Social Items

Buy vet fees cover for your dog: Having your dog covered for any eventuality is very important. We all know how expensive vet fees are these days and if your dog ever needs any treatment (which they will do when they are young) or operation having cover will make the experience a lot less stressful.

Always be the pack leader: The best advice any new dog owner can receive is always be the pack leader. Sure your new puppy or dog looks really cute and all you want to do when you first get him home is cuddle and love him to death but you have to remember dogs are pack animals and need a leader and guess what? You have got it in one. You, my friend, will have to be the pack leader for your new dog because if you are not you are storing up a lot of future problems for yourself and your dog. Not to mention any visitors you get to your home. Always start as you mean to go on.

Socialize you puppy or dog: Always make sure you socialize you dog properly. This has to be one of the first steps in dog training because if this is not done then all the other training you do will suffer as a result. Just think about it for a second, if your dog is not socialized properly he can behave very unpredictably. A well socialized dog will remain calm when faced with unpredictable conditions. Socializing is about letting your dog know what is and what is not acceptable in the world. Being aggressive to humans or other dogs is one area that socializing will teach them is not acceptable.

Book your new dog or puppy into a training class: It is always advisable to book your dog into a proper training class as this will lay the foundation for the rest of your dog's training all through his life. It also has the advantage of socializing your dog with other dogs as well. There are many dog training schools out there so all you need to do find one you are comfortable with.

Use high-quality dog food: The two biggest problems dog owners face are health problems and behavioral issues. By looking after your dog's health by feeding high-quality dog food with all the necessary nutrients your dog needs to remain in tip top condition you will be keeping your dog's physical and mental health in good condition. This in turn will help minimize both of these problems.

Important Tips for New Dog Owners

Taking selfies of your puppy can be a very fun hobby you can engage it that would surely prove very useful in the end since it will allow you to preserve and share the special moments and memories that you have with your furry friend. Just try to imagine the joy you will feel when the time comes that you already have a large number of your puppy pictures and you have already compiled it as a whole album that is dedicated exclusively for your dog. Taking a selfie with a dog requires skillful multi-tasking; a lot can go wrong so the following are some quick and easy tips that can help you take some quality selfies of your dogs.

1.  Go to your dog. Never force your pal to come to you, just go to him. In other words, get down on your dog's level where you can look upon it straight to the eyes. By doing this, you can get a glimpse of what life looks like from your dog's perspective.

2. Bring it outside. It is better to take dog pictures outside instead in studio-like settings. Why? Dogs tend to feel more relaxed when they are free to move around.

3. Capture your dog’s personality. Brilliant dog photography can effectively portray a dog's personality in the photograph. You can start by capturing your pal's natural pose or its own version of a smile. Always think about what type of personality your dog has and try to capture that in your shots.

4. Use natural lighting. Lighting can make or break a photograph. Therefore it is ideal to always use natural light when taking pictures of your pet. However, avoid direct sunlight as it can affect natural coloring. Avoid using flash as it cannot only cause red-eye but can terrify the dog as well. Instead, try to go outside whenever possible.

5. Let your dog be comfortable with the camera. How can you exactly do this? First, let your dog have a good sniff of the camera, then you may start to casually shoot the surroundings. The idea is to let your dog be used to the camera so that it will act as natural and relaxed as possible.

6. Attempt to capture dynamism. Pets are active and always on the move. However, this must not discourage you from taking good dog pictures. Instead, use this as inspiration. Wouldn't it be great to be able to freeze your dog's action through using a fast shutter speed? Once you already got your shutter speed, be ready and anticipate your dog's actions. You'll be surprised at how wonderful it is to capture your pet's dynamism.

7. Focus on your dog's eyes. It is essential to give your photograph a strong impression. Dogs have impressive eyes that vary in color and pattern. Also, an up-close photo is a great way to bring out your pet's best features.

8. Experiment with angles and shots. Do not stick to boring conventional ways of taking pictures. Explore different angles, methods, and compositions. Don't be bound by any rules as there are no rules in brilliant photography.

9. Have a simple background. The key secret to any good photography is simplicity. It is ideal to have backgrounds that only have a maximum of two colors. Simple backgrounds, like green trees or white sand beach, will make your dog stand out. Pay close attention to color, as well. Pick colors that are clean and contrast to the subject.

10. Be Patient and have fun! Pet photography definitely demands patience - tons of it. Remember, if you are not patient enough, you can miss the opportunity to get a great shot. Have fun with your dog while doing it. And you'll see great photos of your dog just loving life.

10 Tips on How to Take the Best Dog Selfie

Crate training is a very polarizing issue, some people believe it's the best thing for the entire family, including the dog. Others believe that crating your dog is cruel and ineffective. There are absolutely instances where it is done improperly and becomes inhumane, but when done correctly it is an amazing tool, providing your dog with a safe environment that he or she will come to love.

Crate training, when done correctly, is not only humane but can even be enjoyable for your dog. One of the top mistakes people make is putting the dog in the crate just to get it out of their way, the crate is not meant for that. The crate is not designed for leaving the dog all day long and only giving it attention when it is convenient for you. The crate should absolutely be used for those times when you can not watch your puppy, but care should be taken not to use it too much.

With correct use, you will find there are many benefits to crate training. Top of the list, of course, is potty training. You can effectively teach a puppy not to use the house as its bathroom by using crate training judiciously. Utilizing the crate will also prevent your dog from getting into trouble when you are away, either by destroying things that will leave their families unhappy or getting into things that could harm or even kill them. It also directly benefits your dog by giving him his very own safe place to go to for comfort.

Dogs are descendants of wolves and, like wolves, are "den" animals. The den makes them feel safe, confident, secure and comfortable. Proper use of the crate creates that "den" for them and they will actually be happy to go to it when sent there. It also creates a place your dog knows he can go to for safety when he is uncomfortable or scared. Properly done, crate training will teach your dog that the crate is also his safe zone and when frightened or upset, your dog will go to it for comfort.

Crate training can also establish important boundaries for your dog. You should never use a crate to "punish" your dog for bad behavior, but you can show a dog what its boundaries are, to promote good behavior. Crating your dog when you are not home teaches them where they belong anytime you leave the house. They will become so comfortable with the crate and the known expectation, that they may even go to it on their own when you are away, and stay in it on their own even if the door is not locked.

The community of dog owners remains divided on whether or not crate training is a good thing; however, the facts show that when used correctly, crate training can be very effective and humane. Your guiding points should be: 1) purchase the best quality crate possible, 2) it should be neither too large nor too small, and 3) never overuse the crate inappropriately. You'll find that when you use crate training only when appropriate and necessary, the result will be a well-trained puppy or dog with a happy owner!

Why You Need to Crate Train Your Dog

Many dog owners grow weary of their dog's breath but they may not realize that bad breath could be a sign of a more significant dental problem. In order to maintain your dog's oral health, regular brushings and veterinary visits are critical. Indeed, brushing your dog's teeth is about more than just fresh breath; gum disease is an increasingly common condition in dogs that is easily preventable with regular brushing. So how do you brush your dog's teeth?

Preferably, you want to brush your dog's teeth daily. Unfortunately, this often seems like a difficult task for dog owners so most veterinarians recommend brushing at least 3-5 times per week. But if you have not been brushing your pooch’s teeth at all, any brushing will be beneficial but you should try to make it a regular activity.

Before you try to brush your dog's teeth, you'll need a few tools. You may either use a toothbrush specially designed for dogs, a small finger brush, or other specialized tools. choose the product that you feel comfortable using. You will also need a special toothpaste that is formulated for dogs and is available in a variety of flavors. All of these products can be purchased from your veterinarian or some pet stores. Do not use toothpaste designed for humans as dogs are likely to swallow the product during brushing and this may result in gastrointestinal problems.

How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth
Your dog may initially be uncomfortable with having his teeth brushed so take your time. Introduce the toothbrush and toothpaste gradually so your dog becomes familiar with them. Also, in the early stages, reward your dog with a treat after brushing so he learns to associate brushing with positive experiences. You may consider trying different tools (dog toothbrush vs. a finger brush) until you find one that your dog will accept.

When you're ready to brush your dog's teeth, follow these steps:
1.  Put some toothpaste on the toothbrush. Place your free hand on top of your dog's snout and gently lift his lips. Brush the exposed teeth and gums, gradually lifting his lips to reveal more teeth that can be brushed. You may want to brush for only a short period at first, and then gradually brushing for longer periods as your dog is more comfortable with the procedure.

2.  Next, gently open your dog's mouth by holding your free hand over the top of his snout. You'll carefully pull his mouth open so you can brush his lower teeth. You should carefully brush both the outer and inner surfaces of his teeth.

3.  If your dog struggles during brushing, take a break. Always reward your dog for appropriate behavior during brushing so he will grow to tolerate (if not enjoy) the activity.
If you're having difficulty brushing your dog's teeth, consider making an appointment with your veterinarian. He or she will be able to demonstrate the proper brushing technique and can help your dog obtain good dental hygiene.

Tips for Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth

During winter it is a good idea to take extra care to your outdoor pets. Basically we may say that they do not need water since is chill but that not true therefore pets should have water regularly. Having a thermostatically heated bowl of water which is controlled to certain temperatures during winter is a good idea.

During winter, maybe the dogs may tend to resist but the fact is that the floor tend to be cold and therefore you should take initiations and make sure that your dog stay comfortable out there. Try to get your pet a raised bed or make their sty an elevated one.

Another method of protecting your pets from winter is dressing them. It may sound weird to dress your pets but the thing is, you are doing well to your pet so there is nothing to loose.

These clothes come in different sizes and therefore it is a good idea to grab your dog a sweater or a jacket to make them warm. If you are troubled on how to care for these clothes, the designer has already put this into consideration and they are machine washable for easy care.

These clothes protect your pets from malfunctions like drafts. Taking care of the joints of the pets which are just right close to the cold ground is a good thing.

We should not opt out indoor pets also during winter as they also tend to notice the weather change during winter. It is normal that dogs have more fats than cats and therefore despite that they will be indoors, they feel cold faster.

Considering a heated mat for your pets where it tends to curl around during their relaxing time is a good idea as it will make your pet soothed and relaxing even at those harsh weather.

Also it is not a good idea to leave your pets outside for too long during winter due to the frostbites they which might affect your pet.

How to Care for Your Dog During Winter

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