June 25, 2017

Breed Feature - Beagle

Today's breed feature is about the one, the only, lovable Beagle! 

What They're Famous For: Beagles are pretty much famous for being beagles. They're well-known both by their name and their personality for being the true example of man's best friend. There are also lots of famous movie and book beagles like Shiloh and the main doggy character of Cats vs. Dogs. 

History: Beagles were quite the mystery at first. They don't have a specific origin that can be traced, but are thought to come from England in the days when packs of hounds were popular. Beagles started standing out in the 18th century when they become a popular family dog. While beagles were originally intended to be small hunting dogs, they ended up becoming more popular family dogs because of their bright personality. 

Size: Beagles are a small- to medium-sized dog. They stand at just about 13 to 16 inches tall and weigh 20-24 pounds. 

Appearance: Beagles are known for their varied pattern of red, black, and white. Almost every beagle has all three colors, though the combination and pattern can vary from dog-to-dog. While these dogs are short, they have generous-sized legs and aren't too stocky. 

Who They're Perfect For: Beagles are ideal for families, and especially kids! These pups are great with other dogs and children so you can bet they'll fit in with almost any family. They would also be good for anybody who loves to run, jog, or walk because Beagles require a lot of exercise. 

June 14, 2017

Figuring Out Your Dog's Breed

It's easy to love shelter dogs, but it's not always easy to classify their breed. Your dog has an adorable face, but what dog breed does that face belong to? Here are some ways to determine what breed (or combination of breeds) your dog is. 

Browse Breeds

If you want to try to take a guess at your dog's breed yourself, try to browse some breeds to figure it out. Websites like AKC.org have an extensive and informative listing of dog breeds. Your dog's ears, muzzle, and tail are often telling about what type of dog they are. 

Ask Your Vet

As you probably already know, your veterinarian is a doggy expert! Vets have knowledge about a variety of dog breeds, and will be able to give you some insights on what they think your dog is. While they can't guarantee you they're correct, they're on-hand experts that are only a phone call away. 

Doggy DNA Tests

If you want to know your dog's exact genetic makeup, there are tests for that! There are multiple DNA testing services for dogs, but WisdomPanel.com is a reputable source that requires some of your dog's cheek skin cells. Your kit contains results and the website has a large database of over 250 breeds. 

Fetch! App

Fetch! is a downloadable iPhone app that lets you upload a picture of your dog and then uses that picture to find your dog's breed. Don't bet on this working perfectly, however. It's an educated guess from a picture, but might not be totally accurate. 

The only surefire way to pinpoint your dog's genetic makeup is DNA testing, but if it's also fun to try to determine your dog's breed yourself! Whatever breed your dog is, you should be proud you have a mutt.

June 11, 2017

World Pet Memorial Day & Just One Day

Today, June 11th, celebrates not just one, but two pet holidays. And both of these holidays are important and tug at the heart strings.
One of the holidays you can celebrate today is World Pet Memorial Day. It happens every year on the second Sunday in June to honor all the pets that we've lost. Our pets hold a special place in our heart, and they continue to hold that place even after they pass on. Some ways to honor your late pets on World Pet Memorial Day is to visit their grave (if they have one), share some photos of them on social media, or even paint a picture of them! You can help your friends remember their pets, too. Another way you can help is to thank the shelter you adopted them from by donating food, blankets, or toys.
Speaking of shelters, June 11th is also "Just One Day". What does this simple phrase mean? It means that for just one day, all shelters across the U.S. make a commitment to euthanize no animals that day. This country-wide commitment ensures that thousands of animals are saved in just one day. It also spreads awareness about just how many cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters across the U.S. While some shelters are no-kill, many shelters still practice euthanasia because of overcrowding. How can you help? By adopting or fostering animals, you're getting them out of the shelters and in turn, saving their lives!
How will you celebrate these meaningful pet holidays today?
June 09, 2017

The NYC "Dogs in Bags" Policy

If you've been on social media lately or live in New York City, you've probably heard of the "dogs in bags" policy set that recently went into effect on NYC subways. If you haven't heard about it yet, here's what the policy is about.. and how some dog owners have found a loophole.

The MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) in New York recently revised their policy on traveling with pups. Over the last year, there has been some talk over whether or not dogs should be allowed on subway systems in New York. To address this, MTA has banned dogs on the subway - unless they can fit inside a bag.

This is the extent of the policy. It's simple and a bit confusing. But most people are reading between the lines. The "dogs in bags" policy is a way for MTA to say "We only want small dogs on our subway." However, dog owners are finding a hilarious way around this.

Most dog owners agree that if small dogs should be allowed on subways, then so should big dogs. That's why dog owners are starting to put their big dogs into big bags. Tec

Just google "MTA dogs in bags" and you will find a whole slew of photos of every dog from a Shih Tzu to a pit bull tucked away into an owner's bag. The official rule of the MTA is: "“No person may bring any animal on or into any conveyance or facility unless enclosed in a container and carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers.”

Technically, by carrying their dogs in a bag, these owners are following MTA's policy. There's been no word yet from MTA on what they think about it - but technically, these owners, no matter how big the dog, are following the policy as long as that dog is in a bag!

So what do you think about MTA's new policy? No matter what you think, we can all agree that Labradors look pretty cute in a giant Ikea bag...

 

June 07, 2017

Happy Pet Appreciation Week!

It's the first week of June. Do you know what that means? It's Pet Appreciation Week! This week occurs every year to celebrate the animals we love most - our pets! Here are some ways that you can celebrate with your pet this week.

Treats

Your dog deserves a treat every once in a while - especially during Pet Appreciation Week. Take some time this week to pick out a new treat for your pup. Some of the best brands out there that are both tasty and good for your dog are Blue Buffalo Dog Treats, Old Mother Hubbard, Zuke's Jerky, and Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Treats. There are tons more where that came from, so just ask your vet or local pet store for treat advice. 

Grooming & Bath

So, maybe your dog doesn't enjoy baths or grooming, but it's certainly good for them! Places like Petsmart and Petco offer grooming services if your pup needs a trim. However, if you'd just like to give your dog a nice bath, you can use stores like Petvalu, which has a self-wash station complete with baths, towels, shampoo and a blow dryer.  

Take Them Out

It's nice to get out on the town once in a while - so take your pup with you! In many states and cities, dogs are allowed at restaurants or bars on the patio, either on select days or every day. If you check out BringFido.com, you'll be able to find tons of places to bring your pup in your area or other areas, from parks to hotels to restaurants. 

Hiking

Enjoy the great outdoors with your pup! Explore a trail near you that you can take your dog on. Just remember that it's safest to keep your dog on a leash when hiking, especially if it's a more treacherous path, like a mountain or woods path. 

Socialization

If your pup loves other pups, then take him or her out to a local dog park. There are dog parks in most cities and suburbs, just take a look around or ask! In many cities, the local animal resource center might have a dog park in which they let your dog socialize with their adoptable dogs. It's fun for everyone! 

No matter how you celebrate Pet Appreciation Week, you'll make your dog happy as long as you show them your love! 

 

 

June 06, 2017

June Doggy (and Kitty) Holidays

June is here and with June, plenty of pet holidays. The only thing that's different about June is that it has more cat holidays than dog holidays!

Adopt-a-Cat Month & Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month

June has been deemed both Adopt-a-Cat Month and Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat month by the American Humane Association and the ASPCA, respectively. No matter what kind of pet you're adopting, adopting is a generous and rewarding decision. June was first deemed Adopt-a-Cat Month by the AMA in order to raise awareness about cat adoption. Dog adoption is spoken of frequently, but cat adoption less so. Cats tend to receive less vet care than dogs do, simply because some people don't deem it as important. Because of this, there tend to be more feral and stray cats. Rescuing a cat off the street is great, and bringing it to a shelter or adopting it yourself could cause less stray cats to wander the streets.  

National Pet Preparedness Month

June isn't just about cats - it's about all pets thanks to National Pet Preparedness Month. June is named National Pet Preparedness Month for a reason - because it's the start of hurricane season. Just like Adopt-a-Cat Month, this holiday was founded by the American Humane Association to encourage all pet owners to have an emergency plan in place. When a weather emergency comes, it might be too late to create an emergency plan. So get prepared ahead of time by always having your dog's leash and collar ready, having at least three days of food stocked up, and always have a first aid kit and a picture of you with your pup ready. 

Stay tuned for more pet and doggy holidays in the month of June! 

May 31, 2017

Breed Feature - Afghan Hound

Today we're taking a look at the beautiful hound - the Afghan Hound.

What They're Famous For: Afghan Hounds usually aren't thought of as hounds. They're famous for their distinct look, with long hair and long snouts. They're beautiful, majestic, but that's not all! They also have unique personalities that charm just about anyone.

History: The Afghan Hound got its name from where it's from - Afghanistan. That wasn't originally the dog's names, however. The breed's original name was "Tazi" and dates back to the pre-Christian era. It's one of the oldest breeds out there, so it's had time to get so beautiful! Because of its old age, there's not much known about its exact origins, but we do know that its coat was bred long to keep it warm at high altitudes. 

Size: The Afghan Hound is a big, majestic dog. It weighs from 57 - 75 pounds and stands at 24 to 28 inches tall. 

Appearance: These pups are known for their long, majestic coats and their long, majestic snouts. They have very tall legs and stand up very straight. 

Who They're Perfect For: Afghan Hounds are perfect for those who love adventure. These dogs have big personalities. They're sweet, silly, and very independent. They're okay when left by themselves, but be sure to spend plenty of time exercising them. They'll also need someone who is willing to spend time grooming them, too!

May 28, 2017

The Genetic Mutation Behind Flat-Nosed Dogs

It's not hard to love all dogs. And one thing to love about them is their adorable faces. Now, a study has found that there is a genetic mutation behind dogs with flat noses which explains their... flat noses!

Something that's mostly common knowledge is that the excessively flat noses of breeds like pugs and bulldogs has resulted from decades of selective breeding. But the exact cause behind the initial pug's or bulldog's nose hasn't been discovered. But a recent new study has unveiled some more information on the genetic mutation behind these pups' adorably smushy faces.

While their smushy faces are adorable, they can also cause health problems. That's why a recent study in Current Biology aimed to find the reason behind their noses. The study analyzed 374 longer-snouted dogs and brachycephalic dogs (that's the fancy name for smushy face) that included 84 AKC breeds and 83 mixed breeds. 

The genetic variations between the breeds revealed a key difference. There is a gene called SMOC2, which plays an important role in cranial development. However, our beloved smushy-faced breeds had a mutation called LINE-1 inside the gene, which stops proper snout development. The mutation is similar to that of fish and mice. 

So, now we have a clue! With an answer to some of the mutation behind smushy-faced noses, it's possible that we'll be able to address it in the future. While we love our pugs and bulldogs, we might be able to help them breathe a little easier in the future.

 

May 24, 2017

Dog Bite Warning Signs

This week (May 21st to May 28th) is Dog Bite Prevention Week. This week was founded by the American Veterinary Medical Association. This week is dedicated to preventing dog bites. Last year, we wrote a blog on some dog bite prevention tips. But what's also important is knowing what the signs of a dog bite are. No matter how sweet or gentle your dog is, you'll always want to be aware of the signs that they're about to bite. It also helps to know the signs so that you can be prepared around other dogs. 

Many of the signs might be surprising to you since they seem like normal dog behaviors. 

Yawning, licking lips, avoid your eyes

You might see your dog yawn or lick their lips often, but if these actions happen repeatedly or all at the same time, this might be a sign that your dog is anxious or uncomfortable. Whatever situation your dog might be in, it's best to get them out of it or let them be alone for a bit.

Wagging Tail

While a wagging tail usually means that your pup is happy, it doesn't always mean this. It could also mean that your dog is anxious. You might be able to tell the difference by body language. If your dog's body is still and they're tail is rigidly upright, this might mean that they're uncomfortable. 

Growling, showing teeth

This is a pretty obvious sign that your dog might snap. A low growl suggests they're uncomfortable, especially if they're also showing their teeth. This might mean that they're going to snap.

Rigid body/fur

 Just like humans, dogs can also get stiff or rigid when they're uptight. They might have their ears perked and be standing in a wide, square stance. It might even seem as if they're frozen in place. Rigid fur is also a sign that they're unhappy, which isn't apparent in all dogs. 

Visible whites of eyes

Normally, you should be able to see the whites of your dog's eyes or if you do, only a sliver. However, if they feel threatened, they might lock their eyes on a specific target and not move their eyes, causing the whites of their eyes to show. It also looks like their eyes are widened when they do this. 

Being aware of all of these signs can help you know when your dog is uncomfortable. Getting your dog out of uncomfortable situations will not only help you and those around you, but it'll help your dog too.

May 21, 2017

Making Good Doggy Dental Habits

You can admit it, you hate the dentist. We all do! But brushing your teeth is very important - and not just for you, for your pup, too. Here are some doggy dental tips so you can make good habits and have a healthy dog with pearly-white teeth. 

Must-Haves

To keep up with your dog's dental health, you'll need a few tools. First, a doggy toothbrush. There are toothbrushes made specifically for dogs that are angle and slip over your finger to make it easier. You can also use regular soft-bristled toothbrushes (kids toothbrushes work great for small dogs).

You'll also need doggy toothpaste.  Unlike humans, dogs don't really get the whole "spitting" thing with toothpaste, so make sure you get a toothpaste that's specifically for dogs. These come in yummy (even meaty) flavors and are safe for your dog to swallow. 

Preparation

Let your dog sniff and lick the toothpaste. Then, put some on the toothbrush and let them lick it. They'll like it because of its taste and might even think that you're just feeding them treats in a whole new weird way.

 Brushing

For the act of brushing, your dog will need to be okay with you grabbing their mouth. To tackle one layer of teeth at a time, you'll need to lift up the lips of their muzzle. First the bottom, then the top. Make sure you have a firm grip with one hand on their muzzle. Brush the front teeth gently and slowly, one at a time.

To get to the back teeth, you'll need to gain your pup's trust. Once they're okay with the front teeth being brushed, gently open their jaw enough to get to their back teeth. or some dogs, this could happen right away but for others, it might take a few days.

Repetition

While all vets would recommend that you brush your dog's teeth every day, that's probably a big ask. Your dog will be plenty happy and healthy if you brush their teeth at least once a week. Make it a Sunday night activity. The repetition will help get your pup used to it so it's not a struggle.

So who's teeth will you be brushing tonight? (Hopefully the answer is yours and your dog's!)

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On July 6, 2010, the Fresh Patch Company began operating from its headquarters in Florida. Its flagship product is a disposable pet commode consisting of hydroponically grown grass within a cardboard container. On September 3, 2013, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued a patent for the construction and continuous delivery/replacement method of the product (U.S. Patent No. 8,522,719).

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