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Saturday, July 27, 2013


  1. The most popular male dog names are Max and Jake. The most popular female dog names are Maggie and Molly. 
  2. 62% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 72.9 million homes.
  3.  45% of dogs sleep in their owner’s bed (we’re pretty sure a large percentage also hogs the blankets!) 
  4.  When dogs kick after going to the bathroom, they are using the scent glands on their paws to further mark their territory. 
  5. The Basenji is the world’s only barkless dog.
  6. The most intelligent dogs are reportedly the Border Collie and the Poodle, while the least intelligent dogs are the Afghan Hound and the Basenji.
  7. One survey reports that 33% of dog owners admit they talk to their dogs on the phone or leave messages on answering machines while they are away.
  8.  The oldest dog on record was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey who lived 29 years and 5 months. In human years, that is more than 160 years old.
  9. Petting dogs is proven to lower blood pressure of dog owners.
  10. Dog nose prints are as unique as human finger prints and can be used to identify them.

Friday, July 19, 2013


With summer temperatures skyrocketing it seems the obvious choice would be to shave that long fur coat off of your dog right?  Not so fast!

Veterinarians often advise against shaving pets for the simple reason that their hair is not like ours.  Mother nature has designed a pet's coat to keep it warm in the winter and cool during the summer so the general rule is if you shave them you are interfering with their internal temperature regulator.  Shaving can also predispose them to sunburn, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

If you are dedicated to keeping up with maintaining their brushing routine and removing the old shedding hair before it becomes matted, this will help them tremendously.  However, if not, matted unkempt hair does not allow for air circulation.

 If you have a very thick-coated dog or an extremely matted one who seems to suffer from the heat, some veterinarians do recommend shaving, but some things to consider would be:
  1. No short shaves which would predispose to sunburn. 
  2. Be watchful of clipper burn.  It only takes a few minutes for clippers to heat up.  Use some coolant or take breaks to allow them to cool. 
  3. Try to leave about an inch of hair to protect from sunburn and any cool nights.  Then begin a good brushing routine to prevent matting and allow air circulation. 
  4. Never use scissors.  The chance of injury is much higher than with clippers. 
  5. Consider hiring a professional groomer to deal with nervous dogs and avoid the chance of injury.
Stay Cool and Have a Great Summer with your Pooch!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013



1.  According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 53 percent of adult dogs and 55 percent of cats in the U.S. are obese or overweight.

2.  Twenty-two percent of dog owners and 15 percent of cat owners said their pet's weight was normal, when it was actually overweight or obese.

3.  There is a normalization by pet parents to the point that obese pets are becoming the new norm.

4.  According to the Purina Lifespan Study, obesity takes almost two years off of a dog's life.

5.  Being overweight or obese can put your pet at risk for diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, certain cancers, heart and respiratory disease, among others.

6.  To check if your pet is obese or overweight, you should be able to easily feel your pet's ribs without pressing on the pet and your pet’s stomach should be tucked in.

7.  Pets become overweight/obese from being overfed and lack of exercise.  Genetics and metabolism may also be involved.


1.  Check with your vet for recommendations on your specific pet's needs.  Choose light or low-calorie foods.

2.  Practice portion control, always measuring according to label serving size.  

3.  This is a good one for us all.  Give treats in moderation!

4.  Last but certainly extremely important for everyone -- EXERCISE!  Diet alone isn't enough to keep your precious pooch healthy, you must encourage some exercise.  Most dogs need around one hour of activity daily.  We can't forget the kitties.  They need quick bursts of movement, jumping up and running around, about 15 minutes a day.  So join me in some good playtime with our four-legged friends and let's all stay healthy!

Saturday, July 6, 2013


According to PetMD the top 10 Travel tips for Pets are as follows:

10.  IDENTIFICATION TAGS:  Outfit your pet with ID tags in case of separation.

9.  PERMANENT ID TAGS:  In addition to ID tags, consider microchipping your pet and registering with the National Dog Registry.

8.  TRAIN YOUR PUPPY YOUNG:  Train your puppy to remain calm and focused on your commands with practice car rides and a reward system.

7.  SECURE YOUR PET FOR THEIR SAFETY:  To avoid injury, it's always best to crate your pet.

6.  BEST TRAVEL CARRIER FOR YOUR PET:  Fabric carriers are a good way to transport your pet, but hard plastic carriers are the safer way to go.

5.  PETS AND CARS:  Pets are quick and agile especially if frightened.  It's safest for them to keep them crated for travel.

4.  CONSIDER SEDATING YOUR PET:  You may think this extreme, but if your pet experiences extreme anxiety, this could be the best thing for them.

3.  FIRST AID PET KIT:  Carry along a simply first aid pet kit including your pet's medical records.  The Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (VECCS) can provide information on the nearest animal hospital.

2.  PET FOOD AND WATER:  Prepare for unexpected travel delays with extra food and fresh water for your pet.

1.  BE EXTRA VIGILANT:  No matter how well you think you know your pet, you never know how he will react to stressful situations.  Keep your pet safe and secure at all times.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Quieting Fireworks Phobia

The 4th of July with all of its celebrating can be extremely stressful for pets.  The following article has some great tips for preparing your dog for dealing with the holiday. Happy Independence Day America!

Quieting Fireworks Phobia With Music Therapy, Among Other Tricks

Last week I received another one of Lisa Spector’s e-mails on the subject of dog-calming music. Ms. Spector is a Juilliard-trained concert pianist, agility enthusiast and co-creator of "Through a Dog’s Ear," an impressive collection of music designed to soothe the canine brain. (Here’s a past post of mine on this surprisingly scientific subject.)
In said e-mail, Ms. Spector directs us to her worthy blog post on the subject of Fourth of July Fireworks (which in my neighborhood go on for at least ten to fourteen days). It’s great stuff, advice I’d absolutely dole out. So I’ll offer it here for your consideration and spare myself the trouble:
"Eight Tips for providing a safe July 4th for your Canine Household:
1. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise earlier in the day.
2. Keep your dogs inside during fireworks, preferably with human companionship. If it's hot, air conditioning will help.
3. Provide a safe place inside for your dogs to retreat. When scared of sounds they can’t orient, dogs often prefer small enclosed areas. (I once had a dog who climbed in the bathtub during windstorms.)
4. If possible, keep the windows and curtains closed.
5. Make sure all your dogs are wearing ID tags with a properly fitting collar. (Dogs have been known to become Houdini around the 4th of July.)
6. Leave your dog something fun to do – like a frozen Kong filled with his favorite treats.
7. Train with counter classical conditioning. Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., CAAB, has a very clear definition and tips here.
8. Sound Therapy: Play Music to Calm your Canine Companion, Vol. 1 and 2. It is most effective when you first play the music well before the fireworks start, at a time the dog is already peaceful and relaxed. He will begin to associate the music with being calm and content. Then play the music a couple of hours before the fireworks start and continue to play through bedtime. The music doesn’t need to be loud to be effective as it has been clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Click here for free samples and downloads. Last year, I received a heart warming e-mail from a woman who told me that it was the first 4th of July that she didn’t need to drug her dog, thanks to the music of Through a Dog’s Ear. On previous years, he had jumped out of windows. She said, 'It was like Dog Ambien! Dambien!'"
OK, so apart from the pitch-iness of number eight, I really like her suggestions (especially the first one!). But for some dogs, my preference runs to having owners play the Star Wars soundtrack at a high volume all day and night and burn something in the oven early on in the day to help mask all the noises and smells, respectively. But then, I guess some gentle Mozart is a heck of a lot more pleasant for most people. And probably for most dogs, too.
I’d also add a microchip suggestion to number five. And, for what it’s worth, here’s my party line on the sedation thing for storms (which applies well to fireworks, too).
Now it’s your turn: What will you do to prepare for this holiday weekend?
Dr. Patty Khuly