whatever happens in vegas (is posted on this blog!)

Hi Humans, 

I hope you had a nice weekend!

Last week we attended SuperZoo, the annual show for pet retailers in Las Vegas.

It was so great to walk around, meet enthusiastic pet product companies and inventors, who are really working hard to contribute their best ideas to this wonderful industry.

While strolling between the booths, I noticed more and more technology based inventions.

The smart collars are really becoming trendy, with Tagg, PetPace, Whistle, Voyce and others leading this fabulous idea of monitoring your pet when not at home.






One of the coolest inventions that I ran into at SuperZoo, was a device that allows the dog parent communicate with his or her dog via video call, essentially Skype for dogs. (BTW, this is what  happens when your dog Skypes).

Products such as Petchatz and iCPooch even enable the owner to release a treat via his or her smartphone while chatting with the dog! Pretty cool, huh?!.

I was surprised to learn that the iCPooch Founder is the lovely Brooke Martin, who is only 14 years old. iCPooch was born as a result of an 8th grade school project at an intense 54 hour event called Startup Weekend Spokane, held in September of 2012 at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

I was delighted to meet Brooke, and to see how passionate she is about her brainchild.

I can’t wait to see what else this growing industry will bring us. As long as it can improve the lives of pets around the world, I’m all for it.

Have a pawesome week!



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How to Get Your Shy Pooch out of Its Shell

Hi Humans,

I hope you all had a nice weekend, and that you did some cool things with your dogs.

Today’s guest blogger is Nicola Reynor,  a community manager for the cool website Dog Love It. Nicola is here to share her thoughts and experiences about getting shy dogs up and running!

Shy and fearful dogs need a lot of help and support to build confidence and lead a happy life. They require regular doses of patience and leadership to come into their own. The progress is slow, but the returns are more than worth it.

Shyness and timidity are not just puppy traits; they can also develop as a young dog matures. Often the dog is not introduced to different people, animals, places and sounds during its socialization period or has faced emotional trauma or abuse, or has just not gotten enough social interaction. These factors can often make a dog unusually shy or fearful.

Shy canines often overreact to out-of-context occurrences at home. For example, a car backfiring too loudly in the driveway will startle a confident dog, but a fearful dog in contrast, may urinate before running to hide under the bed. In some cases it may even turn and snap at the person closest. If you feel your dog has severe fear issues, it would be a good idea to get an opinion from a veterinary behaviourist.

Since shy dogs are prone to overreacting, their owners tend to baby them a lot. Always understand that comforting a frightened dog may be perceived as a reward by the canine and can actually reinforce the fear. The owner should always try and build confidence in the dog by establishing a close relationship and providing a calm, orderly and predictable environment.










Know Which Situations Scare Your Dog

Fearful responses are far more easily learned than unlearned in canines. The more time your dog spends feeling anxious, the deeper the groove gets worn. Try and create an environment that doesn’t startle or scare them too much.

Watch out for signs that your dog is getting anxious about something. If your dog starts to breathe faster or stares fixedly at something, know that all is not well. Take your cues, and create distance between your dog and the object scaring him.

Living in an urban environment will expose your dog to loud noises, both human and machine, as well as interaction with people. Make sure your dog has been familiarized with the surroundings you live in; most fear instincts in dogs arise because they are not entirely comfortable with their surroundings. (DOGTV’s “Exposure” programs are an excellent way to desensitize dogs to most fears, R.L)

How to Reinforce Confidence in Your Dog:

  • Have a kennel or a separate sleeping area for your dog. This can be a routine go-to hideout for the dog on regular nights and when you are not home. It will help build confidence and help assure the dog that it is safe and secure.
  • If you have a new dog in your home, keep it on a leash for the first few days. Have him follow you from room to room as you go about your routine. This helps in comforting a shy dog and build trust, telling him that you are his leader and protector.
  • Take your pup with you when running errands. This will help the pup get introduced to other people and dogs. Make sure you have the situation under control at all times, or it may turn out to be traumatic for your pooch if someone starts cuddling him too fiercely.
  • When your dog is new, do not let him run loose in the backyard as he may be hesitant to return inside the house it has still not broken into. Walk him on a leash and introduce him to the yard until he is comfortable and at home.
  • When your dog starts acting fearfully, ignore the behavior and try to redirect his attention elsewhere. Petting or comforting him would only reinforce this behavior.
  • Take the dog out for walks at least twice a day. It helps build confidence and strengthen the bond between the owner and the dog.
  • Playing with your dog every day is a must. Dogs need to play so as to build confidence. Games that draw the dog to you are best. Avoid games that pit the dog against you.
  • Keep your actions around the dog deliberate. Fast or sudden movements, yelling, or children racing through rooms slamming doors should be avoided.
  • Instruct guests and especially children to ignore the dog until it approaches them. If the dog approaches them, they can scratch it under the chin. Avoid eye contact and frontal alignment. Patting the dog on the head or hugging it may be perceived as threatening.
  • Do not force the dog to approach someone or something he is afraid of. Give him distance and time before redirecting his attention.
  • Make sure there is a clear routine for your dog and that it knows the rules
  • Obedience training should be a part of the dog’s daily routine
  • Under no circumstances should you physically punish the dog. This will only serve to frighten him further and break the bond between a dog and its owner.
  • Taking a dog back to a housebreaking incident and shoving his nose in it will only confuse the dog further. This will be detrimental to your training efforts. Instead prevent such accidents and provide constant supervision to the dog during the training phase.
  • If your dog is shy around other dogs, begin by introducing him to a friendly and relatively calm canine. As he gets comfortable, introduce him to dogs of larger sizes and more active demeanor. This can take a little time, so be patient.

Make sure your pup, or dog, is well-trained. As your dog finds more positive things to focus on he will gradually come out of his shell and be more confident. Always ensure that your dog is in a comfortable and familiar environment. If you move a lot take time out to introduce your dog to your new living area.

Forcing your dog to go against its grain will only serve to estrange the bond between the two of you.. Be patient, dogs take more time to translate past lessons to new situations. At the end of the day, the dog always follows the cues of its owner. So be the leader of the pack, and show your scared pooch how it’s done.

Nicola Reynor is a community manager and web presence strategist for Dog Love It, the  doggy supply store. In her spare time, she loves to go hiking with her two dogs and catch the latest movies with her friends.












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Well-being in Dogs

Hi Humans,

I hope you had a pawesome weekend!

Today’s guest post is by Dr. Asaf Dagan, DVM, the Chief Veterinary Scientist of PetPace, the smart collar which monitors your pet’s well being. So what is “well being” all about really? Let’s discover…

“Well-being” is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “the state of being happy, healthy, or prosperous”. The meaning of this definition is obvious when it comes to people but how does well-being translate to the animal world? Can Fluffy be happy in the same way a human can? Is he healthy and prosperous? How can we tell?

The human psyche is undoubtedly a little more complex than that of a dog or a cat (well maybe not a cat, but definitely a dog’s psyche…). For example, a human state of happiness is not necessarily based on objective criteria. That is why some people may “have it all” but still remain unhappy. Pets, on the other hand, don’t need much to be happy or to achieve “well-being”. If a dog is healthy, free of pain, receives his meals on time (plus the occasional treat), gets regular trips to the park, and most important of all – a little bit of attention from the owners, I’m pretty sure you can check “happy” next to its Facebook status.

However, herein lies the big question – how can we say for sure that our beloved dog is indeed healthy or free of pain?

Pets, despite their strong connection with their human family, are still animals driven by natural instincts and reflexes. In the wild when an animal shows signs of weakness or illness it becomes vulnerable and may lose certain privileges like mating or a prime spot in the line for choice foods. Therefore, animals’ survival instinct calls for concealing any weakness or deficiency.

One of the ways in which this instinct is manifested in our domesticated canids is that dogs do their best to hide their ailments or discomforts. Even the most devoted and observant of owners won’t notice the subtle symptoms that develop in the early phases of a chronic disease. When owners do notice that something is wrong with their dog, it means that it can no longer hide the symptoms, or in the veterinary jargon, the animal had decompensated. Usually, by the time the pet is presented to the veterinarian the disease is already at an advanced stage. It is essential to understand that this fact is due to these remnants of wild nature in our pets and not because of negligence or lack of awareness by the owner.

Too many pet owners are lured into a false sense of confidence that because they know their dog so well (and in fact they do!) they will immediately know when he or she is sick. A recent large-scale study showed that roughly 30% of pets suffer from a significant health condition while their owners report that they are healthy.

The same goes for pain. Pain is probably the most common, under-diagnosed condition afflicting pets. In addition to the dog’s efforts to act as if all is ok, many owners erroneously think that if their dog or cat doesn’t cry or wail then they are not in pain. The result is that we don’t have the capability to accurately assess our pets’ well-being.

That is precisely the problem that we at PetPace set up to solve. The PetPace collar is a unique, patented, high-tech collar that continuously (and non-invasively) monitors a pet’s well-being status. Through continuous measurements of a range of physiological and behavioral parameters, smart analytics and a huge database for comparison, PetPace can achieve early detection of diseases. The collar can spot those early changes, which go unnoticed and alert the owner or the veterinarian that some problem is brewing and action needs to be taken. This early detection means saving Fluffy unnecessary suffering and ensures its consistent (and scientifically confirmed) well-being.

Dr. Asaf Dagan, DVM, DABVP, CVA, LLB

Chief Veterinary Scientist

PetPace LTD

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Music is Fun!

Hi Humans, 

I hope you had a great 4th of July weekend! I also hope your dogs enjoyed the special “Relaxation” programming we’ve created especially for them, to feel calm and relaxed during this scary day. Research shows that dogs are more calm and relaxed listening to classical music, especially music that is played and arrange in a simple way. DOGTV’s musicians are continuing to compose music for dogs (called Psychoacoustic music) in a clear goal to create an extra soothing environment for dogs, especially when home alone.

Today I am happy to announce that Andrew Dost from the band Fun, has joined us and is now  creating music for DOGTV!

Andrew is a huge dog lover, and was thrilled to work on composing music for dogs. And, needless to say, we are thrilled to have him on board. Here is one song that Andrew beautifully composed for DOGTV:

To celebrate the music of Andrew Dost on DOGTV, we present: Dogs Rock! Giveaway.

Want to win t-shirts signed by Andrew Dost? Want to get free DOGTV?

Just click here!

Have a FUN week everyone!


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Fido and Fireworks—Sometimes Not a Good Combination

A special guest post by Prof Nicholas Dodman, DOGTV’s Chief Scientist 

For most of us July 4th means fireworks and hotdogs.  Both of these are fun for us, but the former can be a real problem for some noise-sensitive dogs.

Dogs with fireworks phobia may positively shake with fear, anxiously drool saliva, pace, pant and try to hide as the sound of fireworks exploding and crackling begins.  Rule number one is that if your dog is scared of fireworks, don’t allow him to be exposed to them.  If you live in a location where a major fireworks display is slated for the 4th of July, such as Boston or New York City, see if a friend or relative who lives far way can look after your dog until the festivities are over.

Failing that option, you must provide a “safe place” for your dog to go when the fireworks begin.

A basement is ideal because most homes are semi-subterranean and have small windows that can be blocked off.  Alternatively, a relatively sound-proof room with heavy curtains may do the trick.  That way the sound and sight of fireworks is eliminated or attenuated.  In this safe place, play soothing music—try playing CDs such as Through a Dog’s Ear or Canine Lullabies—at a reasonably high level to mask any muffled sounds that may penetrate the relative quiet of your dog’s new den.

DOGTV may help, too, as the relaxation phase of DOG TV includes calming bio-acoustically engineered music.  Think of the safe place as a bunker in which your dog can hunker down until the event passes, serving a similar function to tornado bunkers in the tornado belt of the Midwest.

You need to escort your dog to the safe place at first until he learns its value.  In time, he may go there automatically.  Provide food, water, toys and entertainment for you dog while he is in the safe place to distract and occupy him.

Some people think pressure vests, like the Anxiety Wrap or Thunder Shirt, may help too, by providing a swaddling effect.  For the long run, it is eminently possible to desensitize dogs to their fear of fireworks.  A number of CDs of scary sounds, including the sound of fireworks, are available in stores or through the Internet.  Play recordings of the sound of fireworks at first at a very low level, rewarding your dog with special food treats for remaining calm.  Once he is comfortable at, say, volume 1 on your CD player, increase the volume a notch to, say, volume 2.

With this stepwise approach to introducing him to the scary sound of fireworks at ever increasing levels he should eventually be able to tolerate the real thing.

Finally, some dogs are so scared that medication is the only solution to deal with their phobiaadequately.  I have had success with medications ranging from melatonin (the hormone of sleep) to clonidine and Xanax.  It’s whatever works best for that dog so trial treatments are helpful ahead of time to get the right medication at the right dose.

We know that you are going to enjoy the 4th of July but we need to make sure that your pooch does not experience the worst day of his year while you are reveling.  With the approach above you should be able to ensure just that.


Nicholas Dodman BVMS, DVA, DACVA, DACVB

Program Director of the Animal Behavior Department of Clinical Sciences at Tufts University, MA



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7 Pieces of Awesome Furniture Your Dogs Will Completely Adore

Hi Humans, 

It’s just another barking Monday, which is a perfect time for our weekly treats. Today’s guest blogger is UK’s Tudor Davies, who’s been helping people transform their homes for many years with some cool useful ideas. Mr. Davis wanted to share with you all some fun ideas for pawesome pieces of furniture:

We all love our pets and want to make them feel a part of the family. Well the perfect way to make them feel at home is to give them a designated place in your home that is just theirs. Animals and in particular dogs are quite territorial, so giving them their own space is quite important. So to help your puppy make the transition into your home, check out these amazing pieces of doggy furniture:

 1. Concealed Doggy Bed


Perfect for giving your new dog a designated sleeping area in your bedroom, yet still giving you the option to hide it away during the day.

 2. Sofa Table Doggy Bed

A perfect cabinet for the living room that elegantly and functionally fits into your home.

 3. Doggy Bed Vintage TV

If you want to go one step further then this vintage TV doggy bed can be used to make a style statement within your home.

 4. Bench Doggy Bed


Kitchen benches like these have loads of unused space, so making use of them to create this dog bed is a great space saver.

 5. Laundry Room Doggy Bed


A laundry room is a great room for doggy accessories, especially when they are a bit older and you are trying to train your dog to sleep downstairs to protect your home.


6. Kitchen Cabinet Doggy Bowls

These built in doggy bowls can give your dog a designated place for feeding and drinking, plus they prevent you from always tripping over their bowls.

 7. Dog Hot Tub


Not for every dog but if they love getting wet and taking a bath then this is a great addition to your garden. For the passionate dog lover this is a must.


Hope you like these! For additional ideas view this blog.

Have a great week!!!


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Take Your Dog to Work Day: Job Titles for thePups of Powerful People

 Hi Humans, 

Canines everywhere are suiting up for the 16th annual Take Your Dog to Work Day (June 20). In celebration, DOGTV has rounded up the pooches of some of the most powerful and talented figures in the world to see how they fit in to corporate America and beyond.

Check out this year’s list of the most office-ready dogs!

                                                Photo Credit: Michelle Obama


First Dogs – Bo and Sunny (Portuguese Water Dogs)

Owner: President Obama

As First Dogs of the United States, Bo and Sunny spend a lot of time attending state dinners and visiting the children of wounded warriors with the First Lady. If dogs could run for political office, Bo and Sunny would be first on the ballot.

         Photo Credit: Oprah.com

CEPs (Chief Executive Paw-ficers) – Luke and Laya (Golden Retrievers), Sadie (Cocker Spaniel), Sunny and Lauren (Springer Spaniels)

Owner: Oprah

Oprah’s powers of persuasion are no secret. Following in their mother’s direction, don’t be surprised if you see the powerful pups with their very own “Puprah’s Favorite Things” list in the future.


Photo Credit: WebProNews

VP (Vice Pooch) of Social Strategy – Beast (Hungarian Sheep Dog)

Owner: Mark Zuckerberg

With a Facebook following of 1.8 million, this is one pooch that knows how to draw a social audience. After all, he learned from the best.

 Photo Credit: Flickrhivemind.net

Chief Sniffer – Darwin (Viszla)

Owner: Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO of Yelp

Darwin’s nose can sniff out all the best hydrants and tell you the dog parks to avoid. This pooch keeps ratings high and tails wagging at Yelp on a daily basis.


Photo Credit: NYDailyNews

The Princes and Princesses of Pampering – Holly and Willow (Corgis); Candy and Vulcan (Dorgis)

Owner: Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen is well known for her love of Corgis and ensures they receive nothing short of the royal treatment. These pampered pups are said to have a special menu prepared each day for them, and, when possible, are fed by QEII herself.


Photo Credit: WHDH

Chief Corres-paw-ndent– Gary Frick (Golden Retriever)

Owner: Jimmy Fallon

After making her debut as Jimmy Fallon’s go-to source for sports and election results, Gary is the Tonight Show’s only corres-paw-ndent. The girl knows how to suit up for the job.


Photo Credit: WPTV

Diplomutt – Ben (Labrador Retriever)

Owner: Former Vice President John Kerry

Named after one of our country’s most notable diplomats, Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin F. Kerry literally jumps for joy over legislation. Never has there been a dog so enthusiastic about paw-litics.

Have a great week everyone!


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Nine Things Pet Treat Manufacturers Won’t Tell You

Hi Humans, 

A new week is here, and with it – a new blog post. Today’s post is about everything you need to know about dog treats. This text was professionally put together by Petplan, the leading pet insurance, so trust me – they know what they are talking about.

When your dog does something right, you give him a treat. It’s a savory reward for a job well done – or is it? Turns out, pet treat manufacturers can conceal some pretty unsavory secrets about your companion’s kibbles. Don’t expect to see these truths listed on any labels:

1. Treats can be hard for your pet to digest.  While pet treats are processed, extreme temperatures used to extrude and bake them can eliminate important enzymes needed for proper digestion. This places the entire burden for digestion on your pet’s pancreas, which must supply the enzymes necessary for breaking down nutrients for absorption. But the pancreas doesn’t naturally produce enough to process food completely and efficiently, and so pets need to get additional enzymes from their food. When this doesn’t happen, digestive problems ensue – which is why too many pet treats spell trouble.

2. Treats are almost never mostly meat.  A dog’s natural diet contains few carbohydrates and mostly meat, but the majority of treats-sold today are packed with fillers like corn, wheat or soy and skimp on the real protein. Most treats add up to nothing more than a bunch of empty calories when you examine their actual protein content.

3. Treats can make your pet fat. The empty calories mentioned above are no laughing matter; feeding low-quality, high-calorie treats containing added sugars can easily lead to a pet packing on the pounds – even if he gets adequate exercise.  A seemingly innocent extra 50 calories a day from a cookie adds up to a pound or two each year. This makes for an overweight dog by the time he reaches mid-life, and leaves him vulnerable to the many health risks associated with obesity.

4. Labels Lie. Terms like all-natural, premium, gourmet and organic shout out from the shelves, making us think we’re buying products that will give our pets the best possible nutrition. But words like “premium” and “gourmet” don’t actually mean anything, and foods labeled “natural” and “organic” aren’t necessarily any healthier, either. The truth is, these terms have no standard definition or regulatory meaning in the pet food industry. Which means they’re more of a marketing ploy than a nutritional profile.

5. Just because it was made in USA doesn’t mean it was sourced from the USA. The actual phrase “made in the USA,” means very little when marketing pet food.  Nearly all dog and cat foods are “made” in the USA since importing and exporting is difficult.  But “sourced in the USA” means that the ingredients were actually grown and produced on American soil. In other words, treats claiming to be “made in the USA” can still contain ingredients from China.

6. If you’re buying it at the grocery store, it’s probably bad for your pet. The simple truth is that the pet food brands sold in grocery, convenience and dollar stores are basically junk foods for your pets – and the same goes for treats.  Highly processed, extruded kibble is nutritionally-lacking, and is what takes up the most room on store shelves. Seek out premium treats with higher quality ingredients (you’ll have to go to a specialty pet store to find them). While it may be more convenient to toss a few treats in your grocery cart, doing so can shortchange your pet’s health.

7. Treats are loaded with sugar. Sugar is incredibly attractive to dogs, and pet treat manufacturers know it. If a dog gobbles a treat quickly, an owner is more likely to give another (and another).  This adds up to more sales and more profits for manufacturers – at the expense of your pet’s health.

8. Treats could be causing your pet’s allergies. The corn, wheat and soy crammed in many commercially made treats can cause itchy skin and scratching. If your pet is constantly in discomfort, it may be time to consider cutting out the cookies.

9. Whole foods are healthiest. Your pet would get more nutritional benefit from snacking on treats like apple or banana slices, salmon, eggs, yogurt, carrots, broccoli, chick peas and other fresh, whole foods. Ditch the packaged, processed stuff and opt instead for a treat that is truly all-natural.


Exclusive to DOGTV subscribers!  You can try Petplan free for 30 days when you visit TryPetplanFree.com and use the code DOGTV. There’s no obligation and no payment information is needed to start your trial. Comprehensive coverage. Rapid reimbursement.  It pays to have a Petplan policy.

Try Petplan free today and coverage can begin tomorrow!

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How to Be a Better Pet Parent?

Hi Humans,

Today’s guest blogger is Denise Fleck,  an award winning author who’s been teaching animal life-saving skills for 15 years. I’m proud to have Denise as our special gust blogger, who will give us some tips on being a better pet parent (is that even possible?)

How to Be a Better Pet Parent

By Denise Fleck, Sunny-dog Ink


Veterinarians are the experts, but most of us are not lucky enough to have a Vet velcroed to our hip 24/7, and even if you live with 5 people in your house, odds are that when the dog stops breathing or cuts his paw…you will be home alone and it will be after veterinary hours.  Therefore Pet Parents must know how to jump to the task to rescue Rover before professional medical help is available!  In addition to knowing the life-saving skills of Pet First Aid and having the confidence to use them, anyone who spends time around pets must have a well-equipped tool kit (aka your Dog’s First Aid Kit) as precious time can be wasted looking for the right item once a pet has suffered sudden injury or illness.  I always say that a kit is only as good as the human at the other end of the leash, meaning – if you use something up, replace it; if it expires, get another, and take special care of items that can go bad, especially if you keep your first aid kit in the car or other area subject to extreme temperature changes.  Besides medications and creams, even the stickiness of various wraps and tapes can degrade due to heat, and Hydrogen Peroxide does not hold up if it gets warm, so be prepared to keep these items cool or change them out regularly.


In addition however to learning Pet First Aid & CPCR (yes, there is now a second “C” standing for “cerebral”) and having a Pet First Aid Kit, there are five specific things you can do to get on the path to becoming a better pet parent:

1.      Know the location of your nearest Animal Emergency Center.

Some locations are open 24/7 while others open at 6pm and close 8:00 the next morning to fill that gap of time when your Veterinarian is closed.  Drive there before you need to, so that if you suddenly have an emergency, you aren’t wondering if it’s a right turn or a left turn or which side of the street help is on.  Also find out what services are offered (anti-venin for snake bites, blood for transfusions, MRIs, etc.) and how payment is accepted.  Doing your homework can alleviate stress when your pet needs you most.

2.      Keep up with annual veterinary visits.

Although you may not need to visit the Veterinarian annually for vaccinations (check into titer testing — blood testing that determines immunity to specific disease), it is still of prime importance that you allow those professional eyes, hands, ears, stethoscope, blood test and urinalysis confirm that your pet is okay.  Determining a slight decrease in kidney function for instance, can allow for changes to the diet, an increase in exercise or other modifications at the earliest signs rather than waiting for symptoms to present themselves meaning a problem already exists.  Think of your Veterinarian as your pet’s second best friend (you should be #1), and work as a team for the life of your dog.

3.      Do a weekly Head-to-Tail Check-up of your pet and pay attention to normal habits.

Really get to know your pet, his body and his habits.  The better you know what is normal for Fido, the more quickly you can determine when something is not quite right signaling you to get him professional medical assistance.  Start slowly getting him used to your touch (which also makes him a better patient at the groomer and the Vet) and learn the idiosyncrasies of his body.  Know what is supposed to be there (yes, male dogs also have nipples, those aren’t ticks!) and what is not…lumps, bumps, foxtails & burrs, fleas & ticks for instance.  Notice what your dog looks like when he sits and stands.  Does he moan when he gets up off the floor or sit with a leg cocked to the side?  Arthritis or hip dysplasia could be making life difficult.  How often do you have to fill his water bowl and how often does he need to answer nature’s call?  An increase or decrease in any of these activities could mean something in his body is changing and warrants a veterinary check-up.

4.      Read your pet’s food label.

Ingredients on the can and bag are listed in diminishing order meaning the first 3-5 items listed are the bulk of your pet’s diet.  Make sure the first ingredient is a high quality protein — the name of the animal in the bag or in the can (ie: chicken, lamb, salmon, sardines, venison or turkey).  The term “poultry” can mean less-desirable portions of various birds are included in the food and what in the heck is a “meat?”   I personally have never seen one roaming on a range!  Limit or refrain from grains altogether…wheat, corn and soy cause allergic reactions in many pets.  Can’t pronounce it?  Then your dog probably doesn’t need it as well as color and flavoring additives which can be carcinogenic.


One of the best gifts you can give your dog is to educate yourself on canine nutrition.  Canine bodies cannot safely metabolize all the same foods ours can, and while they may eat a small woodland creature (bones, gristle and fat) without issue, once bones are cooked, thy splinter and cooked fat turns to grease resulting pancreatitis for your dog.


Although many fruits and vegetables can be beneficial to animals, choose wisely:  grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure, macadamia nuts can lead to paralysis, seeds from peaches and plums contain an arsenic-like substance and onions can break down red blood cells causing hemolytic anemia in pets, not to mention the caffeine-like substance known as theobromine found in chocolate.  Know what must remain out of paws reach.  Both the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA post good lists of what can poison your pet.  Even with the safe veggies though (green beans, carrots and spinach for example), realize that dogs have shorter intestinal tracts than we do, so food sits in the stomach longer but doesn’t have has much time to break down in the colon, especially the cellulose (plant fiber) inherent to vegetables.  To help your dog get the most from his veggies, steam them lightly, chop very fine or puree for best absorbency.  Learn and become an advocate for your pet when shopping or making his meals.

5.      Spend quality time together.

I whole-heartedly feel that the most important tip for becoming a better pet parent is this…spend good quality time daily with your dog.  That’s why we have pets – to make them part of the family, so be sure to give your furry kid your undivided attention several times daily.  When you go for a walk – pay attention to him!  Don’t talk on your cell phone or be sending text messages.  Be in the now and live in the moment like your dog does.  Couple that with providing exercise, fresh air (it does a body good – canine or human) and continue his obedience training to keep him safe and you’ll be worthy of the unconditional love your best friend gives so selflessly!



Denise Fleck is an award winning author and freelance writer.  After extensive training, practice, more training and more practice, she developed her own Pet First-Aid & CPR curriculum and has been teaching animal life-saving skills for 15 years with many success stories to share.  Additionally she developed a 5 month long Animal Care course for high school students in conjunction with the Burbank Unified School District and Animal Shelter.  She has demonstrated animal life-saving skills on CBS –TV’s “The Doctors,” Animal Planet’s “Pit Boss,” “Kirstie Alley’s Big Life” and countless other shows. To complement her teachings, Denise created a line of Pet First-Aid Kits, posters and books for children teaching animal respect and care!  Visit www.sunnydogink.com or call (818) 951-7962.



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What being a #DogMom means to me

Hi all,

Following our last post on #DogMoms, we’ve asked you for your opinion: What does being a #DogMom mean to you..

Here are some of your answers!!

Stacy Johnson White “What being a #DogMom means to me.. It is having unconditional love from my dogs. Knowing they are at home waiting for me after a long day definitely brings me joy. I love to see their excitement when I walk in the door. We both rely on each other. I give them shelter, food, water, hugs & kisses. They give it right back. Don’t know what I’d do without them Buddy & Monkey”


Stacy Johnson White's photo.
Kathy Gandoza “I love my baby boy Gizmo! He may be 19 years old.. but he will always be a baby to me”
Kathy Gandoza's photo.
Kim Smoot “Being a #petmom to my furbabies is so completely satisfying. The amount of love they give you in return is ten-fold. They live their life for you, to make you laugh, to comfort you, to keep you getting up every morning when things are tuff. Don’t call my furbabies “dogs”, they are loving, concerned, grateful living beings and deserve to be treated with kindness and love.”
Kim Smoot's photo.
Cheryl Cheney “My little monsters (3 min pins) are the only children I will ever have. I am lucky that they have chosen to add me to their pack. I would (and I know someday most likely will) be utterly devastated to lose them. But they make every day that I have with them totally worth living”.
Manu Manny “It means that no matter how bad or stressful my day has been,I know that when I get home there will be a wagging tail and a wet nose to welcome me and I will be able to hear that thumping sound of the little tail against the front door as soon as I get out of my car!”
Karen Hickey “Being able to give and receive unconditional love, watching my girls interact with one another and live in the moment (we could all take lessons from our pups!), playing ball at home our in the park, walks at the Marina. There are countless things that make me love being a dog mom!”

Karen Hickey's photo.
Nancy Sundberg Abramovitz “Being a dog mom means giving all of the love and care you can muster to your four legged fur kids. It means feeding the right kind of food for their systems, and giving wholesome treats in exchange for good behavior. It means picking up poops to keep their yard clean to play in, and cleaning their butts when they have problems. It means regular Vet check ups and appropriate medication. It means paying attention to their needs, their wants, their health changes, and understanding their language. It means not stressing them out by leaving them alone too long. It means grooming and petting and belly rubs just because. It means walks and play time, and lots of attention. It means giving them as much love as they give you. My dogs meant everything to me. This is my first Mother’s Day without them in 14 years. I’m sad, but so thankful for 14 wonderful, love filled years. Weber and Wabash are Old English Sheepdog angels watching over us now. XOXO”
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