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See how Bark Busters changed the life of an Airforce dog handler or, view the “Aspen’s Story” video on YouTube.com


Contents Jennifer Kitchens 281.384.5431 jennifer@urbanpawsmagazine.com PUBLISHER

August 2011

281.384.5431 sales@urbanpawsmagazine.com ADVERTISING

Ashlee Newman 830.446.1654 ashlee@ashleenewman.com STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

URBAN PAWS MAGAZINE P.O. Box 1556 Spring, Texas 77383 www.UrbanPawsMagazine.com

22

Design and layout by: ZOECO CREATIVE Š Copyright 2011. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. Urban Paws magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, feature and idea submissions, or photographs, and such material will not be returned. Urban Paws magazine assumes no liability for the contents herein and has the right to refuse advertising for any reason. Urban Paws magazine does not endorse any specific product or service contained herein; we do encourage you to support our advertisers whenever possible.

Dog lovers can pick up a copy of Urban Paws magazine free at most area veterinarians and pet stores throughout Northwest Houston and Montgomery County. Subscriptions are also available. Please call 281.384.5431 for more information.

Please tell our advertisers you heard about them in Urban Paws!

26 14 - Selecting a pet food that is right for your dog 22 - Agility Series Part V Make your own agility equipment 24 - Summer Dangers Plants and substances to avoid 26 - Top 10 Most Unusual Pet Names revealed

24


Editorial ummer is finally winding down and the kids will soon be returning to school. Like many pet parents, this summer’s heat was just too much for my little pups to endure, so they spent the majority of their time indoors. That increased time together gives me an opportunity to assess their health and wellbeing. In this issue, we focus on pet nutrition. Today, there is an overwhelming variety of pet food choices for pet owners. It’s important to both know your dog and know what you’re feeding him. Our article on page 14 is intended to help guide pet owners through the selection-making process.

S

Issue 7: Volume 5 www.urbanpawsmagazine.com

Also in this issue is the fifth installment of the agility series. Lesley shows you how to make an inexpensive weave pole using a few simple items on page 22. This month’s cover dog, Rocky, is from the Italian Greyhound Club of America. He is a beautiful and sweet boy who is looking for his forever home. To read about Rocky and other Iggies available for adoption, turn to page 20. Keep in touch with us through Facebook and Twitter and visit our website regularly for exciting contests and area events!

Jennifer Kitchens

On the Cover Rocky, an adorable Italian Greyhound was the center of attention at Theiss Farms Market in Spring. Although the market doesn’t normally allow pets, they were very gracious and accommodating during our photo shoot. Rocky was such a good boy - he didn’t even attempt to steal any of the produce! If you live in the area and enjoy farm fresh fruits and vegetables that are grown locally, be sure to visit them and tell them that Urban Paws sent you! Photos by Ashlee Newman Photography.


Calendar August 2011 Events

For a full listing of events, visit: www.urbanpawsmagazine.com/events

AUGUST 1-5 Companion Camp for Kids and Teens This is an opportunity for children ages 7-13 to work hands-on with the animals cared for by the Houston Humane Society. Campers can register online at www.houstonhumane.org.

AUGUST 13 Houston Beagle & Hound Adoption Event Meet the adoptable hounds from Houston Beagle & Hound Rescue at Petco, 9507 I-45 North in Spring. For more information, visit www.houstonbeaglerescue.org.

AUGUST 6 Adoption Event Meet the adoptable dogs from Adopt a Rescued Friend at Petco, 19507 I-45 N. in Spring. 1:00 - 4:00 pm. For more information, visit www.adoptarescuedfriend.com.

AUGUST 26 National Dog Day Celebrated annually, National Dog Day serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. For more information, visit www.nationaldogday.com.

AUGUST 13 Bowling for Beagles Come out and help the hounds with bowling and fun at Palace Lanes. Noon - 3:00 pm. Three hours includes: Unlimited bowling, pizza, soda, t-shirt, contests and prizes. Slots are limited. $50 per person. To reserve your spot, email Elizabeth at bevyofbeagles@yahoo.com. AUGUST 13 Discount Vaccination Clinic at Four Seasons Veterinary Hospital. Noon - 4:00 pm. First come, first served. For more information, visit www.fourseasonsvet.com

AUGUST 27-28 59th Annual Charity Cat Show benefiting Houston area animal welfare groups at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Activities include feline agility competition, pedigreed cat competition, book signing and more. Hours are Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm and Sunday 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. For tickets and information, visit www.houstoncatclub.org.

Follow us on FACEBOOK & TWITTER for the most up-to-date information, news and events! 6 www.urbanpawsmagazine.com


The Scoop News & Happenings in the Houston Area BARRIO DOGS LAUNCHES NEW WATCH DOG BLOG The Barrio Watch Dog blog, an initiative by Barrio Dogs, is working to prevent animal abuse, mistreatment and neglect of animals in the community. Barrio Dog’s mission is to educate the public and help them recognize the difference between right and wrong treatment of animals. The blog will provide information and resources for responding to and reporting cases of animal abuse, neglect and mistreatment. To read the blog, visit www.watchdogblog.blogspot.com. FROMM® FAMILY DEBUTS NEW RECIPE TO HUNGRY DOGS EVERYWHERE Fromm Family Foods recently debuted their seventh innovative recipe in the Four-Star dry Line- Beef Frittata Veg™. Beef Frittata Veg provides all-natural nutrition in a gourmet blend of only the finest ingredients. The first Fromm dry recipe to incorporate beef, Beef Frittata Veg combines fresh beef, whole eggs, potatoes and a blend of fruits and vegetables along with prebiotics and probiotics for the ultimate in nutrition and digestion health for dogs. Beef Frittata Veg joins the existing menu of Four-Star Nutritionals recipes that include such savory blends as Grain-Free Surf & Turf, Duck & Sweet Potato, Pork & Applesauce, Whitefish & Potato, Chicken À La Veg and Salmon À La Veg. To learn more, visit www.frommfamily.com.

HISTORIC WEEKEND AT HOUSTON’S CITY ANIMAL SHELTER (BARC) How do you adopt out over 400 animals in a single weekend? Offer pet adoptions at a discounted price. That’s just what BARC did. Last month, the city’s animal shelter received over 200 animals within a ten hour period. In an effort to find homes for the animals, BARC held simultaneous adoption events at their shelter facility and a Kroger grocery store in the Heights. The adoption initiative was going so well that fosters had to be called to bring in additional dogs and cats. The normal adoption fee of $75 was reduced to $10 for cats and $20 for dogs. The dogs and cats offered for adoption have received ageappropriate vaccinations and have been spayed or neutered. In addition, adopters will also received free training lessons provided by the American Kennel Club Association. BARC is the city of Houston’s animal shelter and adoption facility. Each year, it takes in nearly 30,000 animals. For more information on BARC, visit www.houstontx.gov/barc. SHELTER DONATIONS HELPS VOLUNTEERS CARE FOR THE ANIMALS Volunteers for Abandoned Animal Rescue in Tomball were thrilled by the recently installed small animal bathing sink. The sink was made possible from annual fundraising events that AAR hosts, such as the golf tournament and wine and beer tasting. For information on how you can help, visit www.aartomball.org. Urban Paws Magazine 7


IAMS Launches Two New Recipes for Dogs

In response to growing demand for natural,

wholesome nutrition, leading pet food maker

IAMS recently unveiled the expansion of its IAMS Naturals family with the addition of two

ity ingredients or one that’s carefully designed to

address specific issues that may cause itching and scratching.

Each of the IAMS Naturals products have

new recipes: Sensitive Naturals and Simple &

higher levels of antioxidants like vitamin E for a

Healthy Naturals, launched in 2007, which

acids from fish oil for healthy skin and coat, real

Natural. These two new products join IAMS offers four recipes for dogs and three for cats.

The IAMS Sensitive Naturals recipe is

designed with ocean fish as the first ingredient and is ideal for dogs with ingredient sensitivities,

healthy immune system, more Omega 3 fatty chicken, fish or lamb meal for building strong, lean muscles and natural prebiotics for healthy digestion.

None of the IAMS Naturals recipes contain

which affects up to 25 percent of all dogs.

fillers or artificial preservatives, artificial colors

chicken as the first ingredient for 100 percent

All of the IAMS Naturals recipes are available

IAMS Simple & Natural is made for dogs with

or artificial flavors.

nutrition and zero percent filler.

at pet specialty stores, mass retailers and grocers.

to meet the needs of dog owners who either

or general pet care and nutrition information,

These two new natural recipes were developed

want a simply made dog food with highest qual-

12www.urbanpawsmagazine.com 8 www.urbanpawsmagazine.com

To learn more about IamsÂŽ Dog & Cat Foods visit www.iams.com.


URBAN PAWS READER EXCLUSIVE FREE STICKERS!

In case of emergency stickers are essential for pet owners. They alert emergency response teams, police and neighbors of your pet’s presence in the home. This sticker can mean the difference between life and death for a pet. Urban Paws believes that the safety of our pets is one of the most important aspects of responsible pet ownership. That’s why we’ve created these stickers that are easy to print and use. Simply download the PDF from the link on our website, fill in the spaces and print on adhesive paper. You can choose a layout depending on whether or not you have one dog or multiple dogs. To download the stickers, www.urbanpawsmagazine.com.

visit


Healthy Tails

What You Should Know About...

By Dr. Jim Amyx, Four Seasons Veterinary Hospital

At Four Seasons Veterinary Hospital, we want to make sure all of our patients stay as healthy and happy as possible. That’s why we recommend protecting all pets in your household from parasites, especially during this time of year.

FLEAS AND TICKS

• Fleas breed very quickly - a female can lay up to 50 eggs a day

• By the time you notice fleas on your pet, there can be thousands of flea eggs, larvae, and pupae in your home

• Neighboring pets, feral cats, raccoons and opossums can all shed flea eggs in your yard

• The deer population is exploding, leading to greater and more widespread tick populations • Ticks can transmit diseases, including Lyme disease

• All pets in a household, including indoor cats, need a flea and tick control product

HEARTWORM DISEASE • Is spread by mosquitoes and has been found in all 50 states • Is a threat to all dogs and can cause illness and even death

• Is difficult and expensive to treat, and recovery is not guaranteed • Is preventable

INTESTINAL PARASITES • Hookworms and roundworms are the most common intestinal parasites in dogs

• Each hookworm can shed thousands of eggs each day, continually re-infecting the environment • Dogs should be given a monthly preventive that treats and controls these intestinal parasites

10 www.urbanpawsmagazine.com


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IT’S

MINE,

AND YOU CAN’T HAVE IT! By Connie Archer, Bark Busters Home Dog Training

D

oes your dog guard items such a food,

treats, toys, a bed, or stolen objects? If so, you have a problem with resource guarding. Here are

four things to do if your dog is guarding and

these when he is in his crate, so that he will not

feel the need to guard. If you have a severe “guarder”, always put him away when there are small children around.

begins to growl at you:

4) GET HELP - Work with a non-physical train-

1) FREEZE - Whatever you did that caused the

snapping will only make things worse and put

dog to growl, stop doing it. If you were moving

toward him, stand still. If you were reaching,

stop reaching. If you were yelling, be quiet. Do not challenge or try to be quicker than the dog. You will not win.

2) ASSESS AND MOVE AWAY - If a bite is imminent, move away quickly. If you feel safe enough, just stay very still until your dog stops

the growl, or slightly relaxes. Then move away slowly. This way, the dog thinks the relaxing (stopping the growl) made the owner go away.

3) LIMIT - Keep “high value” treats, and things

he likes to steal, up and put away. Only give

er. Being physical with a dog that is growling or

everyone in danger. Begin working with lowvalue items on commands such as “give-it”, “drop it”, “bring it to me”, etc. With patience

and work, a good trainer can teach you how to get your dog to happily give up an item. This training should be reinforced throughout the life of the dog.


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Selecting a Pet Food That is Right for Your Dog By Jennifer Kitchens

o one is better suited to decide on the right dog food than you. There is no magic dog food that is best for all dogs. For most of us pet parents, selecting the right food for our dog is by way of trial and error. What works for one dog may not work for another.

N

Just like people, dogs are individuals and require different ingredients and caloric intakes. A Labrador who runs miles with his owner every day will require more calories than a TV surfing Bassett Hound. The high fat diet that is used to keep sled dogs warm during an Alaskan winter could be fatal for a Chihuahua who suffers from pancreatitis.

Each brand of food on the market contains different ingredients and has the potential to cause or exacerbate allergies in some dogs. Every pet food contains a different ratio of macronutrients - protein, fat and carbohydrates - nutrients that provide calories or energy. While each food also contains varying amounts of vitamins and minerals that fall within the range considered acceptable by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), some may deficient to or in excess of your dog’s needs. So, how do you choose the right food? Let’s assume that your dog is eating some type of healthy pet food already. If so, you are on the right path to making the best selection. The first step is to assess your dog’s current health. You may want to take a sheet of paper and create a list with two columns: One for health assets and one for health problems. Any conditions for which your dog received veterinary care or medications will be placed in the “health problems” column. Conditions such as bad breath or teeth, thinning, flaky or greasy coat, ear infections, recurring constipation, diarrhea or incontinence,


low energy, or the sudden onset of aggressive behavior should also be placed in the “health problems” column. Characteristics that your dog has in its favor, such as clean ears, bright eyes, clean teeth, itchless, Problems glossy coat, normal aggression appetite and good energy ear infections level should be listed as “health assets.” bad breath If you find that there are more assets than problems on the list, and the problems are considered minor, you may have already selected a diet that works well for your dog. However, if your list reveals more problems than assets, you may want to consider a change in your dog’s diet, in addition to a thorough examination by your veterinarian. Just a couple of decades ago, the idea that canine diseases could be treated, in part, by manipulating a dog’s diet, was deemed radical. Today, there is an increasing number of “prescription diets” available in the pet food industry. If your dog suffers from any disease or has the propensity for a particular disease, check with your veterinarian about the benefits of nutritional therapy to help with treatment or prevention. You may want to ask what specifically in the diet has been manipulated to be beneficial for your dog. Instead of settling for a commercial prescription diet, which can include lower

quality ingredients, see if you can find a product with better quality ingredients that offers the same benefits. For example, when feeding dogs with kidney failure, the goal is to feed them a diet with low amounts of phosphorus and very high quality protein.

Assets

glossy coat good appetite great energy no itching

Don’t be afraid to do some research on your own to determine what dietary changes can be of help to your dog. There are many books available online or at your local bookstore that detail strategies for changing a dog’s diet to treat and/or prevent certain diseases.

Ask your veterinarian about your dog’s nutritional requirements. Contact the dog food manufacturer for the expanded version of the food’s nutrient levels. While they are not required to print the levels of every nutrient on the label, each manufacturer should make this information available to you upon request. There are other factors to consider when selecting the right food, such as cost and availability. It’s important to understand that there is a connection between the quality of your dog’s food and his health and it’s up to you to do the best you can do. A higher level of customer service is an important factor as well. It can be costly as well as frustrating if a company makes great food, but you can’t reach them or their customer service representatives are unhelpful.

Urban Paws Magazine 15


What Does Grain-Free Mean?

rapidly growing trend among pet

nivorous animal living in the wild.

a completely grain-free formula.

is misleading, stating that grain-free foods fail to

the health benefits of a grain-free die, choosing

from animals, who are themselves, fed primarily

A

owners is to switch their dog’s food to

While many pet nutrition experts can attest to

the right type of grain-free dog food can be

overwhelming. There are many different types

Other sources argue that the term “grain-free”

disclose that the meats used in the foods are corn and soy.

of grain-free formulas. And, each formula uses

What’s Wrong with Grain?

grains.

in certain pet foods. Ingredients such as corn,

different ingredients to make up for the lack of

While there are many proponents of the grain-

free diet, there are also opponents of the term “grain-free” and its uses. It’s important to hear and understand both viewpoints. What Does “Grain-Free” Mean?

Grain-free dog foods are typically touted as

being void of wheat, corn, oats or rice, com-

Some dogs develop allergies to the ingredients wheat and rice are frequently found to be the cause of the allergic reaction. Some argue that

the grain itself is not the culprit, but more so the

pesticides used on the grain during the growing process that causes the sensitivity. Feeding a

grain-free diet has been proven to help dogs with chronic skin or digestive problems.

To the contrary, opponents believe that the

monly known as “fillers.” A filler is an ingredi-

term “grain-free” implies that grains are nutri-

other non-nutritive purpose. Grain-free does

es. They further state that all dry dog foods con-

ent added to provide dietary fiber, bulk or some not mean carbohydrate free. Ingredients are

required to form some type of starch in order

for the kibble to be crunchy and hard. The

tionally inferior when compared to other starchventionally produced, even those labeled “grainfree,” contain starches, in one form or another.

grain-based starches are often replaced with other starches such as potato, sweet potato,

Dry Kibble vs. Canned

green peas or tapioca. A grain-free diet is

intended to resemble the natural diet of a car-

turers need to add some carbohydrate-based ingredients in order for the kibble to hold its

16 www.urbanpawsmagazine.com

As mentioned earlier, many dog food manufac-


shape. This is not the case with a canned dog

calories. If you are concerned about your over-

vide a good amount of moisture, helping to

free food with a slightly lower protein percent-

food formula. Canned dog food formulas prosupplement a dog’s need for a constant supply

of water. It’s the convenience of the kibble for-

weight dog, you may want to consider a grainage if it also contains a low percentage of fat.

As dogs age, they have more difficulty pro-

mulas that is a practical factor for many dog

cessing carbohydrates, such as grains. In this

a bit more expensive, due to the packaging

diet. When switching, remember that it’s impor-

owners. Additionally, canned food formulas are requirements of these formulas. What Are the Health Benefits?

case, senior dogs may benefit from a grain-free

tant to introduce the new formula gradually, to avoid gastrointestinal problems.

Some argue that the primary cause of allergies

Some studies have shown that many dogs can

is attributed to feeding one food exclusively, day

although some dogs have a tendency to gain

ied diet, can cause an animal’s immune system to

live healthy lives on diets high in carbohydrates, weight on such diets. Grain-free, high-protein

diets are highly digestible which usually results in decreased stool volume. High-protein diets

after day. They believe that over time, this unvar-

become disturbed and intolerant to one or more of the food’s ingredients.

Our dogs can’t choose the proper diet for

also contain higher levels of fats and amino

themselves so it’s our responsibility, as pet own-

for most pets. And since grain-free foods are

possible. Select the food that you think best fits

acids which can result in a radiant coat quality more calorically dense, it allows for smaller portions to be fed.

Opponents maintain that there is no scientific

evidence that “grain-free” foods can eliminate allergies in pets and that such tests have been

proven unreliable. Grain sources used in laboratory testing to determine allergens are not the

ers, to arm ourselves with as much knowledge as your dog’s health and lifestyle.

Have you made the switch to grain-free? We want to hear from you. Email your comments to: info@urbanpawsmagazine.com.

same grain sources that end up in the finished product.

Should I Make the Switch?

Along with proper pet care, most agree that

grain-free food has many health benefits. It is important, however, to check the fat content of

the various grain-free formulas. The higher the protein ratio, the higher the ratio of fat and

Urban Paws Magazine 17


Meet the Breed

The Boxer

A

lthough the ancestors of the Boxer can be traced back to a variety of breeds throughout Europe in the 16th century, the Boxer breed was developed in Germany in the 19th century. Originally used for dog fighting, the Boxer developed into hard-working dogs used to run down and hold large game such as wild boar and bison until the hunter could arrive. The breed is known for standing up on its hind legs and batting at its opponent, appearing to box with its front paws. Imported to America after World War I, they began to grow in popularity in the late 1930s. The Boxer is a powerful dog with an intelligent and alert expression. While they are instinctive guardians, the Boxer loves to be with his people. This personality has allowed them to succeed as couriers during war time and as seeing-eye dogs for the blind.

18 www.urbanpawsmagazine.com

By Jennifer Kitchens

Appearing in both fawn and brindle colors, male Boxers can weigh between 60-70 pounds, while the females are a bit small, weighing between 5565 pounds. Grooming is minimal, due to their short coat. Today’s Boxers have very sweet and playful temperaments. These gentle creatures are great with children, despite their history. They are intelligent, athletic and loyal, making them a great choice as a family dog. The Boxers high energy levels make daily exercise essential. They can become quite hyperactive, even unruly if not properly trained. Although they love to jump, they can be taught to refrain from it. The Boxer currently ranks as one of the most popular dogs in the United States according to AKCŽ Registration Statistics.


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Gimme Shelter

Join us in helping our four-legged friends find loving homes. Adopt a dog today!

Italian Greyhound Club of America Rescue www.ighoustononline.com

The Italian Greyhound Club of America is the national "parent" club for the breed. One of the club's missions is rescue, and it has a nationwide organization of rescue representatives, foster homes and other volunteers, including some here in Houston. IGHouston is not a rescue organization, but strongly supports the volunteer organizations that help all dogs in need of new forever homes. The particular interest of the organization is in helping Texas’ Italian Greyhounds. IGHouston hopes to help Italian Greyhound orphans in the greater Houston area find the loving new homes they deserve. About 200 iggies were rescued and adopted out in Texas alone last year.

Our cover dog, Rocky!

My name is Rocky! I am what you would call a little Iggie — 10 pounds and only 2 ½ years old. My color is pure as pure can be fawn and white. I still have so much puppy in me that I was not careful and ended up with a broken leg and dislocated shoulder. I guess you can call me Humpty Dumpty, but with a happy ending — all the King’s horses and all the King’s men could put me back together again. In this case the King is IGCA Rescue who saw to it that I had the finest medical attention available in the Houston area and now I am on the road to recovery. I no longer try to lick my incision so my foster dad has taken off my restrictive donut collar (yum, donuts). I feel so much better after physical therapy games I just want to play and roll in the grass. It won’t be long now and I’ll be ready to move into my forever home.

Please note that these dogs may have been adopted by the time you visit them; however, there are many more wonderful dogs in need of forever homes. 20 www.urbanpawsmagazine.com


MAC

Mac is a very sweet and loving fawn boy. At 10 years old, some of his favorite things are blankets and his basket. Mac’s basket (his crate) is his safehaven and his favorite spot to chill-out. Weighing about 12 pounds, Mac’s other favorites are his food and his treats. He takes his dinner wet, and snacks on dry kibble during the day (he can absolutely not tolerate any table scraps or people food). He’ll do anything for his “puppy cookies,” small, pencil shaped raw hides. He’d likely even stop midrun and come back to you if offer him one of these.

FINN

Finn is a lovable, huggable, fun-loving guy that has never met a stranger. He is the life of the party! Finn’s a stunning 9 year old male that is blue with white paws. He has been well cared for, but unfortunately is seeking a new home to call his own and live out his golden years. Finn is housebroken, uses the doggie door and gets along with dogs of all sizes. His favorite past-time is curling up with his humans and getting as close as possible for snuggles. One meeting with Finn and he’ll wiggle his cute little self right into your heart.

SARA

SEELY

DAVINCI

WILEY

Hi there! My name is Seely and I am a gorgeous, 9 year old, seal colored, male Italian Greyhound. I am a tall, rangy boy. Not too delicate, but still very elegant. I have been described as a Labrador in an Iggy body. I am an easy keep, laid back dude, who gives hugs and the occasional kiss. I get along well with all manner of dogs and people. I do have one simple request, however. Please NO chickens. I do have a finely tuned prey drive and small furry animals might also tempt me, so no cats, or bunnies as well. Once I am heartworm free, I will be ready to become someone’s best friend and companion. Will that be you?

I was a wreck when I first came here. The people who had me before left me outside all the time and I was covered in dirt and fleas. After a good bath, I was rid of the dirt and all of those pesky fleas. I feel and look so much better now. I do like to go outside now, and play with my brother and sisters here at my foster home outside. I am approximately a year old and I love to be the center of attention. I didn’t get much attention before I came here. Even though I love to play, if I had the choice between playing or having someone love on me I would most likely chose the loving, paws down!

My name is Sara and I am about the cutest little Italian Greyhound girl that you will ever meet. I have never met a stranger and I love people and dogs. I find cats much more interesting than they find me. I am around 7 years old and I love to play. Playing is one of my favorite things to do. Have I mentioned how much I love people and playing? With that said, I am still on my journey. I came into rescue heartworm positive and am in the process of being treated. But I will be soon be all better and ready for my forever home to play fetch ...or just play!

I’m Wiley, a two-year-old Italian Greyhound that weighs about 10 pounds. I am red with white markings. In fact, I look like I’m wearing white gloves on my front legs and tennis socks on my back legs. I enjoy afternoon walks and like to make friends with other canines in the neighborhood. I am house trained and know how to use a doggy door. While I don’t mind being in my crate (with my peanut butter filled Kong, that is), I would prefer to have potty breaks and cuddle with a human. Adopt me and I will be sure to shower you with kisses!

Urban Paws Magazine 21


MAKE YOUR OWN AGILITY EQUIPMENT

I

By Lesley Young, Dog Angels U.S.

n our last four articles we covered build-

ing foundation skills useful for both agility and

Standard weave pole using channel method

obedience. In the next three issues we’ll show you how easy it is to make home practice equip-

ment for around $10 a piece, including weaves, a tire jump and a set of jump hurdles.

You can make a fantastic set of training weaves

from standard ¾ inch plumbing piping, 3 way connectors and end caps available from home improvement stores. For bigger, heavier dogs

you can opt for 1 inch piping. In introductory agility competitions there are normally six weave poles in a line, in more advanced classes, typically 12.

To make six weaves you need: 3 lengths of ¾”

PVC pipe. 8 ‘push in’ type ¾” three-way tee connectors. Twelve (optional) ¾” ‘push on’ end

caps if you want to make it look really neat (I recommend at least two, one for each end, to stop a dog catching a toe in the end).

For the first weave pole section you need to cut:

two short pieces of ¾” PVC pipe measuring about 1½” long; one 2’6” length for the upright

weave pole; 10½” for the side brace; and 19½” for the lengthwise ground support (this makes a

24” gap between pole centers when the tee pieces are connected). You also need two 3 way tee connectors to fit the pipe together and

(optional) three end caps to cap the end, the 22 www.urbanpawsmagazine.com

upright weave pole and the side brace.

(Subsequent sections require only one short connecting piece as the lengthwise ground support goes straight into the tee connector).

Assemble in order: a) end cap. b) short connect-

ing piece, c) 3 way tee, d) ‘” upright weave pole, e) short connecting piece, f) 3 way tee, g) 10 ½”

side brace; h) 19½” lengthwise ground support. For the next section start with c) 3 way tee and

continue until the end, capping off with a short connecting piece and final end cap. Voila!


Standard weave pole using V channel method

And, the bonus is you can set them as adjustable V weaves simply by twisting them, bringing

them more upright as your dog gains experience. Like the channel method, the V channel

can be used with younger dogs, teaching them to look for the entry or build angled entries, without damaging immature joints. Safety Point:

Lesley and her dog demonstrate how to weave.

Never train puppies or young dogs to weave upright, their joints have not matured and can be damaged. You can start with just a few weaves to teach your dog the entry.

You can very easily adapt the construction to

make a set of ‘2 by 2’ weaves advocated by top agility trainers like Susan Garrett. This can also

be suitable for young dogs as, in essence, the

weaves form a channel, or a series of ‘gates’. This can also be a great trick for obedience training, teaching your dog to ‘go through the

gate’. The dog should always enter with the first pole to their left shoulder. Remember, keep training short, fun and stop on a positive!

Lesley Young (MA Hons), has 17 years experi-

ence of Dog Training - relocating to The Woodlands, Texas in 2009. Lesley runs Pet Dog, Puppy and Agility classes and is an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator. www.dogangels.us.


SUMMER DANGERS Beware of Plants and Substances That are Poisonous to Pets

M

any would say that summer is the

term survival is poor when ingested. Without

spend the most time in the great outdoors with

severe, irreversible liver failure. Prompt treat-

best time of year – it’s when we

our families, friends and pets. Unbeknownst to many pet owners, summer also brings with it certain flowers, substances and plants that are

treatment, sago palm poisoning can result in ment is always needed for the best prognosis.

dangerous to dogs and cats.

Lily of the Valley

to investigate things that are new to them,” said

vomiting, diarrhea, a drop in heart rate, severe

“Most pets use their sense of smell and taste

Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “When they come across

interesting plants or other items, their first reaction is to smell it, which often leads to tasting it.

Pet owners who are aware of poisonous plants and substances can avoid potential dangers that can result in emergency trips to the veterinarian.”

Some of the most dangerous summertime

plants for pet owners to be aware of are listed below.

When ingested by pets, the Convallaria majalis plant, also known as Lily of the Valley, can cause

cardiac arrhythmias, and possibly seizures. This plant contains cardiac glycosides, which are also

used in many human heart medications. Any pet with a known exposure should be examined and evaluated by a veterinarian and treated symptomatically. Treatment may include blood pressure

monitoring, heart monitoring, and, in severe cases, an expensive antidote to bind the toxin (e.g. Digibind). Lilies

Sago Palm

Very popular in warmer climates, this household and outdoor plant can be extremely harmful to

pets. All parts of the plant, including the

fronds/leaves, nuts and seeds are especially poisonous to dogs. Ingesting just a small amount

can cause severe vomiting, bloody stools, dam-

Cat owners should be aware of lilies and the

and, in some cases, death. This plant is consid-

Calla lilies cause only minor symptoms when

age to the stomach lining, severe liver failure ered one of the most deadly in dogs and long-

24 www.urbanpawsmagazine.com

dangers they pose. While Peace, Peruvian and

eaten, other more deadly types like the Lilium


and Hemerocallis species (Tiger, Asiatic, Easter,

Japanese Show and Day lilies), are highly toxic to

cats. Ingesting very small amounts of the plant from grooming the pollen off the fur, or eating

as little as two petals or leaves, can result in

severe kidney failure. If a cat consumes any part of these lilies, or even drinks the water in the vase, he or she needs immediate veterinary care

“Most pets use their sense of smell and taste to investigate things.”

to prevent kidney failure. Decontamination, such as inducing vomiting and giving binders

Fertilizers or soil additives

like activated charcoal, are imperative in the early

toxic stages. This is followed by one to two days

gardening-related dangers that pet owners

should be aware of, such as fertilizers and pesti-

of intravenous fluid therapy, kidney function monitoring tests and supportive care. Crocuses

There are two types of Crocus plants: One that

In addition to flowers and plants, there are other cides. While fertilizers are typically fairly safe for

pets, those that contain blood meal, bone meal,

feather meal and iron may be especially tasty – and dangerous – to them Large ingestions of

these products can form a concretion in the stomach, obstructing the gastrointestinal tract

and causing severe pancreatitis. Also ingestion of pesticides and insecticides, especially if they contain any organophosphates (e.g., disulfoton

found in common rose-care products), can be life-threatening, even when ingested in small blooms in the spring and the other in the autumn. The spring plants are more common

amounts.

Enjoy the beautiful gardens and flowers this

and cause only gastrointestinal upset accompa-

summer, knowing that you have the knowledge

However, the autumn Crocus, also known as

pet may have ingested something harmful, take

nied by vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and cats.

Meadow Saffron or Colchicum Autumnale, are

highly toxic and can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, and multi-system organ failure

with

bone

marrow

suppression.

Symptoms may be seen immediately but can also be delayed for days. If you witness your pet eat-

ing a crocus and you are not sure what variety it is, it’s best to seek veterinary care immediately for decontamination and treatment.

to keep your pets safe. If, however, you think a action immediately. Contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680. Pet

Poison Helpline is the most cost-effective animal poison control center in North America

charging only $35 per call, including unlimited follow-up consultations. Pre-program your cell phone with these life-saving numbers in case of emergency.

Urban Paws Magazine 25


Tail End These Paws Were Made for Walking

Top 10 Most Unusual Dog Names Revealed

Whether it’s a 10k for a cause or a walk through

Last month, Veterinary Pet Insurance revealed

require any special skills or training and best of

names were selected by VPI employees from a

the park–walking is great exercise. It doesn’t

all, it’s free. So, what are you waiting for? Put this magazine down and start walking! Your four-

legged exercise buddy can help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure and relieve stress. Fido will love you for it - he gets to experience

new smells, meet new friends and best of all, he

gets to spend time with you. If you’re a begin-

the top ten most unusual dog names. Fifty

database of more than 485,000 pets. They were then narrowed down by voting for the ten whackiest names. “Bella” and “ Max” may still be in the lead for the most popular names, but

thousands of pet owners are using far less conventional monikers.

ner, start slow and build up the number of steps

1. Almost-A-Dog

in the morning or late evening to avoid getting

3. Stinkie Mcstinkerson

you take. In the hot, summer months, walk early over heated. EveryBody Walk is a campaign

committed to getting America walking. You can read first hand why walking is such great exer-

cise and find or start a walking group in your neighborhood. For motivation and inspiration, visit www.everybodywalk.org.

2. Franco Furter

4. Sir Seamus McPoop 5. Audrey Shepburn 6. Dewey Decimell

7. Knuckles Capone 8. Beagle Lugosi

9. Shooter Mclovin 10 Uzi Duzi-Du

To view the full list of 50 unusual dog and cat names, and read the stories behind their names, visit www.wackypetnames.com.

26 www.urbanpawsmagazine.com

Sir Seamus McPoop


Urban Paws Marketplace

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Urban Paws Magazine 27


Urban Paws magazine  

August 2011 issue