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 This Week on Animal Radio

Animal Radio for May 4, 2024  

"What My Dog Does When I Leave"
Mike (Holmes) The Intern

Mike Holmes and GuinnessIf you are like most people with animals, you say goodbye to them every morning when you leave for work. But do you ever stop to think about what they actually do all day? You probably think that your pet just lies around all day waiting for you to come home. Mike Holmes is a Springfield, Missouri radio host and he also thought his dog just slept all day while waiting for his return.

But during "The Perfect Storm" when it was Mike's birthday and his buddy came over to take him out to lunch, his buddy happened to bring a GoPro Camera that he had just acquired. Mike was also getting one, but his hadn't yet arrived. They had planned to use it to record a concert that they were going to later that night. But at first they need to kill the battery. Mike then had the bright idea to put it on his dog Guinness' collar (yes, he is named after the beer) to see what happened.

Mike was shocked and heartbroken after watching the video of Guinness being left alone for just an hour. During the first couple of minutes, you could see Guinness getting antsy. Next, he jumped on the bed and started howling and crying.

Guinness is a Goldendoodle and Mike had never heard him howl like that. He has heard him whine on occasion, but nothing like this gut wrenching howl, which broke Mike's heart.

The good thing is that this appeared to be an isolated incident and not common for Guinness. Mike believes the reason he acted that way was because of his friend. Normally, when his friend comes over, nine times out of ten Guinness goes with them, as Mike takes him everywhere. Mike feels Guinness just assumed he was going to go with them and then had this reaction.

Mike has since tried the camera on Guinness on other occasions. Sometimes Guinness will play with his bone, just lie on the couch, or sleep on Mike's bed and take a nap.

Mike has decided that after all of this, he should adopt another dog as a companion for Guinness. He was even considering another videotape of the two of them when the time came. Mike advises other pet owners that if they are going to be gone for long periods of time, they shouldn't leave their pet home alone all day, even if they are well behaved.

Mike has posted his video online, which has over one million views.

Practical Uses For Muzzles
Dr. Roger Mugford, Company of Animals

Company of Animals LogoCompany of Animals' Dr. Roger Mugford joins us from "across the pond" to explain why Europeans embrace the muzzle more than U.S. pet owners. Perhaps it's time to change the way we think about these tools.

Muzzles actually allow dogs to have a second chance. The Baskerville Ultra Muzzle has been created to allow dogs to meet other dogs, to meet people, to receive treats while wearing the muzzle, and to pant and drink and lead a pretty normal life, but they can't bite.

"Anyone who is uncertain about their dog's response to an unusual or stressful situation should be thinking about using a muzzle," Dr. Mugford said. Muzzles are frequently used in all sorts of situations - such as controlling excitable animal during a vet visit, when meeting new dogs, or during busy events and gatherings. They are also great for dog walking, especially you have a dog that eats everything in his path, including poop! They can also stop a dog from harmful self-licking. Muzzles naturally help you to be a more responsible, in control, pet owner.

Surprisingly, the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle is comfortable for your pet. It can be shaped to fit your dog by warming in hot water then cooling in cold to create a broad muzzle for a boxer or a narrow muzzle for a Borzoi. It also has a more flexible fit for dogs with wider noses.

Muzzles that are currently used in the United States are basically something that look like a sock with the toes cut off. It is then placed around the snout of a dog. The bad thing about these is that the dog can't open his mouth; therefore he cannot pant or eat, which doesn't allow him to cool himself causing overheating, which can be very dangerous. Dr. Mugford feels they should be banned altogether, or just used for the very shortest of examinations, and you should never allow a dog to run around with one of these on. However, you don't need to worry about this with the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle, which allows your dog to pretty much do everything he normally does with comfort, except bite and eat things you don't want him to.

Baskerville Ultra MuzzleDr. Mugford offers tips and advice on getting your dog used to the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle. When first introducing the muzzle, place food in your hand and allow the dog to eat through the muzzle - to encourage him to voluntarily put his nose into the muzzle. Continue to do this until he is happy, at which point you can then secure the back strap, which should be sufficiently tight to prevent the dog from removing it.

It is useful to pre-locate the holes in the webbing strap to ensure it is easier to fit when on the dog. When fitted, there should be about one-tenth of an inch between the end of the dog's nose and the end of the muzzle. If you do not need to use the top strap, it can be removed.

Dr. Mugford doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk. He actually tested the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle on extremely aggressive dogs. He put himself out there with dogs that wanted to tear into him. But while they were wearing the Baskerville Muzzle, he was perfectly safe.

"Muzzles have done more to protect owners and their dogs than legislation," states Dr. Mugford. With tougher laws surrounding antisocial dog behavior coming into force, dog owners might find themselves worried what the changes could mean for them. The legal changes mean a possible prison sentence for owners of dogs that kill, as well as for people whose animals attack a person in a home or private property, or attack assistance animals such as guide dogs.

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"HERO PEOPLE OF THE WEEK" - Candace Bright - Size Does Matter

Candace Bright with Gentle Giants RescuesThis week's Hero Person rescues large breed dogs. These are often the last at the shelter and have nowhere to go. Candace Bright devotes a lot of time and her paycheck from waitressing to make sure these big dogs are taken care of.

While Candace loves all animals, she has a special place in her heart for the giant breeds.

Giant breed dogs are wonderful, loving and loyal pets, but are frequently misunderstood and it can be hard to find them that special forever home, according to Candace. Their size can be intimidating and many times they're labeled aggressive for no other reason. Candace has spent her life with giant breed dogs and wanted to focus on helping these true 'gentle giants' when she started this rescue.

Gentle Giants Rescue is a small, all volunteer non profit, charitable 501(c)(3) organization specializing in senior, disabled, handicapped, ill, neglected, unwanted and otherwise hard to place giant breed dogs. This includes Bernese Mountain Dogs, Great Danes, Great Pyrenees, Irish Wolfhounds, Komondors, English and Tibetan Mastiffs, Newfoundlands and Saint Bernards. Gentle Giants Rescue is the last hope for many of them. Several dogs have come to them from high kill shelters, where giant breeds have a shorter window than most to find a rescue or forever home.

While Candace doesn't currently have a facility to house these animals, her dream is to open a sanctuary. She doesn't want any kennels, concrete or steel. Her dream sanctuary would look something like mini-condos in a refurbished barn.

Since Candace currently has no facilities for these animals, she relies on her volunteers to help find foster homes for these large dogs. She also works with Wheels for Paws transport whens she needs to relocate an animal.

Taking care of these large animals can be costly. Candace is currently waitressing part-time, and all of the money she earns goes to her rescue organization.

The Gentle Giants Rescue does have available dogs for adoption, but they don't list their dogs on PetFinders, as they work very hard to pair the right dog with the right family for a forever adoption! They also don't charge set adoption fees, but do ask for a donation in an amount you can afford to help them save more dogs.

Candace is also very outspoken about animals offered for free on Craigslist and works tirelessly to have these posts removed as part of the of the never ending battle on animal abuse.

If you are interested in becoming a foster family or in adopting one of their wonderful 'giant babies,' Candace encourages you to fill out their foster/adoption application. They foster and adopt dogs nationwide.

Gentle Giants Rescue is located in Wayne, NJ and are not affiliated in any way with Gentle Giants of California.

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Coyotes Stalking our Neighborhoods - Dr. Debbie

Dr. Debbie WhiteI saw a scraggly coyote in front of my house one morning - the second coyote sighting in my neighborhood in a week. I feared what could have happened if my 15 pound terrier was outdoors alone. Wildlife is beautiful, but when my little terrier, Boss, is in harm's way - my doggie momma protective instincts kick in. While not a threat to be exaggerated, the coyote nonetheless poses a risk to our pet's safety.

Coyotes are increasingly becoming a concern in urban areas - some are displaced by the urban sprawl that consumes their potential habitat. But other coyotes become urbanized savvy to living, feeding and thriving within city environments. Coyotes are born opportunists and dine on what they find available. They eat small animals like rabbits and rodents, but also consume ample vegetable matter with up to 40-percent of their diet consisting of seeds, grasses, fruits and flowers.

The most serious coyote concern for pets is injury and predation. As a veterinarian, I can recall many a client whose pet was brought in injured by unknown wildlife or whose cat just one day reportedly just vanished. While many might believe their cat was stolen, in reality these cats most likely fell victim to coyote predation. Likewise, small to medium sized dogs can be injured or lost to the same fate as their feline counterparts.

Steps to Keep Your Pet Safe
Whether you have pets or not, it's important not to feed coyotes. Intentional feeding of coyotes makes them dependent on humans and less fearful, which increases the chance of an unwanted, dangerous interaction with people or pets. Just leaving unsecured garbage is invitation enough for these opportunists. Secure all garbage in closing containers and avoid leaving bagged garbage at the curb overnight. Pick up uneaten pet food as soon as your pet has finished eating.

Pet owners should take precautions to keep their household pets protected as well. Keep cats indoors and maintain all pets on leash control when outdoors. Ensure your dogs and cats are up to date on their rabies vaccines. Even indoor cats that do not venture outdoors should be current on this vaccine for both pet and human safety.

Coyote Attacking DogBesides rabies, keep your pets current on other vaccinations, deworming and preventatives as recommended by your veterinarian. Coyotes are known to harbor carry skin mites, canine distemper virus, canine parvovirus, adenovirus and heart worm disease. So even if your dog never leaves your yard, there is potential for infectious disease crossover between wildlife and your pet.

These wild canids are masters at adapting to their changing world, and it's unrealistic they are going away on their own. As humans we are the ones that need to change to make urban areas less appealing, removing easy feeding sites, and by raising awareness to the potential crossover between wildlife and pets.

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." Dr. Debbie's books.

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Animal Radio News with Tammy Trujillo

Vet Writing PrescriptionA Prescription To Get A Pet?
One day doctors might actually write you a prescription for a pet and your insurance might even cover it! It could happen, as there's more and more proof that animals can be beneficial to our health. Most of the studies done involve dogs, as they're best known as therapy animals and it's been proven that interacting with dogs can lower blood pressure and reduce stress hormones. Cats can also be therapeutic as well, especially when dealing with the heart. A study done over 20 years ago found that both past and current cat guardians were significantly more likely to survive a heart attack than people who had never taken care of a cat.

Lawsuit Over Dog Killed After Exposure To Ebola
You may remember Ex-Caliber; he was the dog who was killed in Spain after his guardian Teresa Romero came down with Ebola. While she was in the hospital, health authorities euthanized Ex-Caliber, despite pleas from her husband and thousand of signatures on an online petition to save him. The family adopted another dog, an American Stafford Terrier. They named her Alma, which is Spanish for soul. The family is not forgetting Ex-Caliber in any way. They sued for compensation for the loss of the dog they said was like a child to them. In adopting Alma, they say they wanted the world to realize that there are many abandoned animals that need a new home.

BartCat Clawed Way Out of Grave
A cat named Bart in Tampa, Florida can only be called a miracle cat. Bart got hit by a car and his guardian thought he was dead, so he buried him. As unbelievable as it sounds, five days later Bart showed up in the neighbor's yard. Bart had dug his way out of the grave and slowly made it back as close to home as he could. Bart was weak and dehydrated and needing medical attention for the injuries he received when he was hit. The owner couldn't afford fix his jaw and remove a damaged eye, so the local Humane Society took care of him.

Human Hand if it were DeclawedNew York Was The First State To Ban Declawing
New York became the first state in the nation to ban declawing cats and all types of felines. Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal introduced bill A-1297. It bans declawing, except where the procedure is medically necessary in order to treat an underlying condition. She was adamant against declawing for the sake of human convenience and to save the furniture. As we now realize, it's not just removing the claw, but actually removing the entire first joint of the cat's toe. On a person, it would be like removing the entire first joint on the fingers. The American Veterinary Medical Association also amended its policy about declawing to clarify that it is a major surgery, also describing it as an amputation, but it stopped short of advising against having it done, saying only that it should be used as a last resort to stop destructive behavior. And there are plenty of other things to try like scratching posts and nail trimming to deterrents like Sticky Paws or using plastic nail caps like Soft Paws.

Eclipse on the BusAnimals Never Cease To Amaze
In Seattle, riding the bus became a lot more fun because the human passengers shared the bus with a black Labrador mix named Eclipse. This dog figured out how to ride the bus alone to the dog park. The dog's guardian said that Eclipse just started getting on the bus herself if he hadn't finished his cigarette when it arrived. She also knew what stop to get off on. He said he just caught up with her at the dog park. Sometimes she even went without him. Metro Transit says Eclipse should have been be on a leash and with her owner, but they said dogs are allowed to ride buses at the discretion of the driver, provided the animal isn't a hazard and doesn't create a disturbance. While this sounds amazing, Eclipse wasn't the only dog taking advantage of public transportation. Stray dogs in Moscow, Russia, learned to commute in and out of the city from the suburbs by riding the subway, even watching out for other dogs to make sure they exit at the correct stop.

Ear Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#1274)

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