Archive for the ‘Dog Facts’ Category

$250. Poop Trap

Posted on: April 15th, 2013 by Asia

dogpoopingWhat’s a $250. Poop Trap?

No doubt you’ve heard of a “speed trap”, but for irresponsible dog owners who refuse to pick up after their dogs, what about a “$250. poop trap”? Sure everyone is more vigilant when they see the local enforcement authorities wandering about in their uniforms, but what if they were in plain clothes and just wandering about at the off leash park or beach?

It’s a $250. Fine

Perhaps you’re not aware that not picking up after your dog is a substantial $250. fine – that’s more than not having a current dog tag on your fur friend’s collar.

What’s worse is that dog poop is highly toxic and when you don’t pick up, this toxin finds it’s way into our water supplies, and into our homes.

Why might it be a good idea for control officers to blend into society so that they can catch irresponsible owners? Nobody wants to step in doggy do, and they sure don’t want to smell it when they’re taking a few hours to enjoy the sun and sea at the beach, and none of us conscientious dog owners want to keep on taking the rap for those who think it’s OK to operate outside of the rules of common decency.

I’m sure that all conscientious dog owners have many times seen a big pile of dog poo left on the side of the road in your neighbourhood, or at your local park, and I’m sure that being the conscientious dog owner that you are, you’ve picked up many loads that didn’t come out of your dog, while silently cursing the irresponsible dog owners who makes all the rest look bad.

Pick It Up – It’s the Law

Because there are so many more dogs in homes these days than ever before, this means that sadly there are many more piles of poop not being picked up.

Every time a dog owner does not pick up after their dog, this inaction creates a health hazard and puts all other dog owners in a bad light which broadens the wedge between those who love dogs and those who would rather see them banned from all public places.

As an example, just yesterday when we were pack waking with our clients as we do every Sunday, the weather was gorgeous and we decided to return along the beach. There were lots of dogs and humans enjoying the sunshine and ignoring their off leash dogs.

Within a space of just five minutes we saw two dog owners NOT pick up after their dogs. One young woman actually dug a hole in the beach and buried her dog’s poop under an inch or two of small rocks and when one of our group called her on it, her excuse was that it was better than filling landfills with plastic. When I replied that most doggy do do bags are biodegradable, she became belligerent and said, “you look after your dog and I’ll look after mine.”

A minute farther down the beach and we witnessed another dog squeezing out a fresh pile of poop while the two young guys who seemed to be associated were already too far down the beach to ever notice.

We live very near a beautiful little park where we often walk our dog, and inevitably we are picking up after a dog and owner that has long since left the vicinity. In fact, we seem to pick up far more dog poop from other dogs than from our own.

The Power of Peer Pressure

So what’s the solution to solving this problem before dogs are banned from all public areas? Conscientious dog owners need to voice their opinions loudly whenever they see someone not picking up, as sometimes it’s a legitimate mistake, but for those who are purposefully not picking up, perhaps a little peer pressure or embarrassment might do the trick. Of course, it might have the opposite effect and you will get a hail of four letter words back at you. No matter if this happens, as the person is really swearing at themselves because they know they are wrong and perhaps unbeknownst to you, they will change their errant ways somewhere down the road.

I say, why not set up poop traps and start making some serious money for the city? If every time a plain clothes enforcement officer catches someone not picking up and they fine the individual $250. wouldn’t you think that this considerable hit to the wallet would have a positive effect on teaching the irresponsible that the rules also apply to them.

If you have a good idea about how to get those dog owners to be more responsible, put it in play, and help all conscientious dog owners make our community a safer, cleaner and all round better place for everyone.

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]

Dogs Are…

Posted on: March 30th, 2013 by Asia

Even though, when you ask most humans why they have a dog, their spontaneous response is usually “for companionship”, there may actually be far more subtle reasons we humans aren’t even aware of that speak to the many human needs that might be left unfulfilled if we were unable to share our lives with a furry friend.

"Companionship and affection and they never get grumpy" "Because I've always had them and I love them and they're a calming effect in our lives. They comfort me and my wife."

“Companionship and affection and they never get grumpy.” “Because I’ve always had them and I love them and they’re a calming effect in our lives. They comfort me and my wife.”

We asked some of our clients and strangers, too: “What’s your number one reason for having a dog in your life?”

Here are some of the spontaneous comments we gathered…

Isn’t it so very interesting that many of us humans, even those who are married and have children in their families, and lots of friends, seem to have dogs in our lives for “companionship”, “love” and “affection”? Beyond these very important aspects of our human lives, perhaps our dogs are so much more than we even realize.

Dogs Are Our Helpers

We wouldn’t be where we are in society today without the help of many working breed dogs that helped us humans in so many ways. If us humans had a need, we could find (or create) a dog that would provide the answer.

We have working dogs for herding, hunting, guarding, rescuing, policing, bomb detection, drug sniffing, border patrol, emergency response, service for the handicapped, therapy for nursing homes, rehabilitation and detention centers.

Dogs Are Faithful Companions

"Companionship." "Because my husband wanted one. I grew up with cats and he wanted a dog."

“Companionship.”
“Because my husband wanted one. I grew up with cats and he wanted a dog.”

In today’s society, for the most part, while our dogs still play a vital role in many areas of our human lives, we don’t require our dogs to work the herds and guard our fields alongside of us like they used to, and thus our dogs are more often fulfilling the part of faithful companion for many of us humans.

Dogs Are Great Listeners

No matter how busy our spouses, children or friends may be and how crazy busy our daily lives, our dogs are always there, waiting to sit quietly and listen to anything we have to say, blindly accepting everything we are – whether good, bad, or otherwise, without passing judgment.

Dogs Are Our Fitness Coaches

We humans go to great lengths buying memberships at our local gymnasiums, driving to the local fitness center, buying the latest exercise DVD’s and lugging home the best, new exercise devices, when our dogs are the very best fitness coaches, always waiting and willing to go for a walk, a hike in the park a swim in the lake, a run along the shoreline. If we humans would just listen to our dogs, who are all natural athletes, follow their example and get out there, we’d all be healthy and fit.

Dogs Are Giving Without Expectation

"I fostered her and my husband fell in love with her and I kept her for him.

“I fostered her and my husband fell in love with her and I kept her for him.”

Our dogs give so much of themselves to us every single day.

They wait patiently for us to be finally ready to take them for a walk.

They let us dress them up in silly clothes, and style their coats in ways pleasing to human fashion.

They learn how to do tricks because it makes us humans happy and they follow our commands the best they can because they always want to please us.

All of this and so much more, yet they don’t “expect” anything in return other than to be with us. Margery Facklam (award winning Children’s Science author) could not have been more correct when she said, “We give dogs time we can spare, and love we can spare. In return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made.”

Dogs Are Unconditional Love

"For affection - the dogs give me affection and I give them affection." "Because they make me laugh every day and remind me about the really important things in life."

“For affection – the dogs give me affection and I give them affection.” “Because they make me laugh every day and remind me about the really important things in life.”

If we’re lucky in our human relationships, we may find that elusive “unconditional love” and acceptance we’re all looking for, or we can simply share our lives with a dog and have a guaranteed endless supply.

The canine capacity for unconditional love is likely the biggest reason that dog has become man’s best friend.

Further, when it comes down to displaying unfettered love and affection, a dog can always outdo us humans without even working at it because he or she is born with it.

Think of all those times you’ve had a trying day, you’re a complete grouch, you ignore your dog, and show him no love or affection whatsoever. Does he hold this against you or ignore you back?

Of course not. He waits patiently for you to decide you’re ready to be social again, and then  is just happy that you are there. When it comes to unconditional love, our dogs win hands down.

Dogs Are Joy

"To rescue him from homelessness, or from being unwanted by his previous owner".

“To rescue him from homelessness, or from being unwanted by his previous owner”.

Dogs are always showing us the joy in everyday things that us busy humans often don’t take the time to even notice.  If we slow down just a bit and watch, we can enjoy vicarious, spontaneous joy through our dogs.

Dogs live for the moment, and when you have a dog in your life, you can learn this, too.

A dog appreciates every fine moment of each new day and doesn’t complain about it, and we can certainly follow their lead and learn to be grateful for all that we have.

When we learn to live our lives more fully in the present, we naturally have more enthusiasm, less worry and a more simplified joy for life, just like our dogs.

Dogs Are Keeping Us Young

Dogs are always ready and waiting to give us an opportunity to be silly and child-like any time we feel like it, which is a side of grown up and responsible adults that we most often don’t allow ourselves to experience with our peers.

Dogs Are Our Connection With Nature

"Because she's good company for me."

“Because taking care of them helps me enjoy a better quality of life.”

Dogs are always reminding us that there’s a whole great, big, wide, wonderful world of beautiful nature out there for us to explore that is so much more interesting, educational and spiritually uplifting than sitting in front of our TV’s watching the latest movie, playing the latest video game or chatting on our smart devices.

Dogs are always showing us that we need to take the time to notice all that is growing, living and breathing around us.

Dogs are telling us to pay attention and take the time to appreciate the flowers, smell the ocean breeze, wonder where that bald eagle builds its nest, marvel at how far that tiny hummingbird had to fly to get here.

Our dogs are encouraging us to pause for a moment and watch the most outstanding sunrise and enjoy these many free gifts from nature that expand our minds, bring peace to our souls, and are simply without compare.

Dogs Are Uninhibited

"Companionship - they're interesting - to have something to nurture and because they provide unconditional love."

“Companionship – they’re interesting – to have something to nurture and because they provide unconditional love.”

Perhaps our dogs remind us about how great it would be to be so uninhibited and not worry about how others think about our fun, crazy, playful moments, because it’s so much more important to really notice the day and laugh out loud than worry about how we look.

George Evans (Outdoor Essayist and Dog Breeder) captured the essence of the uninhibited dog quite perfectly when he said, “I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren’t certain we knew better.”

Dogs Are Holistic Medicine

Dogs are truly medicine without the side-effects.

So many of us humans lead very stressful lives, we’re overworked and underpaid, run ragged trying to keep up with our families and friends and because of our fast-paced lifestyles have little, if any, truly “me” time.

This leads us down a path that can cause ill health, which in turn sees us swallowing all sorts of drugs to try to find a way to cope or reach a balance or inner peace that will work for us.

Many times, instead of reaching for the medicine cabinet, what we really need is a peaceful walk with our fur friend, a moment to sit on a park bench or grassy knoll, and watch the clouds roll by, while stroking the soft, stress-reducing fur of our favourite canine.

Loving Companionship

"For love."

“For love.”

This loving companionship we receive from our dogs is obviously a very special type of companionship that we just don’t get from our human family members or significant others.

Perhaps it’s because humans can be judgmental, have expectations about how you should look and act, and usually have limiting boundaries, which means that no matter how special a relationship you might have with your human counterparts, there are still many social boundaries we feel we must adhere to.

Could it be that the only time we humans feel that we can escape from feeling overwhelmed with our daily lives, when we can experience moments of loving, unconditional companionship where we can totally relax, be 100% ourselves, carefree and connected with our inner child, enjoying the bliss of the simple things in life, where we give ourselves permission to be spontaneous and crazy loving, is not with our children, our friends or our life partners, but rather, it’s that precious time we spend time with our dog(s)?

"Because...

“Because…

Of course, what our dogs bring to our human lives will be special to every dog and personal to each and every one of us humans, as we and our dogs are all individuals with unique needs.

What do you get from YOUR dog that you may not be consciously aware of, because of course, our special dogs are all of the above, and so much more.

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]

Are You Making Your Dog Fat?

Posted on: February 26th, 2013 by Asia

dog fatIs your dog fat? Unfortunately, many of our beloved pets are, like their human counterparts, unhealthily overweight.

If your dog is fat, chances are that you could lose a few pounds yourself, because a fat dog doesn’t just happen from over-feeding – it’s also because of under-exercising.

Are You Making Your Dog Fat?

Chances are that if your dog is overweight, it means that you’re not giving your best friend enough daily exercise. Have you taken into consideration the real exercise needs of your dog? Is your best friend naturally energetic, are they a working class of dog, or a breed that requires little exercise to stay healthy?

All dogs are amazing athletes who need to move to be healthy. Interestingly enough, us humans also need to move to be healthy which means for all us dog lovers, that we already have everything we need to shed some excess poundage. Your dog is there, ready and waiting to go walking and help you both accomplish a healthy weight.

How Can You Tell if Fido is Fat?

There’s a simple test you can do to determine whether your dog is overweight and whether he or she needs to shed a few pounds. All you need to do is feel around their ribs and spine. If you are unable to easily locate both with only a thin layer of fat between the skin and bones, you  have an overweight dog.

Fat Like Us Humans

Sadly, our dogs are following in our footsteps as humanity rushes down that unhealthy path of being overweight or obese.

Make sure you know what your dogs optimal weight will be once he or she reaches maturity, and check their weight regularly, because for a dog, just 15% above that ideal weight means your dog is not just fat, it’s obese. Anything up to a 15% increase means your dog is overweight, and sadly,  according to a 2011 study, more than half of our best friends (53%) are overweight or obese.

Of course this is a direct reflection on how little we humans are getting out there to exercise with our dogs, because generally speaking, if Fido or Fifi is overweight, so are you.

Is It Genetic?

While some dog breeds do tend to gain weight more easily, this just means that these breeds require much more exercise in order maintain a healthy weight, and humans should take this into consideration when deciding to share their homes with these breeds. Simply because a certain breed may have tendencies to gain weight more quickly than others, is not a good excuse for allowing this to happen because you are ultimately responsible for making your dog fat.

Which Breeds Can Be Prone to Obesity?

While we know that some breeds are known for being typically slim, such as Yorkshire Terriers, Greyhounds, Whippets, and German Shepherds, there are other breeds that can be prone to obesity, including Cairn Terriers, Bulldogs, Dachshunds, Scottish Terriers, Spaniels, Beagles, Basset Hounds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Shar-Peis, Rottweilers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands and St. Bernards.

If you share your home with one of the breeds that may have a tendency to be overweight or obese, you need to get out there and exercise with your best friend that much more often and/or strenuously. You’ll both be healthier for it.

Are You Overindulging Your Dog?

Many owners, for many reasons may be overindulging their dogs by over-feeding them at meal times, or more likely with treats, snacks or sharing unhealthy people food and these habits have created many a fat dog.

You’ve heard the saying, “Food is love” and many people over-feed their dogs because they believe that it makes them happy. Unfortunately, many of our fur friends just don’t have any natural portion control, are very practiced and fixated on food and appearing to be “starved” all the time, and will literally eat themselves to death if you let them.

Are You Feeding the Right Portions?

It’s important to make sure that you know the correct serving size of food for your dog so that he or she does not become overweight in the first place, or if this has already happened, to know how to exercise the right portion control to help your best friend shed the extra poundage. You need to take into consideration your dog’s age and metabolism, and how much your dog is exercising, not just what it says to feed on the label, because feeding the suggested amount when your dog doesn’t get proper or enough exercise will make your dog fat.

 Obesity Related Problems

Just as being obese can seriously affect our human health, obesity can seriously affect our dog’s health in much the same ways. When your dog is overweight, he or she could suffer from diabetes mellitus, joint damage, bone and ligament damage, heart disease, high blood pressure, eye problems, difficulty breathing, decreased stamina, decreased liver function, digestive disorders, skin and coat problems, increased risk of cancer, reproductive problems and surgical and anesthetic risk.

Just as being overweight and/or obese will shorten our human lives, there is absolutely no doubt that obesity can and will have adverse effects on your best friend’s quality and length of life.

What Causes Dog Obesity?

Of course, just like us humans, the primary causes of a fat dog is simply feeding them too much food and/or the wrong kind of food, combined with a sedentary lifestyle without the exercise they need to be healthy.

If your dog is taking in more calories than he or she are burning up through their daily exercise, they will be overweight.

Something we humans tend to forget as our dogs grow older is that, like us humans, they usually become less active, which means that we need to pay attention and adjust their food intake appropriately so that they can live out their more senior years not as a fat dog, but as a healthy older dog.

Also, when your dog is spayed or neutered, this will also affect their metabolism by slowing it down, which means that they then will require fewer calories to maintain a healthy weight.

Get Moving – Be Healthy

If you’ve been noticing that your best fur friend is getting a little chunky, take a good look at yourself and how sedentary your lifestyle may have become because a fat dog usually means a fat human.

Don’t be cruel to your best friend by shortening their life because you may have allowed him or her to be an unhealthy weight.

You have a dog, which means you have the perfect excuse for keeping both yourself and your dog healthy and fit. Get out there and get moving.

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]

Pets Outnumber Children 4 to 1

Posted on: February 14th, 2013 by Asia

9RottiPupsinTrunkYou might have been recently noticing that there seems to be increasingly more and more dogs, cats and other pet owners, and you’d be right because according to new statistics that are about to be released in a book written by Jonathan V. Last, pets now outnumber children 4 to 1 in America.

Fur Friend Explosion

I think most of us would agree that there certainly seems to be an explosion of pet ownership and all the subsequent businesses that go hand in hand with the age of fur friends.

Do we get pets for our children or for something we’re missing in our own lives?

Is this because our aging population has now seen their children become adults and now the many empty nesters are feeling lonely, like they’re something missing in their lives, and because of this they are turning to pets as human replacements….the need for a replacement that can in some ways satisfy their need to nurture and care for someone?

Perhaps the huge increase in pet ownership can be attributed to young adults being too busy or unable to consider today’s high cost involved in raising a human family, so therefore lower cost pets are filling the family “need”.

According to an article written by Daniel Halper, and published by the Weekly Standard, he quotes Last as saying, “The pet market has been steadily increasing in America since the 1980s, with people not only acquiring more furry little dependents, but spending more on them, too.”

Booming Pet Industries

Certainly this is true anywhere pets ownership is prevalent, as we’ve all noticed the increase in number of veterinary clinics, pet stores and boutiques, grooming salons, training services, pet walking services, pet magazines, pet TV shows, pet paraphernalia, and doggy daycare businesses springing up across the city to meet the demands of a busy working population that doesn’t have the time to devote to their dogs during the day, yet wants to have it all when they get home.

According to statistics in Jonathan Lasts new book, What to Expect When No Ones Expecting, “In 1994 Americans spent $17 billion on pets; …even in the face of a massive recession, it had climbed over $4.8 billion.”

Cost Increases of 100% or More

According to statistics, over a span of just eight short years, the cost of medical care for the average American dog-owning household (with Canadians following closely behind) has increased more than 100%, from $383. in 1998 to $672. in 2006, and dog grooming costs have increased more than 100% during this same time, too, increasing from $59. to $127.

Of course, we dog lovers have known for a very long time that there is much evidence to support the reality that over the years our beloved pets have indeed been elevated to the level of full blown family members, and that our furry family members deserve the latest fashions, food and services we would give ourselves.

Certainly the marketplace has taken full advantage of our pet crazy society, leading us humans down an ever manic path, which has created a humanizing hailstorm of our doggy friends, which in turn has caused a great deal of unsettling behavioral issues to arise in our dog population who continues to do their best to fulfill the desires of humans who disregard the real needs of the dog.

Travel Policies for Fido

For instance, did you know that there are now companies offering policies for pets traveling in cars? And did you know that the more affluent dog owners have been able to successfully lobby for changes in estate law that permits pets to be the legal recipients of inheritances and trust funds?

Tax Breaks?

You may not have heard that a bill was recently put forth in Congress asking for a $3,500. tax break for pet care expenses, which is apparently more than a family would receive for a human child. This bill was called the HAPPY Act (Humanity and Pets Partnered through the Years). Although this bill failed to reach a vote, if the population continues to choose pets over procreation, perhaps the time is not too far off when it will.

The Growth of Pet Owners

How has all of this coincided with the growth of pet owners? To say it has been anything less than explosive, would be an understatement as surveys indicate, during the last 38 years (from 1947 to 1985), while fewer than half of American reported that they owned a pet, today American pets outnumber American children by more than four to one, and statistics indicate nearly 3/4 of all households have pets.

According to the 2012 National Pet Owners Survey, the statistics of which were compiled from the American Pet Products Association, there are approximately 78.2 million dogs in the U.S. with 60% of the dog owning population owning one dog, 28% owning two and 12% owning three or more.

And don’t forget the cats, of which there are approximately 86.4 million in the U.S. with 33% of the cat owning households owning at least one cat, 52% owning more than one cat.

According to Last, “Educated, middle-class people have all but stopped having babies,” as “Pets have become fuzzy, low-maintenance replacements for children.”

– Asia – Dog Whispering for 40+ years
© K-9SuperHeroesDogWhispering.com [Since 2008]