Fear Free Movement Hits Home
Dr. Marty Becker, America's Veterinarian
When Dr. Marty Becker created the Fear Free certification for Veterinarians, he had no idea it would take off so fast. More and more veterinarians are creating a relaxed environment that pets will like. They're practicing techniques that make dogs and cats enjoy going to the vet. The end-game is happier, healthier pets that live longer.
Animal Radio was started around 17-years-ago with our prime mission to educate people regarding spaying and neutering and the extreme homeless population of animals. Millions of animals were, and still are, being euthanized just because they don't have a home.
Over the years there have been many animal related causes and one that Animal Radio definitely gets behind is the 'Fear Free Movement.' This is a great concept that's put into place when you take your pet to the vet. This helps them let go of their fear and they may even enjoy it because they are given treats, they are treated gently, their fears are taken into consideration, making it a very positive experience.
The creator behind the Fear Free Movement is Dr. Marty Becker. Dr. Becker admits that he didn't actually come up with the slogan, "Take the pet our of petrified," but that it pretty much says it all. It's simply looking after a pet's physical and emotional well-being.
Dr. Becker has owned either all or part of seven veterinarian hospitals over the years and has always loved animals, but he was amazed when he heard a veterinarian behaviorist talk. He thought that while he had always been compassionate and spoke up for the animals, both in his 25 books and in his TV appearances, he had never really looked after their emotional well-being.
Now we know that veterinarians have been causing psychological damage to pets without meaning to. Veterinarians get into the business because of their love of animals, not make life worse for them.
The Fear Free Movement has been in the works since 2009, but launched recently in April of 2016. One year later there are over 11,000 individuals in veterinarian offices that have taken the course. It's an on-line learning program, consisting of 8 modules, which takes a minimum of 9 hours to complete.
But the Fear Free Movement isn't just for veterinarians, it's also for the pet owner. This movement is 'Fear Free Happy Homes.' Dr. Becker stares it became pretty evident that what good would it be if your pet has an exquisite vet visit but then goes home to a house full of stress? The program will teach you how reduce fear, anxiety and stress in your house and increase calm and happy. It will also allow you to search and see if your veterinarian is Fear Free Certified.
The Fear Free Movement has around 200 gifted contributing experts. There are 53 boarded behaviorists, experts in the zoo world that taught animals to present themselves for services, there are enrichment experts, the head of animal cognition at Duke, the head of animal cognition at Columbia and the head of ethology at MIT to name a few. Another expert is Temple Grandin. She is a gifted savant that has taught everyone in this movement about animals' emotions and what makes them fearful; things no one had ever thought about. We usually just took them from home where they have their familiar scent to a clinic that has none of their scent. They are then examined and not kept in balance, with the vet pulling their limbs away from their bodies, which causes stress.
If your veterinarian is not Fear Free Certified, you should highly encourage them to look into this program, and if you want a Fear Free Home, you should check it out for yourself!
Dr. Becker states that most vets think they have been practicing a fee free environment already, but he assures them that they haven't! He says he learns something new every week from this group and that we now know more than we knew before about how to reduce fear, anxiety and stress and how to increase calm and happy. Dr. Becker believes that by the end of this year they will probably have close to half of all of the veterinarian personnel in the United States on Board with this Fear Free Movement.
Giving The West Coast Some Love
TV Host and Animal Advocate David Frei has been the top dog at Westminster for almost 30 years. He tells us that he's created the first major west coast AKC Dog Show and it's all going on in Beverly Hills. Trailing the super success of the Thanksgiving Day Dog Show, NBC has bankrolled the celebrity filled dog show.
David Frei, along with actor John O'Hurley, has been hosting the National Dog Show since 2002. Now, there is a brand new dog show in town for them to host. The Beverly Hills Dog Show, presented by Purina. Because it's Beverly Hills, there will be a red carpet and sort of a fashion show for the Best in Show.
The Star-Studded event includes Beverly Hills Housewife Lisa Vanderpump, who will present the Best in Show award and "E! News" Co-Host Maria Menounos, who will be on hand interviewing attendees about how their dogs are the stars of their families. Also on the Red Carpet will be dog loving celebrities including Bo Derek, Victor Espinosa, Rex Linn, Jennifer Marsala, and WWE wrestler The Big Show as these glamorous canines square off to win the top prize. But David states we all know who the real stars are - the dogs!
The Kennel Club of Beverly Hills is a member club of the AKC, just like Westminster, so the same breeds are eligible for this show. There will be over 202 breeds and varieties in competition, consisting of almost 1,400 dogs.
David Frei is no longer calling Westminster Kennel Club after 27 years. When David was asked to host the Beverly Hills Dog Show, he stated that there are three great dog show on the east coast - Westminster in New York, the National Dog Show in Philadelphia and the AKC National Championship in Orland, Florida. David states it was time to go west! For many years, David tells us that California dogs comprised the second largest entry at Westminster, so it was time to bring a show to California.
David is also the founder of Westminster's Angel On A Leash therapy dog program. Angel On A Leash champions the use of therapy dogs in health care facilities, schools, rehabilitation, hospice, extended care, correctional facilities and crisis intervention. Through advocacy, education, research and service, Angel On A Leash, promotes the role of the human-animal bond in enhancing human health and quality of life. Angel On A Leash began as a charitable activity at the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian for the Westminster Kennel Club.
Who Doesn't Like Dogs? - Dr. Debbie
I love dogs, and always have. But what happens when you discover a close friend doesn't merely not like dogs, but actually hates them?
I've been operating under the assumption that those who don't like dogs must have some evil lurking in their spirit and were destined to a life of incarceration. Just look at the statistics of criminals that abuse animals early on and who later progress to physical abuse of people, murder, or other sociopathic behaviors.
I'll admit not liking dogs is a far cry from turning one's hand to injure an animal or person, but some uncomfortable association is still there. As a full-fledged dog lover, or enthusiast of any animal for that matter, I cannot understand the psyche of an individual that is satisfied going about their life without animal companionship.
Any pet lover can spout off a list of benefits their furry one brings to their life…the steady comfort of companionship, a non-judging ear to hear out the day's tribulations, a workout or hiking buddy and a source of unconditional love at the end of a long day.
So, imagine my shock when I realized that a couple I know doesn't like dogs. Not just that they don't have dogs or misunderstand them - they actually dislike dogs.
Hint of this fact should have been apparent a long ago when they were over for dinner and they politely stood stiff as Calvary front line, when greeted by my yapping terrier mix. Or that they failed to stroke my Labrador's chin after receiving the gentle nudge of the typical canine greeting upon entering the home. The polite perfunctory smiles went un-noticed by me. "Sure, they don't have dogs," I reasoned as to why they weren't charmed by my little dog's amusing tail wagging display or by the steadfast devotion of my Labrador's greeting.
All of these sign posts I missed. I clearly misjudged all along. The couple, who I just assumed were just not yet fortunate to understand the benefits of pet companionship, were actually formidable dog dislikers.
Realization struck me during a recent conversation with this couple. I was laughingly describing the vast differences in dog breed behavior comparing my former Labradors, to that of my current Bouvier. My comments must have been mistaken as some underhanded means to convince them the right breed was out there for them. At that moment, my guest raised hands and said, "I know what I like and don't like, and I don't want dogs." Clearly they didn't like dogs - and they misunderstood my comment as some means to turn them over to the canine side against their will. Astounded, I marveled how this response was not unlike a person who is recommended a mushroom containing side dish or gourmet meal from a fine restaurant, and who declares "I can't stand mushrooms and don't want anything to do with mushrooms!"
So why didn't I catch on to these dog haters sooner? For those of us that have pets, of any type, we recognize the many joys our pets bring to our lives. There are folks that don't want to bring that companionship into their life. The cogs of their lives have clicked along just fine without a pet in their life. Somehow lots of well-educated, social and seemingly normal people can raise a family and be successful and still dislike dogs.
Maybe we should feel sorry for them. Or maybe they feel sorry for us, for all the money, heart and time we put into a pet companion who's lifespan doesn't come near to that of a humans. They probably laugh at our reckless expenditures on a being who lives just a fraction of human life. I chose not to spend time wondering how they have made it without animals in their life…rather that I have succeeded because I have been fortunate to have animals in my life.
I ask that these non-pet people save their pity for me and my pets, because I know that any one of my dogs could say they lived live fuller than most people - full with adventure, splendor at new experiences and embracing the moment. And so have I at their side. So should the question come up at the time of my next life, I'll take both a side of mushrooms…and pets on the side.
Featured veterinarian known as "Dr. Debbie" on national pet radio program, Animal Radio. Ebook author of "Yorkshire Terriers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Pugs: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Mini Schnauzers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; and "Shih Tzu: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend."
5 Things You Must Do When Your Pet Is Annoying Your Neighbors
Robert Semrow, Listomania
We all have neighbors who have pets that sometimes test the limits of our patience. We wonder why can't they help or soothe their pet so we don't have to listen to them bark all day, see them run through my back yard or deal with other annoyances? I know some of you are laughing thinking about your neighbor's pets, but some of you listening may in fact be the neighbor we are talking about. Yikes, that's embarrassing, and the Mama and Papa bears in all of us come out when confronted about our fur kids. Here are a few tips to employ when your pet is annoying the neighbors.
To begin with it starts with training your pet and having a routine for them that makes them comfortable and fulfilled. If you have a dog who needs exercise or a bird that needs engagement before you head to work, then make sure they get that. It's not their fault. They don't know that they are upsetting the neighbors, they are simply trying to get your attention and get their needs taken care of.
Next is listening to the complaints without immediately becoming defensive and showing your own claws. Your neighbors may have a justified frustration or concern. Your dog barking constantly throughout the day may not bother you when you are at work, but your neighbor who works the night shift or has a home office may find that, well, let's just say extremely inconvenient. Instead of telling them to live with it or deal with it, you need to listen and give consideration to what you can do to remove or at least reduce that behavior.
Another important thing is to be genuinely apologetic and understanding. Most people love pets and it brings out their warmer side. Don't turn up the flame by ignoring them or denigrating what they are saying and feeling. This leads to quick calls to animal control, law enforcement, homeowner associations and more. Better to be seen as open to the need to deal with it rather than have more extreme pressure define how you deal with it.
That brings me to another concern and that is having your pets legal. If they require a license, have the license up to date, if they require vaccinations, have the legally required vaccinations and when you have your pet out in public make sure they are behaving properly.
Finally, know your pet. Yes, I said know your pet. Know what they do when you are away, when you are at work, play or just running errands. These days it is easy and inexpensive to set up a camera or 3 to see what their days are like. This can help you determine not only what is causing their unwanted behavior but also what needs to be done to correct it.
Give your neighbors the same consideration you want them to give you when it comes to pets. Share your good neighbor pet ideas with us on our Animal Radio Facebook Page.
The Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani
Can Grooming Your Cat Stop The Hairballs?
If your cat is always hawking up hairballs, then perhaps you should hear what Animal Radio's Dogfather, Joey Villani has to say. He has some inexpensive and effective ways to reduce the hair your cat consumes. This is especially helpful if you've ever stepped in a juicy hairball in the middle of the night.
Joey doesn't usually get many questions regarding cat grooming. However, Joey states that you have to groom your cat just as much as you have to groom your dog.
The question was about a cat that has many problems with hairballs where they have actually become a medical problem and needed medical intervention. The woman wanted to know if routine grooming would get rid of the problem.
Joey claims that while routine grooming will not stop the problem entirely, it will reduce the amount of hairballs.
If you have a longhaired cat, you should be brushing and combing them on a regular basis, but if you can actually bathe your cat, it will do so much more for hairballs. That'a right - Joey said bathe your cat!
Believe it or not, Joey has a trick to make bathing cats easier. Surprisingly most cats aren't afraid of water. What a cat is usually afraid of is the noise and the spray of water. If you have a double sink, it will make bathing your cat easier. If you don't, you can get two buckets. Fill one of the sides of the sink or one bucket up with warm water and add cat grade shampoo. In the other, fill up with warm water and add a teaspoon of vinegar per gallon of water to rinse them off.
Slowly place your cat in the warm water with shampoo. In most cases, the cat will not mind this at all. They might place their paws on the sides, but still allow you to wash them. When you are done, just slowly place them in the rinse water with the vinegar.
By washing your cat, you will eliminate the oils. If you don't remove the oils, the oil will actually hold the loose hair in the coat. No matter how much you brush and comb it, the oil will not let the all of the hair to be removed.
You don't want to bathe them too often, as the oils are good for their coats. If you do this once a month or every 6 to 8 weeks, you will see a significant reduction in hairballs.
If you are unable to bathe your cat, you still want to brush and comb them. You can even sprinkle a little cornstarch on your cat's coat and brush it through, which will reduce the oils on their coat.
Animal Radio News - Lori Brooks
Taiwan Outlaws Dog & Cat Meat for Humans
Taiwan is the first country in Asia to pass a law outlawing the human consumption of dog and cat meat. An amendment to an animal protection law, passed earlier this month by the Taiwanese, indicates a changing attitude in, "A society in which dog meat was regularly eaten, to one in which many people treat pet cats and dogs as valued members of their families," according to the government's own news agency. Like most everywhere else around the world, dogs and cats are seen as family members. The Taiwan President even posed frequently with her two cats during her 2016 presidential campaign and has adopted three dogs since her election. Dog meat is consumed in many parts of Asia as a delicacy. Cat meat is less frequently eaten and some city ordinances in the country outlaw their consumption. Passage of the landmark law was the first national legislation against the practice. Those eating dog or cat meat in Taiwan can now be fined up to $8,200 and those convicted of intentionally harming or torturing animals can face two years in jail and a $65,000 fine.
Gathering of Furries at Furrycon
A Michigan woman who brought her Bernese Mountain dog to an event called "Furrycon" said she and her dog were both surprised to learn the definition of "Furry." Cheryl Wassus thought Furrycon was a pet event and took her dog only to discover it was actually a gathering of Furries, people who like to dress up as anthropomorphic animals. Anthropomorphism is what most of us do with our pets, which is giving them human characteristics and qualities. Cheryl and her licensed therapy dog, Link, volunteer with the non-profit Pets for Vets, which gives veterans the chance to interact with therapy dogs. The group was chosen to receive money raised by the Furrycon event and she agreed to do a presentation at the Sheraton Hotel in Novi without being aware of the convention's true subject, which was people dressed up as animals with human qualities like a person in a dog costume wearing a suit and tie, or a cat wearing a ball gown and long gloves. Cheryl admits it was a little embarrassing at first because Link was curious why people were wearing tails, so he was doing some serious tail sniffing and checking out people. But, the really heartwarming part is that she says she talked to one of the mothers whose son was a furry and was told how a lot of the young people at Furrycon just don't feel comfortable in their own skin, but when they put on those costumes they're transformed and happy. The bonus is that Furrycon ended up raising $10,000 for Pets for Vets that day.
Attorney Believes Special Bond With Dogs Was No Accident
If you live in Pennsylvania, then you are probably familiar with former governor Ed Rendell's dog Maggie. We're sad to tell you that the rescued Golden Retriever adopted by Rendell in 2007 died a few weeks ago. Maggie was a breeder dog on an Amish farm and had lived her first two-and-a-half years in a rabbit hutch. She was sold to a rescue following the birth of a stillborn litter. The rescue group knew the governor had recently lost another golden retriever, Mandy, and contacted him about adopting Maggie. On his Facebook post in a tribute to Maggie, Rendell wrote, "I lived on this earth for over 73 years and as a trained lawyer, the most persuasive empirical evidence I have found about the existence of God is that someone must have done something to create that special bond between dog and human. It exists for us with virtually no other animal and I can't believe it was just an accident."
Star Trek Star Changes His Mind on Pit Bulls
Actor and humanitarian Sir Patrick Stewart is fostering a pit bull named Ginger after they bonded instantly. He admits that he once believed the negative stereotypes about pit bulls, but his love for Ginger and other pit bulls has grown so deep that now he's partnered up with the ASPCA in a campaign to #GetTough against dog fighters. The love affair between the Star Trek star who goes by Sir Pat Stew on Instagram and Ginger has been unfolding on Instagram for the world to see. Stewart admits that he wasn't always keen on pit bulls and had believed the negative stereotypes about them until he was introduced to a docile senior pittie named Sadie in Brooklyn five years ago. Stewart confesses, "I had a reaction to that, which I am now significantly ashamed of, because pit bulls to me meant only one thing: aggression, hostility, violence. I was uncomfortable with the idea of meeting this dog." But now he says, "I literally find myself more optimistic than I was and there is only Ginger to account for this. It is the impact of sharing my life for only seven or eight days with her." But apparently Stewart will not be a foster failure for Ginger. He's only fostering her while he's living in LA, but sadly though the 76-year-old actor and his wife would love to adopt her, the UK has strict breed specific legislation (BSL) preventing people from making bully breeds their family members, so Ginger will be adopted to her forever family before they have to return to the UK.
Couple Renews Vows at Cat Sanctuary
A California couple celebrated 15 years of marriage by renewing their vows while surrounded by their favorite animals - cats. Jay and Charity Jones chose to renew their vows at The Cat House on the Kings, a cage-free cat sanctuary and adoption center in Parlier. Video from the ceremony, which was officiated by sanctuary owner Lynea Lattanzio, shows the couple reaffirming their marriage while literally dozens of cats acted as witnesses. The couple said they decided after getting married in 2002 that they wouldn't have children, choosing instead to devote their lives to rescuing cats. The ceremony was the first-ever vow renewal at The Cat House on the Kings, though it did host a wedding for two cat lovers last year.
A Dog, Cat & Rat Walk Into A Shelter and Get Adopted Together
A strange trio of animals with a very strong and unique bond of friendship have been adopted together. Sasha the dog, Jack the cat and Tweaks the rat have packed their bags and have left the Oshkosh Area Humane Society in Wisconsin. You may have seen them online. Together they were known as "The Rat Pack." Shelter volunteers say their strong bond was obvious when they were separated while being evaluated on their first night at the shelter. It was immediately obvious that Jack the cat was extremely unhappy. It's much more difficult to adopt out two or three pets to the same home, so many times in shelters bonded pairs or groups are separated. And this trio was not an easy sell. Their new pet parent was initially hesitant to adopt Tweaks the rat, but quickly changed her mind when she recognized the friendship they all shared. She immediately softened to the idea of taking Tweaks after seeing how friendly he was.
NEWS UPDATE brought to you by Fear Free. "Take the 'pet' out of 'petrified'" and get pets back for veterinary visits by promoting considerate approach and gentle control techniques used in calming environments.
Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#908)