March 25, 2010
There are many good reasons to get a dog and some are the extra perks which come with the territory—so to speak. If you’re here on Dog Tails we’d probably be preaching to the choir if we started listing them in this space. We’ll cut to the chase. Walking.
“Healthy and active living is an attitude and a lifestyle approach, and one that will improve your quality of life forever. If you make it a priority and you truly value it, you will make it happen,” says Gabriela Tymowski, professor of kinesiology at the University of New Brunswick. Stick-to-it-ness around exercise usually involves making a plan. A commitment. Even better is to try not going it alone. Find a partner. Tymowski suggests a dog for a walking partner. As he says, “You won’t find a better exercising partner who would always rather do more than less.”
Glenna Hanley, adds “You won’t be able to get Fido a membership at your local fitness club, but he will be more than willing to go for a walk or a run – and in any kind of weather, too.”
Walking with your dog is a win-win situation all around. Dogs do better physically and mentally with a daily, consistent routine for walking. Hmm, how about you? Do you feel better from the walks with your friend?
image credit: flyingsamphoto.com
March 17, 2010
Dr. Nancy Kay offers a wealth of dog-related health information in her book Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life. She suggests that part of loving our dog means becoming an advocate—taking care of their medical needs at annual visits, becoming comfortable speaking with our vet, and being prepared to handle more serious health problems when they arise.
How do you become a good advocate? Dr. Kay recommends that we take the time to “get smart” about our dog’s health by asking the doctor and clinic staff lots of questions, reading current and reliable medical information in books and on the internet.
While Dr. Kay acknowledges that even well-intended people are are apt to fall into anthropomorphism, making the assumption that animals have the same feelings or behaviors we do, she suggests that anthropomorphizing can often cloud our decision-making processes. As a result, we might run the risk of dismissing legitimate options in our dog’s medical care because we’ve come to some emotional conclusion on our own that the dog will be miserable if they had to endure one treatment or another. She writes, “The recipe for successful medical decision-making calls for a pinch of gut instinct combined with a whole lot of clarity about the potential risks and benefits of the available options.”
Speaking for Spot covers questions about immunizations, anesthesia, surgery, spaying and neutering, breeding, cancer diagnoses and treatments, and a watch list of symptoms a-z which may warrant a visit to the vet.
January 20, 2010
No, dogs and smartphones isn’t a joke we heard at a New Year’s Eve Party. Though it sounds like it could be.
While even the smartest dogs aren’t using mobile phones (yet), their owners are tapping away with their thumbs in startling numbers—on every topic under the sun. In addition to game apps featuring dogs, there are ones which can help track information, educate on a wide variety of dog-related topics, and provide countless hours of advice.
Here’s a list of some of the most interesting dog-related apps we’ve come across this week.
Fast and clear advice for the most common Dog Emergencies.
Pet First Aid contains detailed articles, video, and illustrations to help you care for your dog or cat. Record your pet’s vital medical information to ensure their veterinarian is never more than a touch away, and your pet will never miss another vaccination.
MyPets is an Information Manager that helps you keep track of your Pets day-to-day activities, medical information, important contacts, such as groomers or doctors and all other information relevant for your pets.
The ultimate portable Dog Trick training tutorial with nearly 200 pictures and step-by-step instructions. Bark Machine includes a variety of amazing sounds designed to captivate you and your dog.
Keep a diary of your dog’s life, locate other dogs by breed or location, and then “friend” them.
Fast convenient access to hundreds of Dog Health Topics on the go. You can either select a category such as “Behavioral” or “Digestive” and browse the related topics in that category or search by keywords.
100 dog breeds with information such as their temperament, exercise requirements , and size.
Connect with other dogs and owners in parks and groups, post on their walls, and share photos and videos.
What dog-related apps are you using?
Photo credit: xploitme flickr
January 20, 2010
By now you might be asking yourself the question many new dog owners ask in the first few weeks—Did the puppy come with a manual? And, you might be wondering if everyone in the family is helping out the way they promised, when they begged, “Please!”
There’s nothing quite like puppy love or the family dog. That being said—new puppies require cooperation, and having everyone on the same page.
From the get go, puppies necessitate a well thought out plan. Everything from: a house-training schedule; deciding on crate or no crate; knowing what vaccinations are required; identifying common household items which should be kept far, far away from your curious puppy; checking-out healthy puppy food choices; and most importantly, scheduling appointments with a Veterinarian.
Dog owners often say that it’s their Veterinarian and clinic staff who serve as the go-to people for all kinds of puppy/dog care and safety-related questions.
You’ll soon discover your dog won’t be the only one making new friends. People will be stopping you on the street to ask, “Puppy? How old?”
Even though your puppy didn’t come with a manual, you’ll find lots of great books at your local library, bookstore and online. Puppies For Dummies by Sarah Hodgson is a great resource. Check-out her cheat sheet here.
And, keep reading, Dog Tails. We have a great editorial calendar ahead.