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Former American Vice President Joe Biden has added a new furry-buddy to his family: a German shepherd named Major.
"We are so happy to welcome Major to the Biden family, and we are grateful to the Delaware Humane Association for their work in finding forever homes for Major and numerous other animals," read a statement from the Biden’s, signed the former vice president, his wife, Jill Biden, and Champ, their other German shepherd.

The Delaware Humane Association publicized the adoption news on Facebook, writing in a post that Major "is from the litter of German shepherd pups that were surrendered and not doing well at all."
As soon as Biden "caught wind of them," he "reached out immediately," the Association said on Facebook, adding, "The rest is history!"

The Biden’s had been raising Major, the group said on Facebook, thanking the family and wishing them luck with their new dog.
"Today is Major's lucky day! Major did not only find his forever home, but he got adopted by Vice President Joe Biden & Dr. Jill Biden!" the post said.

Joe Biden is considered a top potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. As vice president, he would hand out stuffed-animal versions of his other dog, Champ, to kids. Champ also goes with Biden into his office in Washington, DC, from time to time.

Former American Vice President Joe Biden Adopts A New Dog

There are several benefits of giving dogs probiotics. Just as they do for humans, probiotics help dogs prevent and relieve issues with digestion. Many may decide to start their pets on probiotics when their dogs are still puppies to take advantage of the benefits of probiotics. A puppy already has a clean and sterile digestive tract, so the tract can actually be fortified during this time. Weaning is also another time probiotics are very beneficial since they help the digestive system adjust from mother's milk to wet or dry dog food as well as adjust to digestion and absorption to nutrients.

Probiotics are also useful after an antibiotics treatment because antibiotics kill off all the bacteria in the dog's system including the good bacteria. These bacteria need to be restored and replenished in order to keep the dog's intestinal microflora in the digestive tract in balance. Dogs that have had digestive disorders, especially from infectious diseases, may also benefit from probiotics. There are many signs of problems with the digestive tract including bloating, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence and vomiting among many other symptoms. Allergies and other skin problems are also symptomatic of imbalance in the intestines as are signs of stress.

There are a lot of probiotic supplements that help dogs strengthen their immune system or help them recover from illnesses related to the digestive tract. Many are even organic or natural so contain no artificial elements. Supplements may be mostly found in powder form though digestible enzymes are also used. If a dog has special dietary needs such as a gluten or lactose free diet, there are a lot of supplements that with no lactose and no gluten . There are no known side effects to using probiotic supplements, but there are also alternatives if supplements are not the way to go for providing a pet with probiotics.

For instance, topping dog food with live yogurt cultures has the same effect as supplements. Vitamins are not known to work as well as supplements, but they do provide some of the same benefits. If supplements are on the agenda, there are many outlets including pet specialty stores and health food stores that provide a range of choices. Shopping around for inexpensive supplements will also save a little money as well as possibly bring up deals on bulk items. Probiotics for dogs are very important in seeing that a pet lives a healthy and productive life.

Benefits of Probiotics for Dogs

Fear is something that is hard to resolve. Dealing with human fear is one thing, but dealing with a fearful dog is another. Noise phobia is quite common among dogs. The most common causes of this phobia include loud environmental noises such as fireworks, gunshots, or other sudden loud noises.

Fireworks during holidays or fanfares usually make dogs scared. This is quite a natural reaction among dogs. The bright flashes of lights from fireworks could surprise them and cause them to be frightened. The excessive noise could be painful to their sensitive ears.

Scared dogs have a variety of reactions. They can start pacing around, chew a lot, keep digging, or drool. Others seek out their owner and jump on their laps for comfort. These are just a few of the reactions that are triggered by fireworks. However, other reactions could cause injury to your dogs. If they jump through glass doors or other things in order to escape that could hurt them. A more frightening reaction is when they will run off to a road - they could get hit by a vehicle. It is therefore very important to address this noise phobia to prevent accidents like this.

If your dog has a noise phobia, don't worry about it just yet. Although you cannot totally remove the fear, there are a lot of things that you can do to minimize the fear. It just takes a bit of training and a lot of patience in order to see changes from your dog's fearful behavior. The following should help guide you as you begin to understand how you can help control your dog's fear of fireworks. Keep in mind though that these different ways can vary in effectiveness.

The first thing would be training. You should address your dog's frightened behavior and take steps to start behavior modification. It is very important to keep in mind that cuddling or babying your dog should be avoided when he tries to seek you when he is scared. Doing so will only encourage the behavior. One way is through desensitization. This is done by slowly exposing your dog to fireworks and other noises that he is afraid of, starting from low exposure then gradually working your way up until he no longer shows any fearful behavior. You can play an audio or video of fireworks a couple of times per day with a low volume. Increase the volume the next few days until your dog is little or no longer affected by the sound of fireworks.

Another method is counter conditioning. This is achieved by associating the fireworks with things that your dog loves. You can give your dog treats, his favorite toy, or any activity just before the fireworks and right after. Over time, your dog will associate the fireworks with positive experiences and will be undisturbed by future situations.

Crating is also another thing that you can do during a fireworks display. Place your dog in a crate and cover it to make a "den". Dogs feel much safer in dens. using body wraps or Pressure wraps prove to help ease frightened dogs too. If you don't have one, you can also use a shirt that hugs your dog's body.

But as much as possible, try to avoid taking your dog during fireworks display or fanfares. That way, you'll be sure that your dog doesn't have to go through an anxiety-causing experience.

Why Dogs are Afraid of Fireworks

Fireworks and thunderstorms don't exactly make dogs feel secure. With season for fireworks approaching, dog owners should be aware of their dog's behavior when a loud crack echoes through their home. Dogs, cats and other animals react like this because they are extremely afraid and anxious, thinking that you can make the noise stop or that they can run away from it. The following are some tips to help noise-sensitive animals deal with the noises of summer:

What not to do:

Above all - do not punish your pets for annoying or destructive behavior brought on by noise anxiety. When pets get their adrenaline going, they can ruin curtains, flooring, and furniture in an attempt to escape.

Take your dog to the fireworks display or out for a walk during a thunderstorm. You might think being around the noise that frightens them would build an immunity to the fear, but it doesn't work with most pets.

Keep animals outside while the noise is happening. They get especially creative when desperate, and may find ways to escape a yard that normally contains them.

Lock dogs in a room with a window that they could break and escape from. Dogs can get so agitated that they jump through glass windows to get away from the noise.

Steps to take to help your dogs:

Make sure your pets have identification tags on their collars in case your pet does escape and become lost.

When you know a storm is coming or the fireworks will fly, let your pets go where they feel safe. Your cat might want to hide under a bed or chair, and your dog might feel secure in his kennel. If a dog is not used to a kennel, then put him in an interior room or a basement with a dog bed or blanket and some familiar toys.

Distract pets from the noise. Turn on the radio or a fan to detract from the noise that scares them. Roll a ball on the floor to play catch (and not break anything...).

If you are at home with your pets, stay with them, as your presence may calm them. Relax to demonstrate that there is nothing to fear, and use a soothing voice to reassure them.

Use flower essence remedies formulated to calm anxiety and stress in your pets. Use them as a preventative on the days leading to July 4th (Independence Day in the U.S.) and times you know a storm is moving in. If your pet is already stressed, you can use the Bach Rescue Remedy flower essence formulation. Use about four drops in the water dish each time you fill it.

In extreme cases, consult your veterinarian about medications that can help. Make sure you understand the dosage to give, as the dosage for a large dog could harm a smaller animal.

Just remember that animals don't know what's making the scary noises and think that it might hurt them. Their instinct is to get away from it, just as you or I would run from gunfire. Make a plan to help your pets feel safe.

How to Calm Your Dog During Fireworks and Thunder

Recently crossing breeds has become a popular option, as people enjoy crossbreeding for the best traits of both breeds. One example of this that has only been around for about 20 years happens to be the Goldendoodle. In this article, we will discuss Goldendoodle. This breed was created around the same time that the Labradoodle was also created and they are very similar breeds. If you're considering the purchase of your own Goldendoodle, the following is a look at important breed information you'll need to know.

Origin/ Breed Description
First, it's a good idea to learn a bit about the origin of the Goldendoodle. This dog happens to be a Golden Retriever Poodle mix. Some of the other names that are commonly used for this breed include Goldie Poos, Groodles, and Golden Poos. Since some other poodle hybrids that were smaller were very successful, breeders soon decided to try breeding Goldens with a Poodle, making a larger pet that is allergy free. The hybrid turned out wonderfully and this breed quickly became popular.

The parent lines of the Goldendoodle both happen to be water dogs and hunters. When it comes to the physical appearance of the Golden Retriever Poodle mix, they may look like a poodle that curls relaxed or they may even look like a retriever that is very shaggy. However, usually, their look is somewhere between the two. Usually, the length of their fur ends up being between 4-8 inches in length. Their coat color can vary. A few of the colors may include versions of chocolate, black, gold, cream, apricot, and phantom.

One important thing about Goldendoodle is their temperament. These dogs are perfect dogs for families and are both obedient and intelligent. These dogs are devoted to family and are extremely friendly. The Golden Retriever Poodle mix is wonderful with children and very good with other pets too. You'll find that they are happiest when they are around humans. Since they are eager to please, they love to learn, and they are very intelligent, they are extremely easy to train.

Health Issues
If you plan on owning your own Goldendoodle, it's a good idea to know about any possible health issues that may occur. The good news is that since the Goldendoodle is a hybrid cross, they usually will live longer and will be much healthier than the lines of the parents. However, these dogs are prone to the genetic diseases that the Standard Poodle and Golden Retriever deal with. While there are no big health concerns to worry about with the Goldendoodle, a few of the minor concerns to keep in mind include patella, PRA, Elbow, CHD, and VonWillebrand's disorders. It is suggested that these dogs get vWD, eye, and hip tests are done.

Grooming Your Goldendoodle
The Goldendoodle ends up with fur that is usually a combination of poodle and retriever like hair. Fur may reach 4-8 inches in length if it is not clipped. It is important to ensure their fur is combed on a regular basis. If you plan on clipping the Goldendoodle, this should be done several times within every year for the best results.

Goldendoodles: Most Adorable Designer Dog

Finding a veterinarian for your dogs is a vital part of your pets health and well being. In fact, choosing the right vet should be one of your top priorities. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a vet for your dog, or any pet.

Don't grab the yellow pages and look for the closest veterinarians to your house. You wouldn't pick a family doctor that way and your dog's health shouldn't be treated with any less consideration. Ask friends and co-workers that own pets which vet they use. Make sure they are pleased with the attention the vet gives their pet. Word of mouth is probably the very best exposure a doctor can get. If someone is happy with how they are treated they will surely tell you why. The opposite is also true! Bad experiences are always something people want to expose.

If your local police department has a K-9 unit, inquire which veterinarians they use. Police dogs must be kept in prime health. Local kennel clubs can also be a good source of information.

Once you have a few recommendations phone each of them and ask if you can bring your dog or cat in for a "look see". Tell them you are looking for a new vet and want to see their facilities. When you visit the vet's office pay attention to the interaction between your pet and the vet. You won't want a vet that your dog seems leary of. If they don't seem to mesh when everything is okay it will most certainly lead to added stress for your pet during a medical crisis.

While at the office ask questions. You will want to inquire about the different services available. Do they have their own lab for testing and xrays? If they have to send lab work and xrays out for analysis that could lead to unnecessary delays. Ask about prices. Do they have a payment plan for emergency and expensive surgeries? How many vets are on duty? Is it a one vet office or are there other vets that share the office? What about emergency services and hours? Just like people, many pet accidents occur outside of normal 8:00 to 5:00 business hours. Make sure the vet you choose has emergency hour arrangements.

When you are comfortable with the veterinarian's answers, and when your pet seems to like him or her, you have found the right vet! Hopefully, the only contact you will have will be for routine visits. But, when an emergency occurs it will be comforting to know your pet will be in good hands.

How To Choose The Best Veterinarian For Your Dogs

Dogs can develop eye problems at any time so it is very important to pay close attention to your four legged friend's eyes. The sooner you catch an eye injury or a possible infection, the better the outcome will be. It's always best to have any eye concerns checked by your veterinarian as soon as possible.

While any dog can develop an eye infection or be injured, some dogs are more prone to problems than other simply due to the shape and structure of their eyes. Some of the things that could indicate that there is a problem with your dog's eyes include any unusual discharge, cloudiness, redness, swelling and squinting. Even without any of these red flags, if you notice that your dog is running into objects or maybe doesn't want to go up and down steps, it may be a sign of vision loss.

The following are common dogs eye problems .

1. Cataracts. Dogs with cataracts have cloudy eyes which limits their vision.

2. Entropion. With this condition, the dogs eyelids are grow inward instead of outward. Every time the dog blinks, the eyelashes scratch the cornea leading to irritation.

3. Conjunctivitis. This condition is caused when the membranes on the inside of your dog's eyelids become inflamed'

4. Dry Eyes. Dogs with dry eyes do not produce enough lubrication and over time this condition will lead to blindness if not treated.

5. Cherry Eye. Dogs with cherry eyes have a condition that causes the third eyelid tear gland to protrude outward.

6.Progressive Retinal Atrophy. This is a hereditary disease that will cause vision loss in the dog by deteriorating the retina.

7.  Glaucoma. This disease cause the pressure in the eye to increase to an unhealthy level. The pressure in the eye is a result of fluid building up.

The list above is only the most commonly diagnosed conditions however there are many other conditions and diseases. In most cases these conditions can either be corrected or managed to prevent them from getting worse.

Just because your dog's eyes are running or fluid filled doesn't mean that there is necessarily a problem. Many dogs have allergies which can be very simply treated. It is also possible that your dog is just experiencing irritation from dust in his eyes. It is always better be safe and err on the side of caution. A veterinarian will be able to examine your dog's eyes and determine if there is a problem that needs to be treated.

Most Commond dog eye problems

With fireworks season upon us, an explosion of dog-friendly music is on hand to help soothe stressed dogs. Music is many things to many people. Soothing, inspiring, calming, energizing. Music has long been used in working with children with challenges, disabilities and emotional issues. It has power and influence on the brain and the emotional state. What about music and your dog? Can music be helpful in helping a dog who is afraid of thunderstorms?

Fear of thunderstorms is a serious problem for a surprising number of dogs. Not only does the dog become agitated, but in extreme cases, they can do themselves and the house around them serious damage. Music can be calming and distracting during a thunderstorm. As an interesting side note, people with fearful dogs have had success using CDs of thunderstorms to desensitize their dog to the noise during non-storm periods.

Many dogs respond to the drop in barometric pressure and become agitated long before the storm actually hits, so getting them used to the clapping of thunder gives them a better chance and one less trigger to deal with during an actual storm. Extra love and attention during a thunderstorm help as do playing with a special toy and enjoying a special treat with you. These things will help distract your dog during the storm. Some animal behaviorists caution against coddling your dog to avoid the risk of reinforcing the unwanted behavior however. It can be a fine line between giving needed extra love, reassurance and attention, and reinforcing insecurity and the unwanted phobia. The right music can help.

What about using music in animal shelters? In our shelter at the Buddy Dog Humane Society, we use classical music on a regular basis to soothe the animals. The noise level of 30 or 40 dogs in a kennel can be daunting to say nothing of deafening. To the newly surrendered or timid dog, who is often times sad, confused and depressed by the trauma of being left, music offers soothing sounds and can help with their confusion. There is recent video footage of a simple lullaby being played in a shelter calming and quieting an entire kennel of barking, upset and anxious dogs in a matter of minutes; it is very impressive. Buddy Dog plays classical music or heart beat music all night at the shelter.

Separation anxiety is an all too common problem for many dogs. There are varying degrees of this condition from mild to wildly destructive. If you're living with a dog who suffers from separation anxiety, try music. Something with a slow, steady beat. An adagio movement, for example, is a good type of music to play when you leave your anxious pooch alone. You can buy CDs like this or you can make your own CD and play it so it loops and gives your dog hours of calming music while you're away from him and from the house. My neighbors adopted their dog, Max, and found he suffered from separation anxiety. He had been bounced around too much for a dog only a year old. I put together a tape of the slower movements of some Bach and other classical composers, called it "Max's's Tunes" and gave it to my neighbor to play for him when they left the house.

Heavy metal, blue grass or just good old rock and roll may be your musical thing, but if you're working through issues with an anxious dog, be prepared to trade in your favorite tunes, at least for a while, for something slow, steady and classical that will help him heal!

Good Music can Help Dogs Overcome Fears

Not just any dogs, mind you. Therapy dogs that are trained and certified by Delta Pet Partners, Therapy Dog International, R.E.A.D., or another organization. These dogs come to listen to children read to them.

Why dogs? Well, children that are shy about reading aloud, worried they will mispronounce the words, or just do not enjoy reading that much will read to a dog. Children know the dog will not laugh at them, make fun of them, or tell their secrets.

The dogs are not there alone, of course. Their people are there, too. The dogs come for varied amounts of time during each visit. Some handlers choose to have several children take turns reading in a circle around the dog. Others choose to have children come one at a time. In any case, children read for 15-20 minutes a visit. Some visits are once a week and some are less frequently.

How are the children chosen to read to the dog? In public libraries, they often sign up for a time slot to do so. Some handlers come every week at the same time so children come if they wish to. In school libraries, the children that come are often children struggling with reading. They would be in reading enrichment during that time with a teacher if the dog were not available.

Dogs that participate in these programs must be calm, attentive, enjoy children, and tolerate the often chaotic environment in a library full of children. These dogs must ignore toys, crayons, food, and other items in the environment and attend to the children. Solid obedience skills, especially the down stay, are also necessary.

Library Use Dogs to Help Kids Overcome Reading Problem

It will possibly not come as a surprise to anyone that being hit by a car is the number one cause of broken bones in dogs. Another little more surprising, however, is that the second leading cause of broken bones (primarily a problem in small dogs) is jumping or falling off of furniture...their tiny bones are just not meant to withstand the force of impact.

As reported in "Your Dog", the bulletin for dog owners published by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, Veterinary Pet Insurance has released its findings from over 500 broken bone insurance claims in 2008. Here are the top ten leading causes of broken bones:

Being hit by a car
Fight with another animal
Running and slipping
Accidentally being hit with an object
Getting caught in or between an object
Running into an object
Being stepped on

A dog can be injured as a passenger in a car accident

Injuries from being hit by a car accounted for 40% of the total claims. The most common bones broken in these accidents were those in the back legs: the femur (upper part of the leg) and the tibia (lower part of the leg).

Jumping and falling together accounted for another 40% of the total, with the bones in the front legs being the primary injury site: the humerus (upper part of the leg) and the radius (lower part of the leg).

Preventing car impact injuries is fairly straightforward...NEVER let your dog run loose. This is a good common sense for a number of reasons and is part of many cities' leash laws. Always keep your dog on a leash any time he is away from his own fenced yard.

To prevent broken bones from jumps and falls, especially in small dogs, recommendations include lifting them on and off of furniture, or teaching them to use ramps or steps to get up and down from high sofas, chairs and beds. Broken bones are painful for our canine kids, and may be costly for pet owners, especially if surgery is required. A few simple steps can help prevent broken bones.

Common Causes of Dog Bone Injuries