August 31, 2018

Mastering the Art of Aging... with Pets!

Aging can be hard. It's something we all have to go through, and unfortunately, it can be trying. However, Creative Arts Therapist Alissa Zemering has dedicated an entire website, Mastering the Art of Aging, to helping everyone not only get through aging, but enjoy it. And of course, what is one of the best ways to enjoy aging? Alongside a furry companion!

The website references the Hierarchy of Needs. After Physiological Needs and Safety Needs are met, Love and Belonging Needs are next. A great way to meet (and exceed) these needs is to have a companion by your side. And who makes the best companions besides loving dogs? Senior dogs are often well-trained, relaxed, and less active, making them the perfect fit for someone going through the aging process.

As someone with over ten years of experience in the healthcare field (specifically in nursing care and memory care), Alissa Zemering knows what it takes to make the best out of life - and has developed her website accordingly. Mastering the Art of Aging will help its visitors navigate the aging process. On the website, you will be able to find access to multiple services that can help you or loved ones, as well as products that can make yours or their lives easier.

If you explore the "Animal Services" section, you'll find services that will help older pet owners give their pup the best life they can have, too! In this section, you'll find an area to buy pet products, from Fresh Patch to the Furbo Treat-Tossing Camera. You can also find access to services like Peaceful Dog Training by Michael Smith. As you return to the site in the future, you'll find that even more services will become available. 

Mastering the Art of Aging is one of the only websites that gives expert tips that are "essential to living your best life". Check out the website here.

August 30, 2018

Yes, You Can Adopt a Service Dog That "Failed"

Normally, when we fail tests, it's not a good thing. But for all of those dog-lovers out there, it can be a great thing! That's because if you're looking for a new furry best friend to bring home, you can find one that "failed" their service dog test.

While this sounds like a "bad" thing, it's really not! Before a dog can become an official service dog, they must first make it through rigorous training, not unlike the training that humans have to go through for different branches of the military. 

It's not rare for a dog to not make it through training to become either part of a police's K-9 Unit or part of a TSA security team. Many of the dogs who don't make it aren't necessarily because they don't listen; it can be for many reasons. Many dogs can't get through their training because they get too distracted (which we can relate to, right?), because they're too timid, or because they're too sociable. 

Some dogs are up for adoption simply because they've outgrown the program, have served their duty, and are ready to relax on your couch (or not on your couch, if you're like that). 

Of course, these pups are still dogs who have to adjust to living at a new home, so they'll still need to be trained. But chances are, if they "failed" their training, it's probably because they have waaaaay too much love to give than a service dog could. I mean, seriously, can you imagine being a dog who loves to be pet and not being able to be pet? 

Here are some dog adoption agencies who help those special "failed" service dogs find new homes:

  • Freedom Services Dogs of America - This program trains dogs for a wide variety of skills, but again, some don't make it through. Hopefully they can help you by loving you!
  • Service Dogs Inc. - The dogs for this agency are trained to work with those who need a little extra help. But for the dogs who don't make it through, they can give you a little extra love.
  • Mission K9 Rescue - Not every dog is fit for military service - but some may be a perfect fit for your home!
  • Paws with a Cause - This organization refers to their dogs up for adoption as "Career Change" dogs. 
August 27, 2018

How Dog Research Can Help Humans

With the passing of John McCain this past weekend, it can be easy to worry about brain cancer and it's affects on humans and our dogs. And it turns out, there's plenty of connection between the types of brain cancer pups suffer from and the ones that humans suffer from. That's why new research into pup's brains can end up helping humans. 

At Virginia Tech, Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, researchers began looking into glioblastomas in dogs (the same brain cancer that afflicted both Ted Kennedy and John McCain) and possible clinical trials that could help lengthen a pup's lifespan.

Currently, there aren't many options available for dogs who suffer from glioblastomas. However, the researchers at Virginia Tech are looking to change that. Clinical trials involve injecting the newly-developed medicine directly into the cancerous tumor. This works by specifically targeting the tumor instead of the brain tissue around it. While the treatment is being injected, researchers watch the process through an MRI to ensure that the cancerous cells, and only the cancerous cells, are being properly saturated with the injection.

Trials are in the very limited stage, but so far, one owner reports that her beloved ten-year-old Portuguese Water Dog, Emily, is "herself" again. This shows in the pup's personality and brain scans, which prove that the tumors are shrinking. 

Researchers hope that these new studies into dogs' brain tumors will not only help owners get more time with their pups, but possibly give insight into how this treatment might help the owners themselves in the future.

Here's to a healthier future for both dogs and humans!

August 26, 2018

Happy National Dog Day!

Today is all about the dogs - because it's National Dog Day! So here is some history on how National Dog Day got started and why we celebrate it.

Founded in 2004, National Dog Day is celebrated every year on August 26th. Unlike other doggy holidays, National Dog Day is truly for any canine - no matter their size or breed. 

The holiday was founded by lifestyle expert Colleen Paige, who is also the founder of National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day, and National Cat Day. She picked "August 26th" as the official date because this is the date that Paige adopted her first Sheltie at just 10 years old. 

National Dog Day is firmly against any "breed bans" that can happen in apartment complexes, homes, and even cities or suburbs. All of this love was well-received by New York, emphasized by the New York Legislature's statement making National Dog Day an official holiday in 2013.

National Dog Day isn't just a day to celebrate the dogs that you have at home, but also the dogs that aren't even yours yet! National Dog Day is a day to help you consider adopting your new pup instead of going to a breeder. 

If you are interested in purebred dogs, Paige encouraged looking into local (or regional) purebreed adoption places that will help you find your perfect pup. That way, you can get the breed you always wanted while also helping by adopting a pup. 

There are tons of ways for you to celebrate National Dog Day, including taking tons of pictures of your furry best friend! If you share any pictures today, you can tag them with #NationalDogDay in order to make sure everyone out there sees your dog's ultimate cuteness. 

August 18, 2018

Los Angeles Dog-Themed Events

If you live in the Los Angeles area and want to have fun with your pup, you're in luck! We're here with some fun, dog-themed events that are just around the corner. 

Strut Your Mutt - Madame Tussauds Hollywood on August 24th 

Madame Tussauds will be celebrating National Dog Day by bringing a guest to their museum, Jess Rona. Rona is a celebrity dog groomer who, for one day, can give your pup a makeover. Besides a pampering session, there will also be snacks, a portrait studio, and even a bunch of puparazzi to capture your dog.

Day of the Dog 5K & 10K - Glendale and Pasadena on August 26th

Whether walking, running, or jogging is your speed, this event is a great way to get exercise with your pup. If you aren't able to attend but want to participate, you can do a virtual participation and receive an adorable dog tag. 15% of every registration goes to Freedom Service Dogs of America, which helps train dogs to help work with humans who need their help.

Yappy Hour at Ashland Hill - Santa Monica on September 4th 

Enjoy a brew with you pup! Okay, well, your pup can't have a brew, but they can sit with you while you do! For your furry best friend, there will be treats and goodie bags as well as special menu items for dogs. Adoptable dogs will be at the event thanks to the Lange Foundation.

McKenna Surf City Surf Dog® - Huntington Beach on September 29th 

Ever seen a dog surf? Maybe you have - maybe your dog is even a pro! But either way, coming out to this event is sure to be a good time just about anyone. If you're a surfer and a dog-lover, it's the perfect place to celebrate. You'll see impressive skills from dogs that'll have you saying, "If a dog can do that, can't I?"

What are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy these events with your pup!

August 14, 2018

States with Dog-Friendly Restaurants

While it might be a while until dogs will be allowed inside restaurants, new bills being passed in many states means that your furry best friend might just be able to accompany you on restaurant patios!

Previously, health officials were the deciding vote on whether or not dogs could be allowed on patios - not restaurant owners. This is because most states had a law that said dogs and retail food service couldn't happen on the same property. However, many states are changing that! Here are nine states that give you the opportunity to get dinner with your pup - and one that's on its way there!

Florida
Florida was one of the first states to give pups the chance to dine on the patio. A law passed in 2006 established that local government throughout Florida could establish their own ordinances about pups in public spaces. Restaurants that fall under this, of course, have to follow certain guidelines, but are free to welcome dogs!

Tennessee
Tennessee also allows local governments to pass ordinances in their cities or town that can allow pups on the patio. Some requirement for restaurants who want to open their doors to dogs includes a rule that says the dog must be leashed. 

Maryland
Maryland has a statewide rule that allows individual restaurant owners to make the decision about allowing dogs on their patios. However, before a restaurant can allow dogs, they must first inform the health department one month in advance. 


Ilinois
Illinois has a big dog scene, especially in Chicago, so it's no wonder that many restaurants allow dogs! However, for restaurants to allow dogs on the patio, they must be in a municipality that has at least 1 million people. Before allowing dogs, they have to apply for a pup-friendly permit.

Minnesota
Minnesota may be cold , but there are still plenty of warm days to enjoy patio days with your pup! A law allows cities to opt for ordinances that would allow pups to sit outside with their owner, as long as they aren't sitting on furniture or being pet by the staff (sorry, staff!)

New Mexico
New Mexico's statewide law allows restaurants, no matter what city or municipality they're in, to allow dogs on their patio if they would like to. Like other states, they have to follow a certain number of rules when the dogs are present. 

California
California also has a statewide law that allows restaurant owners to make personal decisions on whether or not they welcome pups in their outdoor space. If they do, they must make sure that they have a separate entrance to the outdoor area and that any food or water served to dogs be in disposable containers. 

New York
New York's laws mirror California's laws, meaning that restaurants can make their own decisions and that they must use disposable containers for any food or water given to dogs. 

Rhode Island
Rhode Island is a small state with a big heart for dogs. A statewide law says that restaurant owners have the right to make the decision over whether or not dogs can enter their outdoor area.

In Progress - Ohio
Ohio is late to the game, but making headway! In June, a bill passed by the Ohio House of Representatives would allows restaurants to decide whether or not to allow pups, but would have certain requirements, like posting a sign that informs customers of their policy. The bill is now heading to the Senate, where it will hopefully go through.

Now that you know about all of these states, get on planning that dinner date with your furry best friend! 


August 08, 2018

Common Digestive Problems for Dogs

We all want our pups to be healthy - but the truth is, they have problems, too, just like us! If you notice a sudden difference in your dog's eating habits, you don't want to ignore it. Here are some things that might be to cause, and some reasons why you might need to head to the vet. 

Symptoms

You'll notice if something is going wrong with your pup's digestive tract. Here are some symptoms you should keep an eye out for:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Lack of bowel movements
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting 
  • Fever

If you notice any of these symptoms appearing in your pup, that's a sign that something might be going on in their tummy. 

Serious or Not?

The problem with digestive problems is that it's very difficult to tell, from the initial symptoms, how serious the problem is. Digestive issues could mean that something is wrong with one or more of the following body parts:

  • Esophagus
  • Stomach
  • Small & large intestine
  • Pancreas
  • Liver
  • Colon
  • Anus

Getting Help

Since you don't know where the problem is or how serious it can be, you'll want to be sure to get your dog help by taking them to the veterinarian. Explain the symptoms to your vet, and they'll try to isolate where the problems are coming from. This is the first step to figuring out what could be bothering your pup. 

What It Could Be

So, what could your dog's digestive issues be attributed to? There are many possibilities, but here are the four different types it could be:

  • Diet
  • Bacterial infections
  • Viruses
  • Disease

These four different types of problems can, of course, have sub-problems associated with them. The first category, the diet problem, is the easiest to fix. Your dog might be experiencing indigestion because of the food that you're giving them. Sometimes, certain types of dry dog food can be harsh on your dog's tummy. Other times, it's certain ingredients in the food that might not agree with them. 

Bacterial infections can be caused by other organisms invading your dog's body, like leptospirosis, which is transmitted through spirochete bacteria, which can even be transmitted to dogs form humans. Bacterial infections can also lead to other problems like gastroenteritis. 

Viruses like acoronavirus and astrovirus can greatly affect your dog's digestive systems. Viruses can be damaging to your dog's intestines and viruses can be caught just about anywhere. Be sure to stay updated with your pup's vaccinations to help prevent this.

Disease is the most serious of the four, because it can sometimes mean a chronic illness. Rarely, digestive problems can be indicative of very serious problems, like cancer or chronic bowel disease. 

What Can You Do?

Just keep taking care of your furry best friend and stay aware! If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, be proactive about getting to the bottom of it so that you can have your healthy, happy, food-loving pup right back. 

July 31, 2018

Rainy-Day Exercise for Dogs

Even if it's raining cats and dogs outside, your real dog still needs exercise! Since many dogs don't like to run around the yard when it's raining, you'll sometimes need to rely on indoor exercise. Take this indoor exercise tips for when the weather is bad or for when you don't have any outside space to exercise your pup in. 

iFetch

You've heard us talk about this before, but it truly doesn't get old! iFetch is not only the perfect exercise tool for indoors, but it's good for when you're busy, too. iFetch will throw a tennis ball to your dog, and all they have to do is learn how to put the ball back in the machine - a quick task to learn for nearly any pup. Just make sure you put it in an open room with no breakable objects nearby.

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek isn't just for humans - it can be for dogs, too! Teaching your dog the game can be helpful for their brain as well as their body! Give your pup a command to stay, and keep them there until you hide. Find a hiding spot (where they'll still be able to find you) and then call their name. They'll have fun looking for you and will get plenty of exercise! 

Treadmill Time

Believe it or not, there are actually doggy-treadmills! As long as your pup gets the green light from their vet to run on a treadmill, this is great exercise for any dog. If you have your own treadmill, you can both run at the same time! Be sure to start slow with the length of time your pup is running and the speed that they're moving at. 

Staircase Exercise

The stairs are a great way to exercise. Have some fun and get some exercise by running up and down the stairs with your dog. Just like the treadmill exercise, make sure that your pup can physically handle exercise on the stairs. Make a game out of it by creating a chase, with you trying to out run your pup. Or, you can toss a toy up and down the stairs for them to chase. 

Indoor Obstacle Courses

Obstacle courses don't just have to be outside, they can be inside, too! Working on obstacle courses with your dog inside gets their legs moving and their brains turning. Learning obstacle courses inside can even help train them for more complicated courses like those performed by dogs in agility competitions. You can use almost any item lying around to set up a course, including brooms, small cones, and hula hoops. 

And of course, when it does get sunny out, be sure to get the best exercise of all with your pup - a nice, long, walk. 

 

July 31, 2018

Most Popular Dogs Throughout Time

Dogs have pretty much always been popular - whether it was for work, sport, or affection, humans have had dogs around for a very long time. While we might know the Labrador Retriever as one of the most famous family dogs today, it wasn't always. Here are some of the most popular dog breeds, throughout the decades. 

1900s - At the beginning of the 20th century, "Lassies" were quite popular. The Collie was the top breed in the 1900s, while Boston Terriers and Irish Setters came in second and third, respectively. 

1910s - The '10s were a time of the terriers - the Boston Terrier rose to the top of the list then, a dog that is known as America's first purebred dog, nicknamed "The American Gentlemen."  This time, Collies were third on the list and Airedale Terriers were second. 

1920s - In the decade of flappers and prohibition, Boston Terriers dropped to second, and German Shepherds became the most popular dog breed. Chow Chows made it to the list two, as the third most popular breed. 

1930s - Welcome back, Boston Terrier! The Boston Terrier remained the number one dog throughout the first half of the 30s, while the Cocker Spaniel took over for the second half. In third place was another, less-American terrier, the Scottish Terrier.

1940s - The Cocker Spaniel remained the number one dog throughout the '40s, officially knocking the Boston Terrier to third place. In second place throughout the decade was the ever-adorable and timeless Beagle.

1950s - In the '50s, the Beagle took over as America's most popular dog, while a few different dog breeds trades back and forth for second and third most popular. The Boxer, Cocker Spaniel, Poodle, and Chihuahua all traded popularity back and forth. 

1960s - The infamous Poodle didn't really become, well, infamous, until the years of good times and The Beatles. The Poodle was the most popular dog breed throughout the '60s, while the German Shepherd finally returned to the list at the number two spot. The third most popular breed was the Beagle, with the Dachshund rising to the place in the last '60s. 

1970s - The Poodle was just as popular in the '70s, remaining the most common dog breed in American households. German Shepherds remained the second most popular dog breed until the late '70's, when the Doberman Pinscher took that position. The third most popular dog breed changed throughout the decade, with Irish Setters and German Shepherds trading off the most.

1980s - Around the early '80s, the Cocker Spaniel took the number one breed spot back from the Poodle, who still remained at an impressive second place spot. This is the time when the Labrador Retriever started becoming popular, moving from third to second place in the late '80s. 

1990s - Ah, the '90s. This is not only when our favorite pop groups rose to fame, but when Labrador Retrievers rose to fame, too! These pups were the most popular breed throughout the 90s, with the Rottweiler taking second place. The German Shepherd came back up third place for this decade.

2000s - With the millennium, Labrador Retrievers remained crazily popular. Both Golden Retrievers (thanks, Air Bud) and Yorkshire Terriers traded off the second most popular breed title. 

2010s - We're at the end of the '10s now, and unsurprisingly, Labs have remained the most popular brand. Most recently, German Shepherds have risen to second place and Golden Retrievers to third place. 

So, what's next? Do you think a new dog breed will rise to the top. Or, how about mutts? We'll have to wait and see!

July 29, 2018

The Man Behind WeRateDogs

If you are at all familiar with the Twittersphere or you've even seen Tweets, then you must be familiar with the Twitter feed, WeRateDogs. And while you might be familiar with @dog_rates, you might not know the mastermind behind it. 

That mastermind's name is Matt Nelson, and he's only 21 years old. His success at such a young age relies on his adorable subjects (dogs) and his hilarious sense of humor. 

If you've never seen WeRateDogs and go to explore it, you'll find tons of pictures of adorable pups - all with hilarious captions. The dogs are all rated on a 10 out of 10 scale, but of course, since dogs are flawless - they all get above a 10. 

Nelson came up with this idea in November of 2015 while sitting at an Applebee's with his friends. While he had had the idea of starting a humorous dog-related page before, this was the first time he voiced his idea out loud. His friends said "go for it" and Nelson made his first post right there in Applebee's. Nelson tweeted a photo of a dog he had taken a picture of at the golf course he managed, rated it, and said goodnight.

When he woke up in the morning, Nelson discovered his page had 3,000 followers. The numbers kept growing, and Nelson, tasked with overnight fame, kept building his page.

Of course, it wasn't all doggy smiles and tail-wags. More and more people were submitting photos each day and Nelson was trying to keep up with it by posting about 15 - 20 times a day. Going to class full-time, managing a golf course, and running a hugely-successful Twitter page began to overwhelm Nelson. He turned to a social media marketer, John Ricci, to help him out with the account.

With Ricci's help, Nelson began to make money from his Twitter account - and eventually realized that to continue his profit and success, he would have to drop out of college. 

Since dropping out, Nelson has successfully turned WeRateDogs into a monetized business that makes him six figures a year. This seems like everyone's dream, right? Money, dogs, and, well, more dogs.

WeRateDogs even has an online store where you can buy goofy, dog-themed products (for you and for your dog). If you haven't already, you should go check out the page! Hey, maybe even your dog will be featured (and get a 13/10 for being such a good pup). 

 

 

Fresh Patch Logo
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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