produce and animal products that shouldn’t be brought into the country.
In the two years CBP agriculture specialist Nancy Withrow and L.D. have worked together, he’s surprised her by finding exotic fruits he’s never set eyes (or nose) on before — including an Asian snake fruit — and detecting a flower a passenger had tucked inside her breast pocket. At LAX, Withrow walks L.D. past arriving passengers and luggage. When he’s found something, he sits to alert her. Their friendly temperament, nonthreatening size, strong food drive and odor-detecting prowess make beagles like L.D. invaluable. In one pass, Withrow says, “the dogs are able to screen hundreds of bags for potential targets. That would take a human being weeks to do.” L.D. is even a bit of a celebrity. Along with the rest of his colleagues, he has his own CBP trading card.
U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION
BEAGLE, AGE 4
Camaro is Damien Widmer’s service dog and an invaluable member of the family.
GOLDEN RETRIEVER, AGE 4
FOR A CHILD WITH special needs, dogs can be more than just companions — they can be lifesavers. Damien Widmer, 13, has seven neurological disorders, and certain triggers can cause him to have what his stepfather Jeff Clark calls “meltdowns.” Sometimes they involve biting, kicking and flailing. At other times, Damien may run and hide. The family, who live in Birmingham, Ala., needed help, which came in 2013 in the form of a service dog named Camaro. Trained by Ohio organization 4 Paws for Ability, which provides service dogs to children, Camaro can recognize subtle changes in Damien’s behavior and stop meltdowns before they start by burrowing his nose under the boy’s arms or pawing at him. Camaro can also be tethered to Damien to prevent
him from getting lost in crowds. Fortunately, the dog also has Damien’s scent memorized. Late one night, Damien dashed out the front door and was nowhere to be found. Camaro tracked Damien to a place he’d never hidden before: under the family’s minivan. The dog discovered him just in time, as Clark’s next step was to get in the van and back it out of the driveway to go look for Damien around the neighborhood. “Camaro saved his life that night,” Clark says. “I have no doubt of it.” The entire family has been changed by Camaro’s presence. “We were essentially shut-ins for three years because it wasn’t worth the risk to go do things,” Clark says. “Now, with Camaro, there’s nothing we can’t do.” j
Sherry and Keith Gregor converted their living room into a bedroom for their two dogs.
S.J. Janis Co. helped Todd Whitney and Linda Axnick create a deluxe area for their dogs.
PET GUIDE 2016
and SHERRY GREGOR; DOUG EDMUNDS; COURTESY OF WELLBORN CABINET INC.
A pet center is incorporated into a Wellborn Cabinet Inc. design that includes plenty of storage.
B E Y O N D “It all started with a pet door,” Sherry Gregor recalls.
D ecorat in g a nd rem od e l in g hav e go n e to t he do g s as owne r s pul l out a l l t he s t o p s BY STACEY FREED
She and her husband, Keith, wanted an easy way for Max, a Staffordshire bull terrier, and Gusto, a Cane Corso, to go outside their Cincinnati home. One thing led to another, and now the living room is the dogs’ bedroom, complete with raised beds, a deck and pool access, storage for toys and food and a treat dispenser. The Gregors are not alone. According to a recent survey by Houzz.com — an online platform for design and remodeling — more than one-third of homeowners have done some pet-related remodeling in the last two years, including upgraded flooring and reconfigured room layouts. “It’s part of a growing trend,” says Wilmington, Del.-based kitchen and bath designer Ellen Cheever. “We are no longer pet owners; we are pet parents. These animals are family members. (Clients want a) place for their dogs to be comfortable in the spaces we design for them.” New-home builders, including Toll Brothers, CalAtlantic Homes and custom builder Grenadier Homes, are moving on the trend by including pet amenities such as suites, washing stations and feeding zones.
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Max and Gusto enjoy quality time in their Cincinnati home; built-in bowls and food storage are a plus!
— Ellen Cheever, designer
PET GUIDE 2016
A ROOM OF THEIR OWN The transformation in the Gregors’ home began when they hired Matt Martini of OnSight Construction to install a large, automatic Solo pet door. During the planning, the Gregors had an aha! moment when they realized, as Sherry says, that “no one uses the living room, and the pool and the only grass are in the side yard right outside the living room.” The idea for Max and Gusto’s bedroom was born. Martini ripped up the carpeting and installed a hardwood floor. He built two custom beds to match wood cabinets used for storage that include large roll-out containers for kibble. He then added a low shelf for food and water bowls that are filled from above by a wall-mounted pot filler. The Gregors didn’t skimp on materials, choosing granite for the counters so that the room fits with the rest of the home’s décor. Martini also built a deck for the dogs using Veranda composite deck lumber for low maintenance. Like a couple of guys on spring break, Max and Gusto can trot out their automatic door and head to the beach-access pool where they “like to stomp around in the shallow end,” Sherry says. Magnets on their collars activate the door — when the dogs approach, the door opens for a few seconds and then closes. “Humans can fit through it,” Sherry says, “but if someone were to come in and see my 150-pound dog on the other side, they’d turn around. I’m not worried about it.” Best of all, she says, “we never have to rush home to let the dogs out.” When the Gregors aren’t home, they check in via PetChatz, a phone app with a wall-mounted device that lets them get face time with the boys — and dispense treats.
SHERRY GREGOR; THINKSTOCK
“We are no longer pet owners; we are pet parents. These animals are family members.”
A CLEAN DESIGN Remodeler Debra Moore, owner of Custom Design/Build in Ann Arbor, Mich., offers this checklist to outfit an ideal dog-bathing area: • A tub or washing surface that is at least waist-high for good ergonomics for the owner. • An easy, non-slip, walk-up surface (such as stairs or a ramp) so dogs can reach the bathing area without you lifting them. • A hand-held spraying wand with adequate pressure options. The Gregors had a door installed that’s activated by the dogs’ collars.
• Enough curb, shelf or horizontal space for bath products and tools. • A place for a wall-mounted dryer and/or coat blower. • A good exhaust fan and lighting. • Adequate protection from spills. Consider a half-wall, glass panel or a drain in the main floor beyond the tub. • A plumbing trap — possibly professional-grade depending on the amount of hair — or a strainer or standard shower drain to catch hair. • Access to the drain line/trap to allow for easy cleaning. • Enough floor space where you can contain the dog while he dries.
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KITCHEN GROUPIES “Kitchens are not exclusively for
Wellborn Cabinet’s pet center has space for a bed and feeding bowls.
PET GUIDE 2016
B AT H I N G B E A U T I E S As a practical solution to muddy paws and dirty coats, washing stations often make the top of the remodeling wish list. Brent Gunsbury, president of Bercher Design & Construction in Baxter, Minn., recently completed a bath for clients that includes an open shower in a laundry room. Leroy Johnson, co-owner of Four Brothers LLC in Washington, D.C., built a wash station adjacent to doggy “bunk beds” in what was once a hallway and laundry area. Todd Whitney and Linda Axnick of Caledonia, Wis., were tired of carrying muddy dogs upstairs to the bathtub and of dealing with all the feeding bowls in the kitchen. So Whitney and Axnick, both veterinarians, hired S.J. Janis Co. of Wauwatosa to revamp their mudroom into a spa fit for a dog, or six — two golden retrievers and four flat-coated retrievers. S.J. Janis custom-built a 3-by-5-foot raised dog-washing station with a one-piece base made of Vikrell, a nonporous composite material. “It’s low-maintenance and has no grout to clean,” says director of sales Nathan Wachtl. The basin is surrounded by a durable, nonporous acrylic solid surface known as HiMacs with a seamed corner and no grout joints and sits on top of a custom cabinet from Plato Woodwork. A retractable step pulls out for easy access to the waist-high station. “This way the homeowners don’t have to lift the dog or bend over to wash them,” Wachtl says. Molding is enamel and the cabinets high-gloss, making everything durable and easy to clean. Opposite the wash station are a feeding area, a place to hang leashes and storage cabinets for food and toys.
WELLBORN CABINET INC; GREG HADLEY PHOTOGRAPHY
cooking anymore, and our fourlegged friends want to be part of the gathering,” says designer Cheever. The National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2016 Trends Survey says “fully half” of its members included pet-friendly features in kitchens in 2015, and 35 percent of its members are expecting to do more of them this year — from hidden dog food and water bowls to marble-lined dog crates and custom dog-gate pocket doors. A good first step that’s also relatively inexpensive is to get dog bowls out of the way by putting them at the base of a cabinet or installing a pull-out toe-kick drawer. The end of a cabinet run, under an island or under banquette seating are ideal spots for a dog bed — Wellborn Cabinet Inc. makes a pet center designed to hold a dog bed and bowls.
M AT E R I A L M AT T E R S As owners are designing space for their pets, they should think about the materials they want to use, advises Margit Jacobson, interior designer and senior project manager for Leighton Design Group in Rochester, N.Y. Jacobson suggests putting indoor-outdoor fabrics on indoor furniture if the dogs will be using them. Consider linoleum or another softer floor covering, especially for older dogs who could use a little cushioning for their joints. “Luxe-looking” nylon Stainmaster rugs can fit right in with your design scheme, Jacobson adds. “Or look at broadloom wall-to-wall carpets with a pattern or a sheen. Have it cut and bound as an area rug for an inexpensive way to bring a great look into a room where pets will be hanging out.” Do the dogs like all this attention? “If you can measure a dog’s happiness by how quickly they wag their tail when they see something,” says Gunsbury, “I think we’re successful.” j A dog-friendly remodel from Four Brothers LLC features a washing station and bunk beds.
RESOURCES For more information on the designs mentioned here, go to: DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
• onsightconstruction.com • platowoodwork.com • ellencheever.com • bercher.com • fourbrotherscarpentry.com • sjjanis.com • leightondesign.com • custom-designbuild.com
Vikrell: sterlingplumbing.com Hi-Macs: lghimacsusa.com Solo: solopetdoors.com Veranda: verandadeck.com PetChatz: petchatz.com Cabinets: wellborn.com
The room devoted to dogs in the home of Todd Whitney and Linda Axnick provides space for feeding and storage.
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Calorie Countdown Changes to dog-food labels can help owners ward off canine obesity BY CINDY KUZMA
fter his beloved shepherd mix, Bonnie, faced knee surgery in 2011, Eric Pihl knew losing weight would ease the strain on her joints. So the Arlington Heights, Ill., resident began driving her to weekly therapy, where she logs miles on an underwater treadmill. To provide her with nutritious treats, he grows green beans in his garden and makes chicken strips using a dehydrator. Pihl doesn’t mind these extra efforts to improve Bonnie’s health. But when he first tried to cut her calories to the vetrecommended 751 per day, he hit a frustrating roadblock. “Most dog-food manufacturers did not have calorie information on the packaging or online,” he says. “I had to call, email, harass and basically say, ‘Look, I want to do the right thing, but I can’t without the information.’” Meanwhile, Marcy Cap, whose beagles Bagel
and Maxwell each need 560 calories per day to stay trim, often finds herself overwhelmed by nutritional details. “I have file folders filled with research on dog food,” says Cap, who also lives in Arlington Heights. “I had to color-code a chart — which foods were high in fat, which ones were high in protein. There’s so much information out there, you just start to throw up your hands.” Pihl, Cap and other pet parents may soon find it far simpler to determine calorie counts — they’ll just have to flip over the package. Under model regulations proposed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), manufacturers will display this information on labels for all dog and cat food, including treats. The AAFCO has no formal regulatory power, so it’s up to each state to adopt these draft rules as laws or regulations, says Kristen
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MEET THE KILOCALORIE The calories on a dog-food label are the same measurement as the one on your granola bar — essentially, the amount of energy each portion provides. Technically speaking, what’s commonly referred to as a calorie is actually a kilocalorie. Scientists calculate this as the amount required to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius. In order to be labeled “complete and balanced,” all dog foods must meet AAFCO nutrient profiles. But depending on the
PET GUIDE 2016
You’ll no longer have to guess how many calories are in dog food.
ingredients, the difference in calories between two formulas can be as wide as the gulf between a stick of celery and a cheeseburger. “There are wild variations; you can literally have a pet food that has 200 or 300 more calories per cup than a comparable nutritionally complete formula,” says Dr. Ernie Ward, a veterinarian and founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). Ward calls the labeling changes “long overdue” and says transparency is crucial in helping control dog obesity and its consequences, from arthritis to diabetes to canine cardiovascular problems. An annual survey conducted by APOP found that 53 percent of dogs in the U.S. were overweight or obese in 2014. “The most important decision a pet owner makes every day about their pet’s health is what they feed it,” he says. Provide calorie counts, he believes, and owners will make wiser decisions for their animal’s well-being.
UP FOR THE COUNT Understanding your dog’s calorie needs starts with a visit to your veterinarian, says Dr. Lindsay Seilheimer, head of rehabilitative medicine at Veterinary Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove, Ill. Your vet will weigh your dog and consider its age, breed, lifestyle,
Green, vice chair of the AAFCO Pet Food Committee. When the states do (and most typically follow AAFCO model regulations), companies with products on the shelves before Jan. 1, 2014, will have until Jan. 1, 2017, to comply (products introduced after Jan. 1, 2014, would already be expected to meet the requirement). A number of pet-food manufacturers are already listing calorie counts on packaging, including global manufacturers like Royal Canin. “We think it’s very important to provide that information to help pet owners and their vets make informed decisions about feeding amounts,” says Dr. Brent Mayabb, a veterinarian and Royal Canin’s vice president of corporate affairs.
HOW TO READ THE LABEL
Under the new guidelines, dog-food labels will list calorie counts two ways. The calories per kilogram of food you’ll see can help you compare products. You’ll also find the calories listed in a common household measure, such as a cup, which you can use to determine how much to feed. For instance, if you know your dog needs 410 calories per day and each cup contains 200, then provide two cups, plus 10 calories in nutritious treats.
HOW MANY CALORIES DOES YOUR DOG NEED? To get a general idea, follow this guide:
activity level and whether she’s spayed or lactating or he’s neutered. The doctor will also calculate a body condition score, which takes into account how easy it is to feel Fido’s ribs. All this factors into your pet’s ideal weight. Once you know this magic number, you can work with your vet on a pound-shedding plan if your dog is overweight. Reducing calories always plays a key role, Seilheimer says. Exercise matters, but most owners overestimate the impact — for instance, a 30-pound Lab will only burn about 55 calories per mile of brisk walking, she notes. As for treats — a few bites of toast or pizza crust could easily account for 10 percent of your pooch’s daily calorie needs, Ward warns. He advises sticking to low-cal options such as green beans, carrots, celery or cucumber. Or, substitute quality time or affection. Pihl — who’s helped Bonnie drop from 63 pounds to a svelte 48 — agrees. “Food is not love,” he says. When Bonnie begs, he’s just as likely to roll around on the floor with her as he is to slip her something tasty. “She appreciates that even more — because a snack lasts three seconds, but playtime can be hours.” j
Ask your veterinarian for your dog’s ideal or goal weight in pounds.
Divide by 2.2 to convert into kilograms.
Multiply by 30, then add 70.
This number represents your dog’s resting energy requirement, the amount he or she burns before physical activity. Feeding this amount should result in safe, steady weight loss. Before making any changes, however, always talk to your vet first.
SOURCE: ASSOCIATION FOR PET OBESITY PREVENTION
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A QUICK FIX
Water Bowl Science Research reveals the sloppy, but efficient, way dogs drink BY SANDRA GORDON
ired of mopping up that persistent puddle around your pooch’s water bowl? Take heart. All canines are sloppy slurpers to some extent. “It’s how dogs drink to maximize their fluid intake,” says Sunghwan (Sunny) Jung, associate professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics at Virginia Tech.
PET GUIDE 2016
JAKE SOCHA, SEAN GART AND SUNGHWAN (SUNNY) JUNG/VIRGINIA TECH
To help Fido clean up his act, researcher Sunghwan (Sunny) Jung offers a simple solution: Try using a deeper drinking bowl.
COURTESY OF THE COMPANIES
To get dog-slurping down to a science, Jung and his colleagues used photography and laboratory simulations to study the lapping mechanics of 19 canines of various sizes and breeds. The inside story? Because a dog doesn’t have full cheeks to create suction like humans do, he raises water into his mouth by curving his tongue toward his lower jaw instead of plunging it straight down into the water bowl. The ladle shape maximizes the amount of tongue surface area that comes in contact with water. To take in as much as possible, dogs also move their tongues rapidly, at an acceleration that’s much faster than cats and beyond what the eye can see. All told, dogs drink by essentially extracting a column of water from their bowl that defies gravity, Jung says. As most dog owners know, it’s a messy process, because not all the water makes it into the column; some gets tossed around the dog’s mouth and splashes onto the floor instead. The team’s findings were published in December in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Jung, who grew up with cats and dogs but doesn’t own a pet himself, is interested in studying how dogs and cats drink because they’ve been good companions for humans for thousands of years and drinking is essential for their survival. And though it seems far out, what if we colonize Mars someday, where gravity is different, and people want to bring their pets with them? “First, we have to understand how dogs and cats drink on Earth,” Jung says. j
WATERPROOFING Now that we know your dog can’t help the way he drinks, it’s time to throw in the towel and contain the drips
Super Absorbent Designed to absorb up to five times its weight in liquids, the Drymate Multi-Use Cool Dog pet mat has a non-slip backing and is machine washable. $21.49 for a set of two, target.com
Easy Access Available in a variety of sizes, the Neater Feeder helps contain the fallout from messy eaters and drinkers. With two stainless steel bowls, it comes in bronze or cranberry. $34.99 to $65.98, neaterfeeder.com
Make It Personal The anti-fatigue Personalized Dog Comfort mat made of natural rubber can also be used in pet feeding areas. $39.50, frontgate.com
Lip Protection The Platinum Pets food & water heavy-duty feeding mat features a lip around the border to prevent spills and is dishwasher safe. $13.63, chewy. com 67
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Keep It Cool Thereâ€™s nothing better on a hot day than homemade popsicles
Is your dog new to fruit and dairy? Begin with a small portion. And when offering popsicles, always hold the stick or use thin rawhide sticks in place of wooden or plastic ones. 2 PETS 2016 68 PET GUIDE 2016
BLUEBERRY POPS From The Healthy Hound Cookbook by Paris Permenter and John Bigley dogtipper.com Also makes a fun filling for a stuffable rubber toy. ▶ 1 cup blueberries, thoroughly rinsed ▶ 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt Puree blueberries and yogurt in a blender. Pour in ice cube trays (Editor’s note: We used popsicle molds for this photo). Freeze. Can be kept frozen in an airtight container up to six months.
DOG-FRIENDLY WATERMELON POPSICLES From Golden Woofs at SugartheGoldenRetriever.com Watermelon’s extremely high water content makes it a cool, refreshing snack. It’s also packed with vitamins A and C and potassium. ▶ Enough watermelon to make 3 cups of juice STEPS Remove all seeds and rind. Blend fruit. Pour into molds. Freeze for about five hours and serve.
BACON ICE CREAM From The Healthy Hound Cookbook Everything’s better with bacon, right? This ice cream has more fat than its fruit-flavored counterparts, but a cube makes a nice reward.
▶ 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
PHOTO BY J E R A L D C OU NC IL FOOD PREP BY C HR IS GA R SSON A ND HA NNA H P R INC E STYLING BY L ISA M . Z IL K A
▶ 3 bacon slices, cooked and finely crumbled ▶ 1 tsp. bacon fat STEPS In a large bowl, mix all ingredients. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Keep frozen in an airtight container for up to six months.
A FAMILY TO LOVE A LIFETIME OF CARE Veterinary care is essential to your petâ€™s health. Talk to your veterinarian about preventive exams to give your pet a longer, happier life.
H E A LT H Y D OG
Reasons for Hope Researchers work to offer a brighter future for dogs with cancer BY PEGGY J. NOONAN
COURTESY OF MORRIS ANIMAL FOUNDATION
hile owners never want to think about their pets contracting cancer, the statistics are sobering. Cancer is responsible for about half the deaths of pets over age 10 and is the leading cause of death in dogs age 2 and older. It’s estimated one in every two dogs will get cancer and one in every four will die from it. Fortunately, the options for treatment are increasing, with researchers working on promising new studies and medical breakthroughs that may lead to cures.
GOLDEN DATA Golden retrievers are particularly susceptible to various forms of cancer, and the nonprofit Morris Animal Foundation in Denver wants to find out why. In an
One-year-old unprecedented initiative, Beckett, of the organization’s Golden Bentonville, Retriever Lifetime Study Ark., is of 3,000 dogs will gather enrolled in the information that will Morris Animal Foundation help researchers see how lifetime study. nutrition, genetics and environment affect canine health and the risk for cancer and other diseases. “This is the largest longitudinal study of dogs undertaken in the United States to date, the first study of its kind,” notes veterinarian and researcher Barbara Wolfe, chief scientific officer for the nonprofit. “We’re primarily looking at four types of cancer: osteosarcoma, lymphosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma and mast cell tumors.” Over the lifetimes of the 3,000 dogs,
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The Morris Animal Foundation’s golden retriever study, which includes Strive, 2, of Makinen, Minn., is gathering data for research into cancer and other diseases.
immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells. “It’s an incredibly promising apGOLDENS proach,” says Nicola J. Mason, an MAY GIVE associate professor of medicine and pathobiology at the University of PennRESEARCHsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine ERS INSIGHTS in Philadelphia. Her Mason Canine INTO CANINE Cancer Immunotherapy Research Laboratory is studying the treatment. “I CANCER think it really is the dawn of a new era for us treating cancer.” KEYS TO IMMUNITY Unlike chemotherapy and radiation, which In the field of medical research, one of the most affect healthy tissues while killing cancer, imexciting new alternatives recruits the body’s own munotherapy kills cancer using a targeted attack
Knowledge is Power
Animals can’t tell us when they don’t feel well, but owners who are armed with an understanding of their dog and a willingness to check for red flags could make a difference.
PET GUIDE 2016
▶ Research your breed’s risks of developing cancer. When we breed dogs for a cute nose, long spindly legs or other traits, some cancer genes probably tag along with the genes for those selected traits, says Ann Hohenhaus, a veterinary
oncologist at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. The golden retriever, the breed most likely to die from cancer, “is absolutely the poster child for what you would see in my waiting room,” Hohenhaus says.
If you know your dog’s breed has a greater risk of developing bone cancer, for instance, you can look for signs such as limping or swelling on a bone. “It is heartbreaking for me or any other specialist to see a patient I could have helped six months ago”
COURTESY OF MORRIS ANIMAL FOUNDATION
data will be amassed through annual physicals, the collection of biological samples such as hair, blood and urine, and questionnaires filled out by owners and veterinarians. The findings will benefit more than just goldens. “Whatever we learn will be applicable to all dogs and even other species,” says Carol Borchert, director of communications for the Morris Animal Foundation.
COURTESY OF MORRIS ANIMAL FOUNDATION
Finn, 2, left, of Denver, and Kova, 3, below, of Pullman, Wash., are lifetime participants in the golden retriever study.
with minimal side effects that “ideally, leave the healthy cells in your body alone,” Mason explains. It also triggers the immune system’s “immunological memory” so it will recognize the cancer if it returns and attack it. Promising cancer immunotherapies include treatment for osteosarcoma, an aggressive and common bone cancer. Mason’s lab began testing a listeria-based osteosarcoma vaccine on 18 dogs in 2012 that she hopes will kick-start the immune system to seek, kill and eliminate cancer cells. The majority of dogs who get osteosarcoma will die, Mason says. Standard treatment is amputation followed by four to six doses of chemotherapy. But the cancer often spreads to the lungs and dogs typically die about a year after treatment. In addition to the emotional toll, it’s difficult for people whose dogs have osteosarcoma to be faced with a bill for $3,000 to $4,000 for surgery and another
if the pet owner knew the risks and knew “there were specialists like me out there,” Hohenhaus says. ▶ See your vet if your dog acts more tired or lethargic than usual or isn’t eating normally, says veterinary pathologist Amy L. MacNeill.
▶ Examine your dog when you’re petting or grooming him. “Don’t just do it for fun, do it with intention,” MacNeill advises. Feel for lumps and bumps on the legs, under the chin and elsewhere. If you find anything suspicious, don’t wait to see if it goes away.
$1,000-plus for chemotherapy treatment that gives their dogs a life expectancy of one year, Mason says. While immunotherapy treatment is expensive and can have side effects, Mason says the hope is that these new treatments will give dogs a median survival time of three to five years. The dogs who were vaccinated in Mason’s study after standard osteosarcoma therapy are living typical, drug-free, happy, healthy lives. “I can’t emphasize how rewarding it is to see those dogs,” she says, but adds that it’s too soon to know whether they are cured. After federally mandated safety studies, Mason’s lab hopes to have conditional licensing by the end of the year. Another immunotherapy vaccination uses oncolytic (cancer-seeking, cancerkilling) viruses to unmask cancer cells that the immune system doesn’t recognize as abnormal because they’re the body’s own tissues, says Amy L. MacNeill, a veterinary pathologist at Colorado State University who collaborates with its Flint Animal Cancer Center in Fort Collins, Colo. The hope is that by infecting cancer with oncolytic viruses, “tumor antigens that were hidden will be shown to the immune system and your own body can kill off those abnormal cells” and then monitor the body for others, says MacNeill, whose work focuses on canine cancer. A clinical trial is researching the safety of using oncolytic viruses in dogs, and so far, “it does seem safe,” she says. It’s unlikely any one treatment will be the cure-all for cancer, MacNeill cautions, but “the hope is that we’ll be able to tailor treatments to our patients to give them the best chance of fighting that cancer.” j
Have your veterinarian check it “sooner rather than later.” ▶ Don’t be afraid of canine cancer treatment. Unlike human cancer therapy where treatments are pushed to the limit despite unpleasant side effects, veterinarians focus on the animal’s quality
of life. Their goal is to give dogs the most effective treatment possible while keeping the dog as healthy and happy as he can be, MacNeill says. “When we are treating cancer, that’s our top priority.” — Peggy J. Noonan
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Matters of the Heart Learn the basics of canine CPR and give your pet a fighting chance BY PEGGY J. NOONAN
o you know what to do for a dog whose heart has stopped beating? More than 100 veterinary specialists around the world combed more than 1,000 scientific papers on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in dogs and cats to develop a set of specific guidelines and best practices for animals in cardiac arrest.
Their 101 guidelines were published in a free special issue of the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care in 2012. The co-chair of that initiative, Daniel J. Fletcher, an associate professor of emergency and critical care at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, distilled the guidelines down to these key steps.
IF A DOG APPEARS UNRESPONSIVE:
First see if you can wake him up. If vigorous stimulation doesn’t rouse him, determine if he’s breathing. Watch or feel for chest movement or air movement in and out of his nose.
If he’s not breathing, check to see if his airway is blocked. (Don’t do this in a conscious, breathing dog — he might bite.) Open his mouth and pull the tongue out to look at his throat.
If something is stuck there (which can be common in dogs), try to pull it out. Stop if the dog responds in any way, because that means he is not in cardiac arrest. “They’re still alive,” Fletcher says, “and you should get them to the vet as soon as possible.”
PET GUIDE 2016
IF A DOG IS IN CARDIAC ARREST:
Have someone get a car to take the dog to a veterinarian as quickly as possible while you start CPR. If you’re alone, call out or phone for help. Whatever caused the dog’s cardiac arrest, it is not something you can fix, Fletcher says. CPR “is just a bridge to keep blood flowing and keep some oxygen going to the tissues while you’re transporting that animal to a veterinarian for care.”
someone is with you, switch places every two minutes so you don’t tire out.
TO KEEP TIME, SING
For medium-, largeand giant-breed dogs, place the dog on his side on the floor and kneel behind his back with your knees right up against his spine. Check the dog’s shape and size to find the right spot to place your hands. If the dog has a: ▶ Round chest — For most dogs (such as Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers), put your hands on the widest portion of the chest, at the widest, highest point or top of the dome shape of the chest with the dog on his side. ▶ Keel-shaped chest — Use the dog’s elbow to find the heart if the dog has a deep, narrow chest shaped like a ski slope or the keel of a boat (such as greyhounds, Doberman pinschers and some German shepherds). With the dog on his side,
‘STAYIN’ ALIVE’ AND MATCH COMPRESSIONS TO THE BEAT. his elbow will point to the heart when you pull it back across the chest about a third of the way toward the shoulder. ▶ Barrel chest — Some dogs have shallow, wide chests shaped like human chests. If you have a barrelchested, flat-nosed dog (such as an English bulldog or pug who tends to roll onto his back when placed on his side), put your hands on the sternum (breastbone) at the center of the chest as you would on a person.
Lace your hands together (one hand atop the other) and place them over the dog’s heart, with your shoulders directly
over your hands and elbows straight. Keep your elbows locked and bend at the waist to make use of your stronger core abdominal muscles.
Push down (push hard in large breeds) to compress the chest about one-third to one-half its width and compress the chest two times per second, 100 to 120 compressions per minute. It’s important not to go too fast or too slow, so keep time by singing Stayin’ Alive, Another One Bites the Dust or another 100-to-120-beatper-minute song in your head. Count beats out loud. Continue for two minutes. If
Exception: If the dog’s chest is small enough to fit in your hand, you can wrap one hand around his chest and squeeze to perform one-handed compressions (at the same 100-to-120beat rate and one-third to one-half chest width compression).
Start mouth-to-snout resuscitation. Give two quick breaths after every 30 chest compressions. To do so, shift your position as necessary and close the dog’s mouth. Wrap your hand around it so no air leaks out. Extend the neck to open the airway — the tip of the nose should be in a straight line with the spine. Make a seal with your mouth over both nostrils and deliver two quick breaths. Resume chest compressions for 30 beats, and repeat.
As soon as a car is available, put the dog inside and continue CPR while someone drives you to the vet. j
Want to learn more? Check out a new Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine CPR online course: vet.cornell. edu/events/petcpr.cfm
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Home, But Not Alone Innovative technology makes keeping an eye on your pet easier than ever
hile you’re away, your pup can play ... supervised. Technological advances have made it a breeze to monitor your dog while you’re at work or just out for dinner. Shanyn Day used to feel awful about leaving her dogs at home, convinced that they would be barking or pacing near the door — but no longer. For the past six months, she’s
PET GUIDE 2016
used a wireless Web camera to keep an eye on Peso, a border collie mix, and Samson, a miniature American Eskimo. “It gives me a lot of comfort to see that they are doing the things they would normally be doing — playing together, napping or drinking water,” says Day, of Stevensville, Mich. Taking advantage of this technology is just one more way owners are expressing their
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PET GUIDE 2016
Being able to hears my mom’s check in on her car arrive in two dogs, Samson the driveway and Peso, with to walk him, a wireless Web his tail starts camera brings Shanyn Day, wagging away of Stevensville, and he greets Mich., a great deal her with many of comfort. howls.” For Cheryl Koning, making sure her dog and cat got along was one of the reasons she installed a Wi-Fi camera in her San Francisco home last year. In doing so, she learned that London, her Leonberger, actually plays with Maxwell, her cat. They even take naps together on the couch. “I also get noise/motion alerts,” says Koning. “My favorite is when he jumps on the couch or whines at Maxwell to try to get him to play.” Another huge benefit of these apps: Getting a heads-up if your pooch is under the weather or causing mischief. “When we have to go to work and London isn’t feeling well, we can check in to see what he’s doing,” Koning says. “We can even rush home if need be, something we did when London got into his food cabinet. We didn’t know he could open the handles. Believe me, we’ve now child-locked that cabinet.” j
A security camera that’s part of the Nest suite of home products, the Nest Cam offers a wideangle view, zoom capability and Nest Aware, a continuous recording option that stores footage to be reviewed later. Nest Cam, $199; Nest Aware starts at $10 per month; nest.com
PETZI TREAT CAM
Use a smartphone or tablet app to monitor your dog and dispense treats. Includes wide-angle camera with night vision and audio. $169.99, petzi.com
SHANYN DAY; COURTESY OF THE COMPANIES
deep emotional connection to their pets. “It’s difficult for dog owners to tear themselves away for any extended period of time,” says Robert Vetere, president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association. “We want peace of mind that our pets are safe and happy, even when we can’t be there to experience it.” Two such devices, Petcube (an interactive Wi-Fi pet camera with real-time video and laser pointer) and Nest (a security camera with 24/7 live streaming and activity alerts), enable pet owners to watch, talk and interact with their pet using their smartphone. “It’s all about the connection,” Vetere notes. “There are two-way cameras now, where not only can you see your pet, but they can see you, and you can give them treats while you’re talking to them.” For the past year, Jenn Haskins, who owns a shiba inu named Rigby, has been using Petzi, an app that connects to a remote pet treat dispenser and camera, to do just that. “In the process of checking in on Rigby, we learned some funny things about him,” says Haskins, who lives in Seattle. “We discovered that Rigby sleeps a lot more during the day than we expected, and, as soon as he
With a Wi-Fi wide-angle camera streaming HD video, PetCube features a built-in microphone and speakers so you can talk and listen to your pet and a laser pointer for remote, interactive play. $199, petcube.com
PLEASE TOUCH Experience the world’s most amazing animals in one app. WWF TOGETHER — the free app from World Wildlife Fund. Download it today. worldwildlife.org/together
Internet s Power Pup eir dogs find th How some social media way into the and how spotlight — o yours can, to
t may start as a lark — snap a few adorable photos, add a witty comment or two and share the results with family and friends. But before you know it, you have hundreds, then thousands of followers confirming what you’ve known all along — your dog has the engaging looks and personality of a superstar. Here’s how four charismatic pooches found fame.
PET GUIDE 2016
Toby, left, and Carter took the Internet by storm after the dog began photobombing the pictures Carter’s mom was taking.
BY HOLLIE DEESE
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I have tons of followers on Instagram!
DEVIN CROUCH; AMBER CHAVEZ; THINKSTOCK
Toby and Carter have attracted 37,300 Instagram followers; Manny the Frenchie, right, boasts more than 1.6 million Facebook fans.
A BOY AND HIS DOG
When Devin Crouch began snapping pictures of her infant son, Carter, three years ago, she began to notice a pattern. Her 2-year-old rescue dog, Toby, was FOLLOW ON always in frame, never far from the newest family member. Soon, Toby’s constant photobombing @carterandtoby led to an unintended side effect: online fame. “When I started taking @carterandtoby pictures, I didn’t really mean for Toby to be in them, but he was so drawn to Carter,” says the Carter Zionsville, Ind., mom. “Anytime and Toby I tried to take a picture of Carter, Toby was there.” Crouch began an Instagram account so that friends and family could see the pics she snapped of Carter and Toby. But they weren’t the only ones getting a kick out of the pair. “I don’t know if it was the hashtags I was using, but then people started to follow and it started to grow,” she says. After the account hit 5,000 followers, Daily Mail of London published an article about them. “Then it just went viral,” Crouch says. One look at her photos and it’s apparent Toby is devoted to his little human. They have 37,300 followers on Instagram, and Carter and Toby will also be featured in a book due later this year — Dogs and Their People: Photos and Stories of Life with a Four-Legged Love by Barkpost.
Growing up in suburban Chicago, Amber Chavez, 34, never imagined her life would one day revolve around the Internet popularity of a 25-pound French bulldog. FOLLOW ON But thanks to the online popularity of her lovable rescue dog, @manny_the_ Manny the Frenchie, she’s left frenchie her job at a hotel spa to maintain his social media accounts, which includes 996,000 followers on @FrenchieManny Instagram, 6,900 subscribers on YouTube, 22,000 followers on Twitter and a whopping 1.6 Manny the million fans on Facebook. Frenchie “My family laughs at me because I wasn’t exactly a dog person,” Chavez says. When she and her boyfriend adopted Manny, however, Chavez was drawn to snapping his picture and set up an Instagram page for all his photos. “He is just so funny, so we were constantly capturing photos,” she says. “I look at him as just my dog, and it’s just really funny and interesting where we’re at now.” Chavez has met celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and DJ/musician Steve Aoki — both fans — and her days are usually filled with writing captions and answering emails. Chavez says she uses the publicity to raise money for various charities. “Manny has got some clout,” she says. “He’s definitely philanthropic.”
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Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund enjoys fame through social media accounts maintained by his owner, Ryan Beauchesne.
LOOK! y I’ve got m ! k o o b n ow Fans of Crusoe can read even more about him in Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund: Adventures of the Wiener Dog Extraordinaire.
PET GUIDE 2016
He has more than 855,000 fans on Facebook, 160,000 on Ryan Beauchesne, 28, Instagram and his book — started a WordPress blog Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund: for the dachshund puppy, Adventures of the Wiener Dog Crusoe, he and his girlfriend Extraordinaire — was a New York FOLLOW ON purchased five years ago. A Times bestseller. Facebook page soon followed “People have always @crusoe_ and Crusoe’s popularity commented what they dachshund organically grew from there. love about the blog is the Inspired by the Weimaraner combination of the writing and he had as a child and the the photos and how they both @Celeb_ iconic William Wegman work off each other to deliver Dachshund photo books his parents the story,” says Beauchesne, kept on the coffee table, who left his job at a small Beauchesne stages elaborate digital marketing and Web Crusoe the shoots with costumes and development agency in Ottawa Celebrity props for Crusoe, captioned in the last year in order to Dachshund on the Crusoe the Celebrity manage Crusoe’s social media Dachshund blog in Crusoe’s full time. voice. “It’s been quite a challenge,” says the From donning a bow tie for “date night” admittedly shy Beauchesne. “I’ve really had to lounging on a poolside chaise in a to improve myself personally in terms of tropical shirt and spiffy hat, Crusoe is speaking. It’s too bad Crusoe can’t talk for dressed for success. himself sometimes.”
RYAN BEAUCHESNE; COURTESY OF THE PUBLISHER; THINKSTOCK
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Cute moments with Dagger Cannonball Thunderfang are captured by Jessica Zollman and posted on Instagram for more than 14,000 followers.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
challenges herself to maintain the sweetJessica Zollman, faced pup’s account 30, who was one daily with a new photo. of the original She usually sticks to employees of whatever is going on FOLLOW ON Instagram when in the moment in his it launched in natural environment, @dagger 2011, noticed whether he’s snuggling, early on that she sleeping or out and was sharing a lot about. of pictures of the Pomeranian “I feel like I’m documenting owned by her then-boyfriend his life,” Zollman says. “It’s this (now husband) on her account. great, almost living journal of A decision to give Dagger him that adds this important Cannonball Thunderfang part of our history as a couple, as his own account in 2012 has individuals and how we’ve taken resulted in more than 14,000 care of him and watched him followers. “Dagger’s account grow. I really love going all the was for these cute, adorable, fun way back through the feed and moments that I could share of seeing how he’s changed and him with our friends and family,” how he looks different. It brings she says. other people joy but really also Now a full-time photographer, brings me joy to be documenting Zollman, of Los Angeles, his life.” j
PET GUIDE 2016
Need a boost in your pet’s online presence? Follow these tips. Meet up with other social media dogs. Jessica Zollman found that engaging with other famous dogs helped grow Dagger’s numbers. “He met a couple of famous dogs on Instagram, including Tuna Melts My Heart (a Chiweenie with 1.7 million followers),” Zollman says. “We took a group photo, Tuna posted it and tagged Dagger.” Interact online, too. “You definitely have to be engaged with people on whatever social media platform you’re using,” says Manny the Frenchie’s mom, Amber Chavez. Comment on and “like” other posts.
Use hashtags appropriately. Zollman keeps them relevant to Dagger being a Pomeranian in order to attract other Pom lovers. After posting a short caption in the first comment, she keeps all hashtags to the second comment space. “That way it doesn’t muddy up or make the caption look messy,” she says. “I think that’s a huge thing in terms of discoverability.” Have fun, with purpose. “Allow your fur babies’ personality (and brand) to shine on social,” advises Kia Jarmon, PR and brand strategist at MEPR Agency in Nashville. In photos, show them “with a book, your favorite coffee mug or even place their paws on the computer keyboard as if posting on Instagram. Let the voice — if they could talk — come through.” — Hollie Deese
JESSICA ZOLLMAN; THINKSTOCK
HOW TO CREATE A FOLLOWING
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Who’s Your Momma? DNA test kits for mixed-breed dogs are getting more exact, but some of the mystery remains BY LORI SANTOS
WHAT IS DNA TESTING? Dogs, like all living organisms, have their own DNA, and each purebred has its own distinctive set of markers. The companies that market DNA test kits for mixed-breed dogs use databases of breed-related genetic markers to run against a sample of your dog’s skin cells (you take a swab from inside his mouth and send it off for testing). The results can provide a look at the breeds that make up your dog’s ancestry. While not necessarily 100 percent conclusive, the more breeds a company tests for, the more definitive the answer will be. Where things can get muddled is when the profile is similar to two breeds in the database and maybe another not in the database, or if your dog is several generations (or more) away from a purebred. In such cases, results may not be as complete or definitive as
PET GUIDE 2016
you’d hoped. The Mars Wisdom Panel 3.0 test kit ($84.99, wisdompanel. com) tests for the most breeds. Juli Warner, senior brand manager for Mars Veterinary, which sells the test, says the company has more than 1,800 markers and covers 250-plus breeds, with a database of more than 12,000 samples. It provides results that go back three generations. DNA My Dog says it looks for 86 breeds that are the most common in the U.S., including Labrador retriever and Chihuahua ($59.99, dnamydog. com). “We will do whatever we can to help people make sense of their results,” says Mindy Tenenbaum, president of DNA My Dog.
WHY TEST? DNA testing representatives say most owners purchase the test to satisfy their curiosity. (Interestingly, when we try to identify the breed makeup of a dog by sight, we are only right about a quarter of the time, according to a national survey.) Based on identified breeds, owners can get an idea of how big the dog might get or what he might look like when fully grown, but it will all depend on which traits he’s inherited.
HOW CAN IT HELP? The benefits of this testing for health reasons are less pronounced, says Bruce F. Smith, professor of pathobiology at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. A DNA test can flag the possibility that your dog’s makeup includes a breed or breeds that are prone to, say, bone cancer or hip dysplasia, but it can’t predict whether he will be predisposed to a particular illness or disease. “There is real science here, but best used for entertainment purposes,” says Smith. But watch for even greater advancements in the field in the coming five to 10 years, he adds. One specific DNA test that can prove valuable is a screening for multi-drug resistance 1 (MDR1), a genetic mutation that can affect sensitivity to some sedatives and heartworm or parasite treatment drugs and cause severe reactions. Some breeds, such as Australian shepherds and long-haired whippets, are more likely to have the mutation. A separate MDR1 test that’s available through your vet is included in Mars Wisdom Panel 2.5 and 3.0. j
our pup has the face of a terrier and the body of a hound and you’re dying to know what breeds are really in his makeup. Getting to the bottom of the canine gene pool is easier these days with readily available canine DNA test kits — but take note that they still may not be the last word.
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Share the Love Some dogs were just born to provide comfort BY HEATHER BENIT
hen Hunter, a Brittany spaniel, puts on his uniform and goes to work, he is one pleased pup. “When we go to the nursing home every month … when we walk in that door, he is so focused, and he knows what he’s there for. He is a rock star,” says proud owner Wendy Pfundt, of Bucks County, Pa. Pfundt and 8-year-old Hunter began volunteering after signing up with Therapy Dogs International (TDI), a nonprofit
PET GUIDE 2016
organization that provides an evaluation and registration process for volunteer FOR MORE dogs and their handlers. INFO, GO TO: Hunter comforts seniors at nursing tdi-dog.org petpartners.org homes, calms stressed students at therapydogs.com universities and is on call at the local hospital. “It warms my heart so much because these people, a lot of them, are living out the last few days, weeks, months that they might have in life,” Pfundt says. Hunter walks in the room and even people who are unable to communicate will smile — “they put their hands out and Hunter will sidle right up to their bed.” People can become happier and healthier with a little help from our four-legged friends. Research suggests that human-animal interactions bring joy and ease stress, reduce blood pressure and even increase the “trust hormone” oxytocin. Through TDI and other national and local groups across the country, pet therapy teams are volunteering at hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, libraries and schools — wherever canines can deliver a little cheer.
GETTING STARTED Any dog — mixed breed or purebred — is a potential candidate for therapy work as long as certain criteria, such as sound temperament, are met. For Hunter, an active and high-strung spaniel who is “very
COURTESY OF WENDY PFUNDT
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Therapy dogs who visit nursing homes, hospitals and schools come in all shapes and sizes, and like Hunter, far left, of Bucks County., Pa., these four-legged volunteers are all on a mission to bring joy and relieve stress.
affectionate and in tune with people’s feelings,” training meant an optional six-week obedience class, behavior testing, a health assessment, an updating of immunizations and learning to follow some hard rules, Pfundt says. His evaluation through TDI included basic obedience and leash manners, how he handled going up and down stairs and riding in an elevator, how he behaved around wheelchairs and people on crutches and whether he was distracted by loud noises, Pfundt says. His biggest challenge: resisting the urge to eat food from the floor. Hunter has found his niche working with seniors and students, says Pfundt. His favorite workplace? Temple University in Philadelphia, where therapy dogs mingle with students to help them de-stress before exams.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD THERAPY DOG? While evaluations will differ depending on the organization, here are some general guidelines. Contact individual groups for specific requirements.
Dogs must be: • Calm • Comfortable in new situations and around unfamiliar people • Able to work well with their handler and have good leash manners • Obedient and good listeners • Healthy and current on shots • Clean and well-groomed • Well-behaved around other dogs Dogs should not be: • Jumpers • Aggressive • Nervous • Easily stressed • Excitable • Too eager • Yappers
THE RIGHT FIT Some programs make membership in a national registry such as TDI, Pet Partners or the Alliance of Therapy Dogs an initial requirement. Therapy Dogs of Boulder County in Colorado (therapydogsbouldercounty.com), which connects pet therapy teams with hospitals, requires an evaluation through a national registry and then conducts its own training classes. “We tell the handlers when they start with our program that the most important part of the assessment is to see if the dog enjoys doing this,” says Jan Fincher, training coordinator for the Boulder group. Hospitals can be lonely places for patients and stressful environments for families and staff. “Hospital medical staff undergo all kinds of stress that I can’t even begin to understand, and they’re usually as happy to see the dogs as the patients are,” says Fincher. The work can also be a very meaningful experience for volunteers, says Madelynn Arnold, president of Fairfax Pets on Wheels in Fairfax County, Va. (fpow.org). Its dedicated teams donate about 6,000 hours per year to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Once animals pass the Pets on Wheels screening, the program is convenient, with no mandatory schedules. Most dog teams volunteer weekly. A little effort makes a big difference in the lives of patients, Arnold adds. “If you love your pets, you know what they can provide.” j
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A Happy Place How to turn a crate into a welcome refuge BY NANCY MONSON
PET GUIDE 2016
to it. Using a crate is an excellent idea for several reasons, according to veterinarian John Ciribassi of Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants in Chicago and co-editor of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists’ book Decoding Your Dog. Using a crate: ▶ Prevents a puppy or dog from getting into trouble — eating toxic substances, chomping on electrical wires, demolishing your house or your personal possessions — when he can’t be supervised. ▶ Reduces the possibility of
“Quora loves excessive territhe feeling of torial behavior. security her Because the crate gives dog can’t see her,” says out windows trainer Mikkel Becker. while in the crate, he’s less likely to bark or attempt to jump at people or dogs passing by the house. ▶ May help with housebreaking. An untrained dog who is allowed to roam through every room in the house can easily find an inviting place to do his business that’s nowhere near his sleeping area, which he doesn’t want to soil.
COURTESY OF MIKKEL BECKER; THINKSTOCK
hen Quora — a mix of a Pomeranian, shar-pei and Cairn terrier — was adopted at age 2, her new owners soon found she had a shoe obsession. “We called her ‘Imelda Barkos,’” says Mikkel Becker, a certified trainer for Vetstreet.com. “If she was left alone in the house, she would steal shoes and eat them. I knew she was a prime candidate for crate training, but it would take a little effort because she was initially terrified of the crate.” Not anymore. Quora, who was crate-trained by Becker, now loves her crate as if it were her natural den. It’s the first place she goes when she’s feeling anxious or needs to relax. That’s because a dog’s primal instinct is to seek shelter in a small, covered space. You may have noticed that your dog retreats under a desk, table or bed when he’s frightened, say during a thunderstorm or firework displays. Yet, even though a crate can easily provide reassurance, some owners mistakenly equate it with a cage. If dogs are introduced to crates in a positive way, however, they’ll feel safe and secure and develop a lifelong attachment
Crating Do’s & Don’ts
FINDING THE RIGHT CRATE
Expert tips on how to introduce your dog to the crate to ensure his security and your sanity
✔ Do put the crate in a room where
✘ Don’t use the crate as punishment.
you spend lots of time (but keep it out of the way of foot traffic) and line it with a soft bed or blanket to make it comfy, advises Kat Miller, an animal behaviorist at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).
“It’s fine to use the crate sparingly as a time-out place, but your dog should have many more pleasant experiences with the crate to counteract any possible unpleasant associations,” says Miller.
✔ Do use positive training techniques instead of forcing the dog into the crate and expecting her to adapt. Lure her into the space with treats or a toy. Leave the door open so she can enter and exit at will. When she seems comfortable, start closing the door for a few seconds while she’s eating her treats or playing with her toys. Over time, gradually increase the length of time the door is closed.
✘ Don’t crate a dog (especially a puppy) for longer than four or five hours at a time. If you’re away from home for an extended period, arrange for a friend or dog walker to let her out to stretch her legs and relieve herself.
It’s all about size. A crate should be big enough so the dog can easily stand up and turn around in it, but not so big that he can mark out a “potty zone.”
✘ Don’t crate dogs that pace, pant, bark or eliminate in the crate or who try to damage the crate or hurt themselves, advises veterinarian John Ciribassi.
✔ Do take your dog for a walk before you put her in the crate. And after you release her from the crate, take her outside immediately for a bathroom break.
A dog should have a positive association with his crate; never punish during training.
Many crates are designed to grow with your dog using dividers that can be moved or removed as your pup gets bigger.
Soft-sided crates are lightweight, but some Houdinis can figure out how to open them. Hard-sided crates are usually a better option and come in plastic or wire varieties. Other requirements: The crate should be portable, easy to clean and allow for quick setup. — Nancy Monson 91
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HOME, SWEET HOME Big or little, plain or fancy, thereâ€™s a crate to fit your style and your pup
1 The 24-inch-long MidWest iCrate for puppies and small dogs has a powder-coated finish. Pink, $27.99; blue, $32.29; chewy.com
The Other Door deluxe steel crate from Pet Gear features doors on all four sides. Several sizes.
The You & Me Relaxing Refuge kennel is made of high-impact plastic with an easy-to-use steel door. Five sizes. $20.99 to
$179.99 to $339.99, petsmart.com
PET GUIDE 2016
4 The tony Luxury Mahogany Pet Residence wood crate includes roller shades and an orthopedic cushion. $499 to $599, frontgate.com
COURTESY OF THE COMPANIES
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Play Time! Discover 7 boredom busters to enrich your dog’s life BY CHRIS GARSSON | ILLUSTRATION BY ANNA GRAPE
ental and physical exercise go a long way toward keeping our best friends happy, healthy and engaged (which can also translate to keeping them out of mischief). If you need inspiration, follow along on our activities trail and add pastimes that will suit your pup’s natural abilities and interests. Come on, you both deserve some fun!
Scent-and-Seek. Take advantage of her finely honed sense of smell, which is at least 10,000 times better than yours. Have her “sit” and “stay” in one room, give her a good whiff of a toy, hide it elsewhere and encourage her to find it. Start simply — having her discover the toy in plain sight is still cause for celebration!
Overcome Obstacles. For exercise and bonding, agility training is popular and hard to beat. Imagine her running, jumping and weaving through a timed course under your astute direction. Set up equipment in your backyard, find a local class or contact the U.S. Dog Agility Association (usdaa.com) or the American Kennel Club (akc.org) for more information.
Mingle, Mingle, Mingle. If your dog is the social sort, invite owners and compatible canines for a play date. Be mindful of energy levels, size and temperament; introduce new acquaintances slowly; and always supervise the play. You both might make new friends.
Go on Chore Patrol. Any foray outside can be a welcome diversion, so snap on the leash and bring your dog along when you get the mail or take out the garbage. And because she primarily learns about the world through her nose, give her a minute or two to stop and smell the roses.
Get Smart. Up the entertainment ante with interactive toys designed to challenge and engage. For ideas, check out nina-ottosson.com for popular pet puzzles and goifetch.com for ball launchers.
As with any new activity, be patient, keep training sessions short, and remember to praise, praise, praise for every small success.
Step Out. Daily walks are one of the best ways to relieve boredom and keep both of you fit. If you donâ€™t have much of a walking routine, talk to your vet about slowly introducing your pet to exercise.
Make Mealtime Last. Put kibble in a treat ball that dispenses food as itâ€™s rolled and bounced along the floor. Or place dry food in specially designed pet bowls shaped like mini-mazes.
T H E TA I L E N D
JUNE 24 Take Your Dog to Work Day
Annual event encourages taking your dog to work
reak out the bow-tie collar and pack an extra lunch — the 18th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day is just around the corner. Sponsored by Pet Sitters International (PSI) as a way “to celebrate the great companions dogs make and promote their adoptions,” the event — to be held Friday, June 24 — extols the benefits of pet ownership and draws attention to the pluses of canines in the workplace. From decreased stress levels to higher morale, research has shown that bringing dogs
PET GUIDE 2016
to the office makes for happier employees who no longer have to wonder how their pets are faring at home. A number of companies already allow dogs every day, from Amazon in Seattle to snowboard-maker Burton in Burlington, Vt. Of course, taking a four-legged friend to work for the day requires some advance planning, such as ensuring your boss and colleagues will welcome him, bringing in essential pet supplies and arranging for potty breaks. Go to petsit.com for a free PSI toolkit to help you prepare. j
BY CHRIS GARSSON
Brief Summary of Prescribing Information
Pale mucous membranes were frequently seen in dogs treated with dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel. In most cases, the effect was transient and no adverse reactions due to mucosal irritation were reported.
NADA 141-456, Approved by FDA
(dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel) Each mL of SILEO contains 0.09 mg dexmedetomidine (equivalent to 0.1 mg dexmedetomidine hydrochloride). For oromucosal use in dogs only. Not intended for ingestion. CAUTION: Federal law (USA) restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. INDICATIONS: SILEO is indicated for the treatment of noise aversion in dogs. CONTRAINDICATIONS: Do not use SILEO in dogs with severe cardiovascular, respiratory, liver or kidney disease, or in conditions of shock, severe debilitation, or stress due to extreme heat, cold or fatigue. Do not use in dogs with hypersensitivity to dexmedetomidine or to any of the excipients. WARNINGS: Human Safety: Not for human use. Keep out of reach of children. Avoid administering the product if pregnant, as exposure may induce uterine contractions and/or decrease fetal blood pressure. Appropriate precautions should be taken while handling and using filled syringes. Impermeable disposable gloves should be worn when handling the syringe, administering SILEO, or when coming in contact with the dog’s mouth after application. If skin is damaged, dexmedetomidine can be absorbed into the body. In case of skin contact, wash with soap and water. Remove contaminated clothing.
In a second well-controlled European field study which included a total of 36 dogs ranging from 2 to 17 years of age and representing both mixed and pure breed dogs (12 treated with dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel at 125 mcg/m2, 12 treated with dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel at 250 mcg/m2, and 12 treated with a vehicle control), no serious adverse reactions were attributed to administration of dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel. Table 3 shows the number of dogs displaying adverse reactions (some dogs experienced more than one adverse reaction). Table 3. Adverse Reactions - Number (%) of dogs Adverse Reaction
Dexmedetomidine 125 mcg/m2 N = 12 2 (16.7)
Dexmedetomidine 250 mcg/m2 N = 12 4 (33.3)
Control N = 12
Sedation Lack of effectiveness Urinary incontinence Emesis Head tremor Inappropriate urination Ataxia Mydriasis Anxiety disorder Tachypnea Lethargy Tachycardia
2 (16.7) 0
0 1 (8.3)
1 (8.3) 1 (8.3)
1 (8.3) 1 (8.3) 1 (8.3)
0 0 0
0 0 0
SILEO can be absorbed following direct exposure to skin, eyes, or mouth. In case of accidental eye exposure, flush with water for 15 minutes. If wearing contact lenses, eyes should be rinsed first, then remove contact lenses and continue rinsing, then seek medical advice immediately.
To report suspected adverse events, for technical assistance or to obtain a copy of the SDS call 1-888-963-8471.
Accidental exposure may cause sedation and changes in blood pressure. In case of accidental exposure, seek medical attention immediately. Exposure to the product may induce a local or systemic allergic reaction in sensitized individuals.
For additional information about adverse drug experience reporting for animal drugs, contact FDA at 1-888-FDA-VETS or online at http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ SafetyHealth
Note to physician: This product contains an alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonist.
HOW SUPPLIED: SILEO is packaged in HDPE dosing syringe enabling doses from 0.25 to 3 ml. The syringe is fitted with plunger, dosing ring and end cap. Each syringe is further packed into a carton with a label and a leaflet.
The safety data sheet (SDS) contains more detailed occupational safety information. To report adverse reactions in users or to obtain a copy of the SDS for this product call 1-888-963-8471. Animal Safety: SILEO should not be administered in the presence of pre-existing hypotension, hypoxia, or bradycardia. Sensitive dogs may experience a drop in body temperature and heart rate, and may appear sedated. These dogs should be kept warm and not offered food or water until SILEO’s effects have worn off (usually within a few hours). Do not use in dogs sedated from previous dosing. PRECAUTIONS: SILEO is not meant to be swallowed. Instead, it must be placed onto the mucosa between the dog’s cheek and gum. If SILEO is swallowed, the product may not be effective. If SILEO is swallowed, do not repeat the dose for at least two hours. Feeding and giving treats within 15 minutes after administration should be avoided.
Package sizes: (1 syringe per carton) 1 x 3 ml, 3 x 3 ml, 5 x 3 ml, 10 x 3 ml, 20 x 3 ml. Not all package sizes may be marketed. STORAGE INFORMATION: Store unopened and opened syringes in the original package at controlled room temperature 20-25°C (68-77°F) with excursions permitted to 15-30°C (59-86°F). Use syringe contents within 48 hours after opening the syringe. SILEO® is a trademark of Orion Corporation. Mfd by: Orion Corporation Turku, Finland
The use of other central nervous system depressants may potentiate the effects of SILEO. As with all alpha-2 adrenoceptor agonists, the potential for isolated cases of hypersensitivity, including paradoxical response (excitation), exists. SILEO has not been evaluated in dogs younger than 16 weeks of age or in dogs with dental or gingival diseases that could have an effect on SILEO’s absorption. SILEO has not been evaluated for aversion behaviors to thunderstorms. The safety and effectiveness of SILEO in breeding, pregnant, and lactating dogs has not been evaluated. Administration to pregnant dogs may induce uterine contractions and/or decrease fetal blood pressure.
Dist by: Zoetis Inc. Kalamazoo, MI 49007 Made in Finland Date: February, 2016
ADVERSE REACTIONS: In a well-controlled European field study, which included a total of 182 dogs ranging from 2 to 17 years of age and representing both mixed and pure breed dogs (89 treated with dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel and 93 treated with control), no serious adverse reactions were attributed to administration of dexmedetomidine oromucosal gel. Table 2 shows the number of dogs displaying adverse reactions (some dogs experienced more than one adverse reaction). Table 2. Adverse Reactions - Number (%) of dogs Adverse Reaction
Control N = 93
Emesis Gastroenteritis Periorbital edema Drowsiness Sedation
1 ( 1.1) 0 0 0 0
Dexmedetomidine 125 mcg/m2 N = 89 4 ( 4.5) 1 ( 1.1) 1 ( 1.1) 1 ( 1.1) 1 ( 1.1)