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In This Issue


Dog Park Etiquette & Safety Tips Be sure your dog is ready


Education is Power How one vet is empowering her world


Agility Series - Part II Mastering the art of weaving


Bounce, Soar, Roll Play it safe when choosing dog toys


Healthy Tails Subtitle


Tail End Easy peanut butter dog treat recipe



hen I started Urban Paws magazine, my goal was to provide pet owners with valuable information and be a resource for rescue and adoption efforts. Over the years, we’ve covered many topics and highlighted many great people who work to make a difference in our community. While you won’t find local celebrities gracing our pages, you will find relevant articles on keeping your dog healthy and happy. Many of our advertisers also share the same passion as we do about animals and we encourage you to check out their products and services. In this issue, we feature an interview with Dr. Westwood, a veterinarian and professor at the Vet Tech Institute. As an advocate for spay/neuter, Dr. Westwood volunteers her time

Issue 4: Volume 5

to help with the needs of our community. To read Alison’s interview, turn to page 14. Also in this issue is part two of our agility series with Lesley Young. Weaving can be a challenging, yet fun activity for you and your dog. To learn more about getting started, see page 22. I would personally like to dedicate this issue to my pal, Peanut, who passed away at the ripe old age of 18. He was my solid companion that I could always count on and he will be greatly missed. Cherish every moment that you have with your pets. They love you more than you will ever know.

Jennifer Kitchens

On the Cover

Buster, photographed by Ashlee Newman Photography. URBAN PAWS MAGAZINE P.O. Box 1556 Spring, Texas 77383 Design and layout by: ZOECO CREATIVE © 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.

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

Calendar May 2011 Events MAY 7 Meet & Greet event. Come see the adoptable dogs from Greyhound Pets of America Houston at Petco, 6883 Highway 6 N from 16:00 pm. MAY 7 Bring Your Own Beagle party will be held at Pawty Palace in Katy. Bring the whole family for games, contests, food and fun, all benefiting Houston Beagle & Hound Rescue. $10 per person or $20 for a family of four. 2:00 - 6:00 pm. To RSVP, email Elizabeth at MAY 8 Meet & Greet event. Come see the adoptable dogs from Houston Beagle & Hound Rescue at Petco, 19507 I-45 North in Spring. Noon 4:00 pm. For more information, visit MAY 14 Discount Vaccine Clinic at Four Seasons Veterinary Hospital, 3730 FM 2920. Noon 4:00 pm. First come, first served. MAY 14 Rally for Rescue Walk and Spring Bark at Northshore Park in The Woodlands. 8:30 am 4:00 pm. Walk registration begins at 7:45 am and the entry fee is $25. Come for pet adop-

For a full listing of events, visit:

tions, contests, silent auction, raffles and much more. Visit for more information. MAY 14-15 PetsJam at Tom Bass Park, 3452 Fellows Road. 9:00 am - This two day music and pet festival will benefit the Houston Humane Society. Activities include pet attractions, demonstrations and exhibitions as well as over one dozen of todays hottest music stars live on stage performing 12-10:00 pm on Saturday. and 10:00 am - 6:00 pm on Sunday. For more information, visit MAY 21 Paws for a Cause - Abandoned Animal Rescue’s First Annual Dog Walk and Cat Capers will be held at Juergens Park in Tomball. 8:00 am noon. $20 fee includes a two-mile dog walk and virtual cat walk, t-shirt, a poker hand draw, consultation with a dog behaviorist on leash techniques, and 5 booths with water and treats. Other fun stuff includes a Doggie Double Contest, Cat Photo Wall with prizes for funniest and cutest cat pictures, Dog Handling Demonstration, Pet Photographer, Flea-less Flea Market, Doggie Sundaes and Bruster’s Ice Cream. To register and pledge, visit

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

The Scoop News & Happenings in the Houston Area NATURAL PAWZ TO ADD NEW LOCATION LOCATED IN NORTHWEST HOUSTON Natural Pawz, a one-of-a-kind pet health food store, is excited to announce the addition of their seventh and newest location in Vintage Park, a lifestyle shopping center located off Highway 249 and Louetta Road. The new location will occupy a 1,500 sq. ft. space within the center and will be located at 142 Vintage Park Blvd. Ste D. Build out on the space has already begun and the new location is scheduled to open their doors in early May, with a grand opening event tentatively scheduled for Saturday, May 14. “We are very excited to become a part of the Vintage Park community,” said Biff Picone, coowner of Natural Pawz. “We look forward to getting to know area residents and are thrilled to provide healthy and affordable pet food options to our new neighbors.”

LOCAL GIRL SCOUT TROOP AWARDED THE BRONZE AWARD FOR THEIR WORK WITH ANIMALS Wendy Rawlins, troop leader of Girl Scouts Troup # 249 presented the troop with the Girl Scout Bronze Award on February 7, 2011. The Girl Scout Bronze Award is the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can earn. It shows that the scouts have made a promise to help others, improve their community and world,

and become the best they can be. The first three requirements of the award help build skills and prepare them for the fourth requirement, a Girl Scout Bronze Award Project. The name of the project for Troop #9249 of Humble was “We Love Animals”. All of the girls in the troop worked with VAP (Volunteers for Animal Protection) over the last several months to complete the project. They distributed fliers, collected dog and cat donations for the VAP shelter, helped make goody bags for a VAP fundraising event, donated a pet-themed basket to the VAP silent auction and volunteered at PetSmart to assist with Santa pictures. Lynn Keng, Volunteers for Animal Protection's Secretary, presented a Certificate of Appreciation to the troop for their help and participation in last year's fundraiser and for their successful collection of donations. Many abandoned cats and dogs will benefit from their efforts. HOUSE BILL 3450 INTRODUCED The Texas Companion Animal Protection Act (CAPA), H.B. 3450 was recently introduced by Representative Jessica Farrar. The bill would require shelters to follow practices that have allowed communities like Austin, Texas to save 92% of all dogs and cats. To learn more about the bill and sign the petition to support it, visit

Urban Paws Magazine 7

Dog Park Etiquette

& Safety Tips

Dog parks can be a lot of fun for you and your dog. It’s a great socialization opportunity for everyone. Just remember, it is important to make sure that your dog is ready for the dog park. Have realistic expectations about your

dogs tend to crowd around to greet arriving dog.

he isn’t polite or friendly with others, get help to

dating to many dogs and may result in a skir-

dog’s suitability for going to a dog park. If

change his behavior before you take him to a dog park. Dog parks are not a place to rehabilitate fearful or aggressive dogs or those that just don’t know how to play well with others.

Before you take your dog into a dog park,

spend a few minutes watching the other

dogs and how they are playing and interacting

with others. If the dogs seem to be too rough in

their play or are intimidating other dogs, come back some other time.

If your dog has never been around other

dogs before – don’t go to a dog park until

he’s had a chance to be around other dogs in

other situations so you have a better idea of how he reacts to other dogs.

If you aren’t sure how your dog will

behave, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed

to muzzle your dog the first few times he goes to a dog park. Better safe than sorry.

Introduce your dogs to other dogs gradu-

ally – allow your dog to greet other dogs

while he’s still in the separate entry area available

at some parks, or let your dogs sniff around the fenced boundary.

Be careful entering a dog park gate. Other 8

This jostling and crowding can be quite intimimish, or worse.

Do not take your small children or babies in

strollers to a dog park. Dogs and children can

easily frighten one another and bad things can

happen to either of them in the blink of an eye. Supervise your dog. This is not the time for

you to be distracted talking with other owners

or burying yourself in a book. You must be

monitoring your dog’s activities to be sure she isn’t being badly and other dogs are not behaving

badly toward her. This is another reason not to

take young children – you can’t adequately supervise both dogs and kids at the same time.

Be particularly watchful of small dogs

around big dogs. Don’t let big dogs frighten

or threaten small dogs. Aggression between big

and small dogs is especially likely to result in injuries to the small dog.

Don’t take any toys to the park your dog is

not willing to share.

While tidbits can be a great way to reward

good behavior, be careful about giving them

to your dog when other dogs are nearby. If your

dog can’t tolerate other dogs crowding around

her wanting to share the goodies, treats may not

be a good idea. If you are attempting to give

the fight as this only adds to the general arousal

stay while eating.

chances of injury.

treats to a crowd, require that all dogs sit and

Pick up after your dog. You don’t want to

step in another dog’s poop anymore than

and greatly increases either the dogs’ or your, Always take your cell phone and have the

phone number of the local animal control

someone else wants to step in your dog’s mess.

agency. Call animal control or the local police

Avoid grabbing your dog’s collar when your

won’t leave the dog park. These individuals are

dog is playing or interacting with other dogs.

Such tugging can sometimes trigger threats and aggression toward nearby dogs.

and report any aggressive person or dog that dangerous to people and dogs.

Be knowledgeable about dog body pos-

tures, communication signals and social

If your dog seems to be fearful or is being

behavior. You should be able to recognize stress,

thinking she will “get over it”, that she will learn

the difference between play (which can be very

“bullied” by other dogs, don’t let her stay,

to “stand up for herself ”. Chances are greater her behavior will get worse.

Don’t let other dogs threaten or scare your

dog. If they won’t leave, then remove your


If your dog is being a bully, being threaten-

ing or aggressive, or just seems to be overly

tension, fear, play, threats and aggression. Know active and sound violent) and real threats. Know when to intervene and when to stay out of an

interaction among dogs. If you feel uninformed about canine behavior, learn more before taking

your dog to a park. Harm can come to your dog if you under-react as well as over-react.

Recognize that by taking your dog to a dog

park, you are accepting a degree of risk that

excited, remove him from the park, either tem-

your dog may be injured or may injure another

other dogs at risk. Make the safety of other dogs

a safe place for your dog to be around other

porarily or permanently. It is not fair to put and people as high a priority as the safety of your own.

Know how to break up a dog fight. Direct

Stop™, a harmless but effective citronella

spray or a small hand-held air horn are your best

dog. Don’t be naïve and think that a dog park is dogs. This may not always be the case.

Daniel Q. Estep, Ph.D. and Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D. Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists

bets. Don’t scream and yell at your dog, try to pull her off by the collar, or get in the middle of

Urban Paws Magazine 9

Healthy Tails

Preventing Snake Bites


By Dr. Jim Amyx, Four Seasons Veterinary Hospital

pring and summer are wonderful times to

enjoy the “Great Outdoors.” Usually

when we are outside, our pets are outside with us. And, in warmer months, so are the snakes. Our pets, who are naturally curious, don’t realize that a snake can bite. They





Symptoms can occur immediately or can be

delayed for several hours. Symptoms also include prolonged bleeding, weakness, dizziness,

with it. Most of the time,


the snake does not want to


play, biting our pet in

severe lethargy.



Antivenin is the only

Venomous snake bites

specific treatment for

may be life threatening to


our pets - in general, the



While very expensive,

larger the pet, the less risk

antivenin therapy can

of death or severe disease.

produce side effects

Variables such as the loca-

including severe aller-

tion of the bite, the type whether venom was inject-


Copperheads, Rattlesnakes and Moccasins.

just want to chase or play

and size of the snake,


gic reactions. If bite Photo courtesy of Mauro Luna

symptoms are mild, your veterinarian may

ed into the wound also determine your pet’s

not recommend antivenin therapy. If symptoms

are non-venomous; however, a few venomous

most likely be recommended. In the past,

snake bite risk. Most snakes in the Houston area

snakes such as the Copperhead, Rattlesnake,

Water Moccasin, and Texas Coral Snake also live here.

Snake bites may cause severe pain, infection,

swelling and sloughing of tissues. In more severe cases, snake venom can affect the victim’s blood cells and nervous system. Each year in the

U.S., approximately 150,000 dogs and cats need 10

are moderate or severe, antivenin therapy will antivenin has also been in limited supply and may not be readily available.

Red Rock Biologics (

has developed a vaccine made from the Western

Diamondback Rattlesnake venom. The vaccine protects against most species of Rattlesnake and

Copperhead bites, but it does not protect against

Moccasin bites. The likelihood of death or seri-

ous illness from these bites is greatly decreased if your pets are fully vaccinated. Serious infec-

Snake Bite Symptoms: Prolonged breathing Weakness Dizziness Shock Nausea/Vomiting Severe Lethargy

tion, resulting from a snake bite, can occur regardless of any preventative vaccination so all snake bites should receive veterinary care.

Eliminating snake habitats - tall grass and weeds,

large piles of rocks and wood, and any unnecessary trash or debris prevent your lawn from

being a source of danger. Become familiar with dangerous insects and snakes so you can readily

identify them. Internet sites

Snakes Found in Texas: Copperhead Rattlesnake Water Moccasin Texas Coral Snake

and - are two good resources to identify local fauna and snakes.

Most importantly, see your veterinarian for regular checkups and discuss with him or her

If you suspect your pet is the victim of a snake bite, see your veterinarian immediately.

whether the rattlesnake vaccine is appropriate for your pet.




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Things We Love!

All Terrain now offers a pet care line for the active, outdoor lifestyle. The expanded product line includes Pet Hot Spot Helper, a gentle cooling spray which hydrates and soothes a pet’s skin and Pet Herbal Armor, a Deet-free formula proven effective in preventing bug bites and stings. Both are all natural and free of harsh chemicals.

Buckle-Down, the maker of unique products made with seatbelt buckles, announces a line of funky dog collars and leads that will make any four-legged friend stand out from the pack. Each stylish collar has a mini version of Buckle-Down’s signature seatbelt buckle and comes in hundreds of prints and color combinations. Featured are Love Love Pink and Death or Glory. Made in the U.S.

Pee Happy merchandise includes hats, toys, shirts and other items that provide financial assistance for dogs in transition at Shultz’s Guest House. To learn more about the cause and shop for items, visit

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Education is Power: How One Houston Vet is Empowering Her World INTERVIEW BY ALISON TERRELL


Meet Dr. Roberta Westwood, the 33-year-old

ment. The essence of the course is diagnosing

who is blazing her trail through Houston’s pet

teach laboratory animal science which teaches

veterinarian and professor at Vet Tech Institute, community one student and one volunteer hour at a time. When I first heard of the opportunity to do an interview piece on Dr. Westbrook, I

and recognizing diseases in dogs and cats. I also students about the importance of laboratory animals.


So, do you have a practice on the side or is


Vet Tech Institute is my main focus, but

was intrigued by the yet-to-be-known veterinar-

the Vet Tech Institute your main focus?

education, philanthropy and sincerity that truly

occasionally, as in once or twice a month, I do

Throughout the interview, Dr. Westbrook spoke

nity. My husband is a veterinarian and he does

ian. Little did I know of the power-house of all-encompasses this vet from San Antonio.

passionately about many topics, but if any two stood out clear above the rest it would be these: The importance of educating the community

relief work for several practices in the commusurgery only, so once a month I volunteer at his clinic to help him out.

Q Well, the reason we came in today is because

and getting involved.

we heard that you are involved in the communi-

Q To begin, I’d like to get a little background

people that are involved in the pet community.

information first. Where did you go to vet school?

ty, and here at Urban Paws, we love to feature Could you speak a little about that?

A Definitely -- even through the school we get

I went to the University of Missouri in

the students to volunteer outside their studies,

Q So, now you’re at the Vet Tech Institute as a

few of the students are going to volunteer at the


Columbia, Missouri. professor.

A Before coming to work here, I was a part of

the school’s advisory board that helps institute protocol that the school wants to put in place. When I left my last job, at the shelter, they had

an opening here. I’ve always wanted to give teaching a try, because I think I’m good at help-

ing people understand, so I decided to give it a shot.

Q What courses do you teach? A I teach a course in surgery

and anesthesia,

which teaches students how to monitor patients under anesthesia and how to assist the veterinarian in surgery. I also teach a course in biology, since I was a biology major in college. I have

also taught canine and feline clinical manage-

especially at the SPCA. Even this weekend, a

Spay/Neuter Clinic that my husband works at.

It’s a great program, especially the Adopt a Cat Program, which is a rescue organization that rescues and rehabilitates cats and places them in

homes. They also have a spay/neuter clinic

which spays and neuters animals at low costs, and they even have feral cat days once a month

where they capture feral cats and spay or neuter the stray cats then release them back into the community.

That’s one of the things I’m

involved in is the spaying and neutering of feral cats in order to help control the pet population.

And this is the first weekend that my students will be able to come and see how the process works.

Urban Paws Magazine 15

care for the animals, being able to find them a new home, that was great.

Q If you could give some advice to peo-

ple about shelters, maybe someone who

doesn’t see shelters in a positive light, what would you say to them?

A I would say to please don’t blame the

shelters, the shelters are there because of

the negligence of people, and often times the shelters are the ones to get crit-

icized because they have so many ani-

mals, or so many animals in poor health,

but the other side of that door is how did those animals get in there, or in poor health for that matter.

Somebody at

some point didn’t spay or neuter their

Q That’s great; not only are you participating in

the community, but you’re paying-it-forward in getting your students to volunteer as well.

A Yes, not only does it help the animals, but it also helps them fine-tune their skills as well.

Q Earlier you mentioned you worked at a shelter.

A Absolutely, I worked there as a relief

vet for

about 2 ½ years. I went into shelter medicine because I wanted to feel that I could help or

save animals that needed a second chance. And,

I learned so much while I was there, especially that I have soft spot in my heart for the shelter.

It can be a difficult job to do, especially when you see so many hurting animals, you definitely

have to keep your composure. I love the shelter, and it was such a great way to help the community, especially whenever someone maybe cant

afford to treat their animal, and maybe they did-

n’t have a choice and didn’t want to give their animal up, so being able to provide that kind of 16

pet. Somebody at some point didn’t take

their dog to the veterinarian.

Somebody at

some point starved their dog, or let it run free without a leash. So, shelters are their as a haven

for animals where other people failed at keeping

them. If you talked to anyone in the shelters,

they would love for their intake numbers to be lower, they would love for all animals to have

permanent homes. It’s just a different mentality. You want to save as many as you can, but you

have to be realistic. So, the main theme in shelters is trying to educate the community. Why it’s

important to spay and neuter, why it’s important to be responsible, because ultimately it comes down to that.

Q I think it’s important that you’re not just a

veterinarian but you’re also intelligent on the

needs of the shelter and community. If you

could speak towards the North Houston area, what do you think we could use to help us better ourselves as a pet community?


More education, for example: Responsible

breeding and spaying and neutering. I mean if it

were up to me, I would prefer that people breeding would only be able to do so if they are bet-

tering the breed standard and not breeding because they want to see more puppies, or more

income. Really, just informing the public on

what are those things that constitute responsible

pet ownership: spaying/neutering, vaccinating, preventative health care, providing food and shelter and socialization.


Where would like to see the community

donating their time?

A I would definitely say the shelters. There are

career is educate the people that I’ve come into contact with that everyone has their place in this

little world of making animal life better. Everyone has something they can do. It’s so

important for everyone to do his or her part.

All of us have the same goal – we all love animals, just donate your time to help the community.

Q What would readers with?

you like to leave Urban Paws

A Please, get involved and stay educated.

so many animals and frequently not enough

help. Even if it’s just walking the dogs – they need to be socialized.

Even when adopting

them out, so many come back



they’re not socialized or

not potty trained or wont walk on the leash. So, if

the community would

help the animals by interacting with them – creat-

ing that human-animal bond, that relationship between human and pet;

the human animal bond is important.

I would say

that the shelters need help all the time.


If you would like to

highlight one part of your career that you think

defines you as veterinarian – what do you think that would be?

A I would say, what I hope that I’ve done in my Urban Paws Magazine 17

Chew on This! Mutt Census Revealed breed dogs. For instance, the Chow Chow, a popular breed in the 1980’s and the third most common breed identified in mixed breed dogs, is only the 63rd most popular purebred according the AKC.

Photo courtesy of Elliott Asbury

2010 was the year of the U.S. Census, but not just for humans. For the first time ever, the estimated 38 million mixed breed dogs in the U.S. had a chance to be counted in the first ever 2010 “National Mutt Census” conducted by Mars Veterinary. The Mars Veterinary genetics research team collected DNA samples from more than 38,000 mixed breed dogs to determine the breed history of each dog, and combined it with survey results from 16,000 mixed breed dog owners. Published results officially named the German Shepherd as the most common breed identified in our nation’s mixed breed dogs. What’s particularly interesting about the data is that the most common breeds registered by the AKC are not necessarily those found most often in mixed 18

Angela Hughes, veterinary genetics research manager at Mars Veterinary, explains why there's a discrepancy in common breeds found in mixed breed dogs and popular AKC registered dogs, “The results of this poll provide a vivid snapshot of past and present trends in mutts. The DNA of America’s mix-breed dogs tells a story of which breeds were popular in past decades. If a breed was trendy in the past, but has fallen from popularity, it may still represent a large portion of the current mixed breed population.”

The top 10 most popular breeds found in the nation's mutts. 1. German Shepherd

2. Labrador Retriever 3. Chow Chow 4. Boxer

5. Rottweiler 6. Poodle

7. American Staffordshire Terrier 8. Golden Retriever 9. Cocker Spaniel

10. Siberian Husky

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Gimme Shelter

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

Tiny Paws Rescue Tiny Paws and Chi Rescue is an all volunteer organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of abused, abandoned and neglected small breed dogs. Each dog is current on vaccinations, flea preventive, and on heartworm preventive. Adoption fees are to assist us with their transports, sterilizations, vaccinations, medications, micro-chipping, tests, grooming, feed, toys, doggy blankets and general care. Tiny Paws Rescue operates on adoption fees solely as a solution to a huge pet overpopulation problem, and not to make a profit.

Our cover dog, Buster!

Buster is an adorable, one-year-old toy Shih Tzu that was rescued from a kill shelter. He was picked up as a stray and his fur was matted and covered in urine and feces. Buster always has a smile on his face. He is a happy go lucky guy with personality. He loves to play with toys and his foster siblings and is great with other dogs, kids and cats. Buster also loves to go visit the dog park and meet new two-legged and four-legged friends. Ideally, Buster needs a home with someone who is home most of the time to give him all of the attention that he deserves. He also wouldn’t mind another dog companion to pal around with. He requires daily walks and/or exercise since he is young and full of energy to burn off.

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


Meet Ruby, a two-year-old Pomeranian. Ruby was rescued from a high-kill shelter. When she first came to us, she tested heartworm positive and had patches of missing fur from her flea infested body. Ruby has since gone through treatment and is now heartworm free. Her coat is coming back beautifully after some tender loving care and medicine. Ruby is a true sweetheart. She is a very gentle girl who loves to give the softest kisses. She does well with her foster siblings and is fine with larger children due to her small size. If you are looking for the sweetest dog in the world, Ruby is your girl!






Meet Lucy, A one-year-old Chihuahua/Rat Terrier mix who has come such a long way since being found in a school parking lot emaciated and ravaged with mange. Today, you will find Lucy much recovered with a true smile on her face. She has gained weight and grown back much of the hair that was missing. She’s even starting to play and jump around, as any typical one-year-old puppy should. Lucy gets along great with other dogs and loves people, especially children. She is looking for her special forever home – could that be yours?

Come and see Bandit, the Yorkie/Maltese mix little boy! He’s about 1 ½ years old and sure to be the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. Bandit was rescued from a high-kill shelter and came to Tiny Paws Rescue in a very sickly state. It only took a few trips to the vet to get this little guy perked up, however. He gets along with other dogs, cats and older kids. Bandit’s favorite activity is cuddling under the covers. He is crate trained, fully vetted and working on his housebreaking. Don’t let this cute guy pass you by! He’s currently looking for a warm lap to make his forever home.

Adorable Rascal is a 4-5 month old Chihuahua/Terrier mix who is currently looking for his forever family. Poor little Rascal was saved from almost being hit by multiple cars. He was found hungry, dirty and covered with flees. He is such a sweetheart and loves to play. He gets along perfectly with other dogs and children, though he would prefer kids older than 10 because he is so small. Rascal loves to cuddle and play with toys. He does well walking on the leash. Rascal is also housebroken and crate trained. Come and see how sweet this little boy is!

Pretty Josie is a two-year-old Chinese Crested/Maltese mix. She was seized from a puppy mill, and is in the process of being socialized, as she has never known human companionship before. After just a week with her new foster mom, Josie is already asking to be loved on. What an improvement! She is good with dogs and cats, but not small kids. Josie needs someone who is willing to be patient and work with her. She does not bite; she is just a little timid at first. Josie is also fully vetted. Wont you show this little girl how special she really is?

Drake is a 1-year-old fawn Chihuahua mix that weighs 14 lbs. He was found roaming the streets, and brought to Tiny Paws Rescue. Drake’s favorite thing to do is smile and play tug-of-war. He is very loving and gets along with other dogs and people, especially children. He loves to be happy and is very playful. rake is housebroken and crate trained. If you are looking for a dog that is easy to care for, loves to go on walks and would make the perfect family dog, Drake is for you! Won’t you give him his second chance he deserves?

Urban Paws Magazine 21

Mastering The Art of Weaving By Jennifer Kitchens

By Lesley Young, Dog Angels U.S.


n this article – the second in our series of

fun ideas for your Obedience and Agility Training - we introduce weaving. In agility,

weaving entails negotiating a ‘slalom’ series of weave poles. In obedience training, weaving through your legs can be a great way to add

sparkle to your heel work practice; is excellent for strengthening back muscles or warming your

dog up to work; or is even just a really neat trick

to impress friends and family. (You know your dog loves the applause!)

Training your dog to walk at heel can be pretty intense and tiring for you and your dog. Enlivening your practice with ‘surprises’ can help keep your dog alert and focused on you and avoid it becoming a chore for both of you.

You can start by luring your dog through your

legs with a treat or their favorite toy, “marking”

performance with a positive “Yes”, “Good” or

clicker. Gradually reduce (‘fade’) the lure until your dog performance on your voice cue only.

Remember to work on both the left and the right, putting them together (like a figure of

eight) when your dog is confident. Just do a few repetitions to keep the game really fresh and enjoyable!


In agility, the dog must enter from the right (left

shoulder to the first pole). Several methods have

evolved over the years including ‘2 x 2’ (effectively training the entry with just two poles, gradually adding another two… then another).

Another method is the channel, entailing two lines of poles (often on two bases or ‘stick in the

ground’ poles) forming a channel. Again, the key point is that it makes learning easier – especially finding the entrance – finishing is quicker so your dog gets rewarded sooner and you slow-

ly raise the bar by bringing the two bases in line. Of course, there’s more to it than that. You are

sure to find examples on the Internet and a

more detailed guide is available, along with last edition’s



Targeting, Happy Training!


Special thanks to Kimma, a Finnish Spitz, and her owner Katie for demonstrating.

Lesley Young (MA Hons), has 17 years experience 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.


By Jennifer Kitchens


oys. They are a must-have for dogs. They make a canine’s world go round,

make it bounce, roll and fly. These objects inspire play, ease boredom, enrich training and curb behavioral problems.

Although the media comments on how much

we pamper our pets, toys are no mere luxury. According to experts, dogs need them, and

more than just one kind. Toys can help with a

bad day, much like a stress ball that you squeeze

when you’re angry. Softer toys can satisfy more gentle instincts. Balls, tug toys and Frisbees are great for sharing fun, while squeaky objects cry out for attack.

With a growing pet economy, one might ask

“Which toys?” Pet aisles are loaded with persua-

sive advertising. The readable text is generally

aimed at grabbing your attention and is not information about the safety of the toy. Some of it can be downright deceiving.

Unfortunately, the manufacturing of pet toys

relies on the honor system and for less scrupulous companies, it’s trial and error. Often times, errors discovered through consumer complaints

are ignored. If chosen carelessly, our dogs may

Smart Toy Choices Planet Dog This values-based company headquartered in Maine offers a full range of nontoxic, recyclable U.S. made toys. Check out the website’s “Chew-O-Meter” to find the right toys for your dog. West Paw Design A Montana-based company that focuses on environmentally friendly production. Their proprietary material “Zogoflex” utilizes 10 percent post-industrial waste. Their toys are recyclable, non-toxic and durable. Kong Company Based in California with manufacturing facilities in China. The original Kong is a nearly indestructible, treat holding toy with an odd bounce. Kong toys are durable for power chompers. To help shoppers determine the right size toy, their website offers a breed search. pay the hidden cost of a toy. Among the most

common hazards are choking and intestinal

obstruction. Parts and pieces may be ingested. And, since our dogs use their mouths to play, toxic materials and coatings can also pose a risk.

The Food and Drug Administration does not

regulate dog toys. The Consumer Product Safety Commission only regulates toys that can be 24

Safe Toy Tips • Supervise play • Choose toys that fit your dog’s size and avoid those that can be worked to the back of his mouth • Keep a variety of toys on hand; rotate them to spark your dog’s interest • Select toys that match your dog’s play style • Don’t use toys as a substitute for inter action • Avoid balls with single air holes, which can create a fatal suction trap; sticks; stones; heavily dyed toys; toys treated with stain guard or fire retardants; soft plastic toys proven to put humans, not dogs, at risk.

Concerns don’t end with choking hazards and

grinders could be a victim, so look for toys that

are sized appropriately so that your dog can’t

work it to the back of his jaws. A small dog can be a powerful a chewer just as a giant breed can be gentle on them.

From puppyhood to the senior years, it’s

important to know your dog and select toys based on his or her life stage. A teething puppy

doesn’t chew and play the same as an older dog whose teeth have become worn.

Before selecting a toys, use your senses. Avoid

injuries. Dyes, preservatives and chemical

strong chemical smells as they may indicate

years back, Chinese imports sparked worry

contain toxic ingredients and leach dye when

residue also pose a risk for our pets. A couple of

amongst pet owners when toys tainted with toxic heavy metals, like lead and chromium were detected. These chemicals are released from the tainted toys when dogs chew on or lick them. As

if that weren’t enough, other lead containing toys are made from latex - a material that is often

used instead of plastic. It may contain phthalates and BPA (a hormone disruptor). Adding to the threat of contaminates is the level of toxicity for

dogs. What may be safe for a 40-pound child may prove deadly for a tiny Chihuahua.

chemical residue. Brightly dyed fabrics could

they are wet. Avoid toys that are treated with stain guard or fire retardants, as they could con-

tain formaldehyde and other chemicals. Study

the labels and visit the manufacturer’s websites for more information. Companies who have nothing to hide are transparent out their toy making processes.

As long as the toy industry remains unsuper-

vised, it’s up to us to keep our eye on the ball...and the squeaker.

Knowing your dog can help you make wiser

choices when selected toys. Is your dog a Type-

A chomper? Dogs don’t technically chew toys, but rather tear them as they would prey, using their premolars which are located farther back in

the mouth. Any toy that ends up in this set of Urban Paws Magazine 25

Tail End Canine News. Reviews. Cool Stuff !

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits Have you ever met a dog that doesn’t like peanut butter? Neither have we. These treats are sure to make your pooch lick his chops!


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1/4 cup rolled oats

1 tsp. baking powder


3/4 cup milk (reduced or fat free preferred)

and baking powder in a bowl. Gradually stir in

1 tbsp. blackstrap molasses

Preheat the oven to 350ËšF. Whisk flour, oats milk, peanut butter and molasses.

1 cup peanut butter (chunky or creamy)

Knead dough on a floured surface. Roll the

dough into a 1/2 inch thickness and cut with a dog boned shaped cookie cutter.

Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool overnight in the oven or on a wire rack.

Healthy Tip:

Select a peanut butter that is both salt and sugar free.

For more healthy dog treat recipes, visit 26

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Training & Behavior

5th Anniversary

AUGUST Nutrition

Urban Paws Magazine 27

Urban Paws Magazine  
Urban Paws Magazine  

May 2011 Issue