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Animal Radio® Show #500 July 4, 2009


Fourth Of July Safety Tips For Dogs

Stephanie Colman

Fourth of July fireworks are dazzling for people, but not always for dogs.  Many dogs are afraid of fireworks and some even develop a phobic response.  To help keep your dogs safe this Fourth of July, consider the following tips:

If you’re not sure how your dog responds to fireworks, don’t leave him home alone on the fourth.  Dogs with firework phobias can easily panic and injure themselves.  You want to be home with your dog to supervise his behavior.  July fifth is one of the busiest days for shelters, when people go looking for dogs that escaped in a panic.

If you can’t stay home with your dog, keep him confined and make sure he can’t escape.  Close the windows, crank on the A/C and turn up the television or radio to help block outside noise.  Then give him a wonderful chew bone to concentrate on.

If you’ll be home with your dog, make sure he’s good and hungry when the sun goes down.  Have wonderful treats, and keep him busy working and playing for snacks as fireworks blast in the distance.  Play all his favorite games and teach him that big booms predict great things.  Don’t coddle him if he seems worried.  If he’ll eat a treat, it’s better to spend your time reinforcing his desire to eat, rather than thinking he looks pitiful.

Don’t take your dogs to a public fireworks display.  Hearing them in the distance is different from being at a show.  Over exposure to the sights, sounds and smells of fireworks can create a phobia in some dogs.

If you know or discover that your dog is afraid of fireworks, find a qualified trainer who can help you.  Keep in mind that dogs that are afraid of fireworks often struggle during thunderstorms and on New Year’s Eve, too.

Over-the-counter products such as rescue remedy or melatonin may help, but in extreme cases, you might need to work with your vet to treat the phobia pharmaceutically.

For more 4th of July and other training tips, check out


Reuniting Improved with Microchips

Dr. Jim Humphries, VNN

Did you know that 14% of all dogs and 4% of all cats that end up in a shelter are reunited with their rightful owner?  New technology and an old standby are helping to improve those odds. 

An animal identification microchip is a tiny computer chip which has an identification number programmed into it.  It is easily and safely implanted under the skin of an animal with a hypodermic needle. 

Once the anima is chipped, he can be identified throughout his life with this unique number.  The chips have a 25-year lifespan, require no care and cannot pass through or out of the body. 

Microchips are read by a scanning device, which recognizes this unique identification number.  Through registration of the animal through a national database, the owner can be contacted.  This is an important step many pet owners forget. 

The early results of this technology is good, with one company reporting over 250,000 pets reunited with their owners after being scanned and their microchip identified. 

Animal welfare workers report that microchipping is very important in reuniting pets with their owners after widespread disasters like hurricanes or mass evacuations. 

There is only one problem with this technology.  Not all readers detect all chips and not all humane shelters even have readers. 

It’s important to talk with your veterinarian about what the local standards are in your area. 

Technology is great, but let’s face it, when your pet is lost, it’s very simple to have a physical pet ID tag on your pet so the finder can call the owner. 

Websites, such as allow you to register your own ID number, and if a person finds your pet, they can find you online in a snap.  This free service allows you to update your information quickly without getting a new tag.


Vladae, The "World Famous" Russian Dog Wizard

Dog Shreds Paper

Every time this truck driver gets out of his truck, his Chihuahua shreds paper all over.  Vladae states that the dog has separation anxiety.  He suggests getting a little crate, and every time the trucker gets out of the truck, he should put the dog in the crate.  He also suggests playing music for the dog to calm him.  Whenever the driver exits the truck, he should play “Classic Cuts” by Music My Pet, which has special music signals for dogs’ ears.

Do Pit Bulls Deserve Their Bad Reputation? 

Vladae states that breeds do not decide how to behave, the breeders have done this.   Pit Bulls, as well as Akitas, Sharpeis, Chow chows, etc, are not bad dogs, but they are not designed to be a family pet. Vladae admits that during his line of work, he has seen more aggressiveness come from Yorkies and Dachshunds, which he feels is more of a threat than a Pit Bull.   Even though these dogs don’t make the headlines, they are biting Americans more than any other breed of dog.  The problem with a Pit Bull is that once he gets going, you cannot stop him.  As with any breed, your whole family needs to establish themselves as authoritative figures.  You also need to socialize the dog. When picking out any dog from a shelter, look at his eyes.  Does he look at you and stare?  Or, are his ears down and his tail wagging?  You should bring the whole family to the shelter, along with any other dogs you already have at home, to see if they get along.  Vladae likes the Pit Bull breed and wishes that every one would research a breed of dog before acquiring it. 

My Dog Is A Compulsive Licker

This male, neutered, Rottweiler is a compulsive licker and will lick any part of your skin that is exposed. Vladae doesn’t feel that this is a dominant behavior, but feels that this dog gets plenty of attention when he does this, even though it is negative attention.  First of all, Vladae states to use the Pet Convincer, which is a combination of air and sound.  Just push the button when the dog licks, and after three or four times, your dog should stop doing this.  Next, Vladae feels that the dog is bored.  Two times per day put a leash on the dog and make him go through the basic commands of sit, stay and walking without pulling.  He recommends using the Herm Sprenger prong collar, with quick release, which mimics what nature intended, mommy’s teeth!  The key is to have the leash slack and never pull on it.  When you want to redirect your dog, just snap the leash.

Email – Dog Is Not Allowing Her To Be Intimate With Her Husband

This e-mailer has asked for confidentiality, so Vladae is not going to give out her name.  Her email states:  My dog is not allowing me to be intimate with my husband!”

Vladae states that it is not easy to be intimate when we have our dogs sleeping in the bed with us.   This kind of activity makes a dog nervous, as he hears many different sounds and believes that someone is getting hurt or someone is in trouble. 

Vladae says you need to get the dog out of the bed, and even better, get him out of the room!


Vinnie Penn, Animal Radio's Resident Party Animal

Owning Cats And Goldfish

Good morning, good afternoon, whatever time of day it is Animal Radio fans!

Sometimes I just open with a question here on the Party Animal Segment, and that’s what I’m going to do this time.  And perhaps, if you’d like to display your comedic chops, email me at

Why are there some people out there who own both a cat and goldfish?  I don’t understand why that is.  Do they actually want to view a goldfish nervous breakdown?  Is this something they want to see?  Are they amused by it? 

“Hey, look at the way it’s trembling, knows we leaving,” and they jingle jangle the keys in front of him.

“Hey, were about to leave, and we’re leaving you alone with Saber tooth over there.  That’s right, another 9 hours.” 

“Look at him shake. Look at the fish shake – isn’t it hilarious?”

I’ve never understood homes that have both a cat and an aquarium.  Did they miss Tom & Jerry growing up?   Was that not on?  They were watching Heckle and Jeckle; they were a Scooby Doo family? 

The worst thing about these housecats, too, is they don’t just immediately run up. If you rigged a video camera to film the house while you are at work, you’ll see that housecats just don’t immediately pounce on the tank when you leave.  They toy with those two tiny little goldfish.  That cat’s moving slowly across the room and he’s looking and he’s licking his chops, yeah, and then “Boo,” he’s right in front of them.  And then maybe he’ll back off, saying, “Maybe I’ll eat you, maybe I wont.”  And then it’s bobbing for apples until its 5:00.

Why do people have both a cat and an aquarium?  That is this week’s question on Party Animal!

Plagued by Skunks    

I’m back once again because all of you have demanded it by sending emails saying that there should be a TV show titled Vinnie Penn’s Animal Radio.  Everyone is saying that they want my segment extended to a full half hour long… all right, no one’s emailing me in this regard.  But you can email me at

Okay, this week’s topic is a true story with no exaggeration.  We’ve been having a problem in my neighborhood for the last couple of summers being plagued by skunks.  We’ve been having a real skunk problem.  The stench of them from just firing off their skunk “lasers” in the middle of the night can wake you from a sound sleep at 3:00 in the morning.  I even set traps.  I hate to do, I don’t want to harm anything, but I plead the 5th or just say it naivety, but I had someone come out and set a trap.  I have two small children and the stench was waking us up every night. 

Lo and behold one day a couple of weeks ago I heard “Ker-plunk” in the middle of the day in the pool in the backyard.  I look out, and the skunk has fallen in the pool in the middle of the day, which suggests rabies. Am I right or is that an urban myth?  Is that a wives tail?  I heard that if you see a skunk or a raccoon in the middle of the day, since they are nocturnal creatures, they could be rabid.   I don’t know if that is urban myth or not, but he falls into the pool.   I’m an animal lover, but I just stand there and think this is it, this is how it’s going to have to end, I’m just going to have to let him go this way.  But I couldn’t take it.  I couldn’t take being in the house when there’s an animal splishing and splashing around in my pool. 

So I went and I told my wife that we had finally resolved the skunk issue and that it was in the pool right now.  She said, “What!” and looked at me kind of funny.  And I said, “I know, I hate that it has to wind up this way.  But, it’s finally going to solve the issue of this skunk who had been terrorizing the neighborhood.” 

So I just left the room and didn’t think anything of it, when all of a sudden I heard the sliding glass door open and close.  I looked out the window and my wife is out there with the pool skimmer, true story, and fishes the big, fat, stinky skunk out of our pool.

Now, there’s a part of me that’s livid, because this issue had been going on for three summers and it was finally resolved.  But, she’s fishing it out.   So I’m thinking, I just want to see that tail come up on this rabid skunk and just blast her, because then she’d have to take a bath in tomato juice (which would actually be kind of sexy to me, but I’m into some strange stuff!). 

And lo and behold, it was strange, it was like she dropped it off in the lawn and the skunk was like Pepé LePew or something, and just looked at her as if to say “Emm, thank yeew, my Cherié” and then gave her a wink.  I think I saw the skunk wink!  And then he took off. 

How would you feel if this skunk was plaguing your neighborhood, fell into a neighbor’s pool and the issue could have finally been resolved and some “Little House on the Prairie Housewife” had to save it with a pool skimmer?  You let me know!


Talk With Your Animals with Joy Turner

Speaking With Two Dogs – One Who Is Alive And One Who Has Passed

William wants to speak with his two dogs, Sabrina, which has passed, and Tasha, who is currently living with him.  They are both Miniature Pinschers.  William wants to know if he did all he could for the one who was ill and has passed on, and also wants to know what he can do for his current dog who seems to be having problems.  Sabrina, who has passed, says she was a very happy girl and she was so completely delighted with her life with William.  Now, she wants him to stop thinking about her and start thinking about Tasha, who is having a problem with her right hip.


Animal Radio® News with Bobbie Hill

Pets Get Sunburned Too!

If you’ve ever wondered if pets can get sunburned like their owners - the answer is yes!  That’s why the American Animal Hospital Association recommends the use of sunscreens with both UVA and UVB blockers.  Just like two legged creatures, dogs, cats and horses are most susceptible to sunburn between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Stay safe this summer by keeping your pets inside during peak sunshine hours or provide shade for them.

Cloned Dog Giveaway

A California based company is cloning dogs for those who can afford the hefty price tag and has given away a free cloned dog.  The winner was James Symington whose German Shepherd, Trakr, helped find the last survivor of the World Trade Center after the September 11th terrorist attack.  Symington, now retired and living in L.A., said Trakr lived to be 16 but his final years were affected by a degenerative neurological disorder that some experts say was related to exposure to toxic smoke at Ground Zero.  Symington was given five cloned “Trakrs” by BioArts International last month.

Bo’s Official Bio and Picture

The White House has released an official bio and pic of the first dog Bo.  The downloadable file in the format of a baseball card can be found on the White House website {}. Here’re some of the “stats “ listed for the first pooch: His name comes from a cousin’s cat named Bo and one named Diddley; favorite food - tomatoes; favorite exercise- running; goal - make friends with foreign “dognitaries”. {reminder - ripe tomatoes are o.k. but the green portion of the plant is toxic to pets}

Be Aware of Toxic Plants

The country’s only 24 hour animal poison control center reminds pet owners to be aware of the plants in their yard.  The Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, Illinois says, “The prettier it is the more likely it is to be toxic.”

Here are some examples: azaleas, cycad palms, oleander, foxglove, castor bean and lily of the valley.

The APCC has 10 tips for pet owners with gardens:

1.Don’t assume your pet won’t eat a particular plant.

2. Know the scientific names of your plants in case you need to contact poison control

3. Educate yourself on regional plants that may be poisonous. 

4. Use nontoxic gardening products. 

5. If using pesticides, restrict your pet’s access to the area after applying them. 

6.Avoid cocoa mulch it contains theobromine - the active ingredient in chocolate that’s toxic to pets! 

7. Check to see if you have any products made from cocoa mulch like bracelets. 

8. Seek veterinary advice if your pet has eaten a toxic plant. 

9. Don’t use ipecac on your dog or cat  

10.  Don’t believe your pet will learn from one bad experience.

$1,500 Insurance Claim Against Moose

Have you ever had to call your insurance company and file a claim for $1,500 in damages caused by a falling moose?  Well - two students at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah had to do just that after state wildlife officers shot a young bull moose on campus in early June.  The moose, clearly under the effects of the tranquilizer, crashed through a barricade and fell on the cars.  One of the students said she expected the Beehive State to pay for the $1,500 in damages but officials said they don’t have a fund for reimbursing damages caused by moose.  An auto body shop in Orem Utah has stepped up and offered free repairs for the students and the moose was released into the wild and hasn’t  returned.

NEWS UPDATE Brought To You By Simple Solution Natural Line Of Products



Animal Minute With Britt Savage

Hermosa Beach Police Accused of Harassing Paraplegic

An angry dog owner has filed a claim against the Hermosa Beach Police in the Los Angeles Superior Court.  It all started when David Nichols, a quadriplegic, was walking his service dog on the beach.  A hotel worker started yelling at him about not cleaning up after his dog.  Nichols claimed that the job belonged to the hotel worker and then the hotel worker flagged down police who ordered Nichols to stop his wheelchair.  What happened next is in dispute.   Nichols is saying he was forced to the ground by the policeman and the police report says that he fell out of the chair during a struggle.  Nichols is seeking compensation for what he says is a violation of his civil rights.



Your Vet Questions Answered with Dr. Debbie

Dog Has Recently Gone Deaf

This 17-year-old Cocker Spaniel has recently gone deaf and her guardian wants to know how she can help her.  She is afraid that she is going to startle the dog when she approaches her.  Dr. Debbie states that animals can live a comfortable, happy life without hearing.  And they probably enjoy it, as they don’t have to listen to us tell them what to do!  To avoid startling her, you need to retrain her with visual clues to get her attention.  One way to do this is to use vibration as a way to get her attention.   When at home, stomp on the floor when approaching her and when she is in a vehicle, you can knock on the door to let her know you are entering.

My Dog Has Yeast Infection In His Ears

This 6-year-old English Bulldog has been suffering from an ear infection.  He has been on many different medications, but as soon as the medications are stopped, it immediately comes back.  Dr. Debbie suggests getting this dog on a yeast medication as well as using topical methods.  If there is no improvement with a yeast medication, there could be something else going on, such as an allergy or thyroid problem or even just the physical characteristics of the Bulldog, the droopy fold and the moist areas they have on their bodies.

Crazy Cat Chews On Wires

This 5-year-old female cat chews on wires.  Could she be lacking a nutrient?  She hasn’t been injured yet, but has done quite a bit of damage.  The first thing Dr. Debbie asks is if the cat does it in their presence, or do they find the evidence later?  It turns out the cat does it in front of them, which is most likely an attention seeking behavior.  Don’t reinforce it by giving her attention by yelling at her to stop it.  You need to use distraction and redirect her attention to something else.  Pull out a cat toy and run in the other direction or pull out her favorite treats.  In the meantime, place the wires in PVC piping or use double-sided tape on the wires to keep her away.

New Puppy Is Scratching Her Ears

This 9-week-old German Shepherd puppy has been bathed and brushed but she is still scratching a lot and tearing at her ears.  She has a bald spot near her ears and under one arm.    The first thing to do is to check her collar.   A lot of new puppies don’t like wearing collars and will scratch around it.  If this is the case, just take it off.  But, if you are actually seeing hair loss, you should take her in for an exam.  Even though you don’t see fleas, they still might be there.  Also, skin mites are very common in puppies. 


Get Your Licks on Route 66 - The Cross-Country Adoption Tour Finale

Susan Sims, Fido Friendly Magazine

“Get Your Licks on Route 66,” brought by Fido Friendly Magazine and North Shore Animal League America was a huge success.   We check in with Susan Sims, Fido Friendly Magazine, who is wrapping up the end of the tour. 

In early June they set off in a Toyota Venza as the official chase car behind the 36-foot mobile adoption bus.  They began in Santa Monica, CA and then traveled the length of Route 66 – through CA, AZ, NM, TX, OK, KS, MO and IL – with a culmination event in Chicago, IL in early July followed by a wrap party hosted by Supporting Sponsor, Bissell, in Grand Rapids, MI.

Thanks to Presenting Sponsor Purina One and One Hope Network and supporting sponsors, Bissell, 3M, Toyota and LaQuinta Inn & Suites, they were able to deliver a message of hope and raise adoption awareness in 12 cities along the route. 

Destined to be an annual event, the First Annual Get Your Licks on Route 66 editorial can be read in its entirety in the upcoming Sept/Oct issue of Fido Friendly Magazine and video with tour updates can be viewed online at

Fido Friendly Magazine took pictures of everyone who adopted a dog and one lucky dog (and person) will be selected to have their picture on the cover of an upcoming issue of Fido Friendly Magazine. 

Hundreds of dogs and cats found their forever homes during the tour and they look forward to planning the 2nd Annual Get Your Licks on Route 66 for 2010.


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