Don't Get Rid of the Dog If You're Expecting!
Michael Wombacher, Good Dog, Happy Baby
It's no doubt our dogs love us, but what about any new household members? If you're a dog owners and expecting a baby, you might have concerns. Can your dog adjust to not being your one and only? Is it possible for your dog to love a new baby - or at least tolerate the bundle of joy? Yes, and you don't have to get rid of the dog!
If you are expecting a baby, don't wait until the baby arrives before making changes with your dog. Jealousy can be a big concern, so you want to head it off before it starts.
To do this, think about the changes that are going to happen in your dog's life when the baby arrives. The amount of time you spend with your dog is going to change and perhaps he is going to be off limits to certain rooms in the house or no longer allowed on the bed or couch.
As soon as you find out you are having a baby, start introducing those changes to your dog, long before the baby arrives. Dogs aren't stupid, if you wait until the baby is here, they are going to make a connection that the baby is not their friend and things changed when the baby arrived. If you do it ahead of time, they will already be used to the new changes and won't take a dim view of the newcomer.
In his book, Good Dog, Happy Baby, Michael Wombacher has committed the first third to Rank Management, or the Doggy 12-Step Program. Michael didn't invent the program, but he says it has twelve simple steps you can make sure that your dog's relationship with you is structured appropriately in such a way that the dog understands who's the boss and who's running the show and who's structuring the social situation. If your dog looks at you that way, it's not difficult to bring a newcomer into the home, whether it's a baby or another animal, because your dog will be looking to you for cues about the social interaction.
Unfortunately this structure is not in place with many dog owners, which can lead to a co-dependency developing between dogs and people, eventually turning into problems. But it doesn't have to be like that and there are many things you can do.
If you have always treated your dog like your baby, don't worry; you can still spoil your dog without spoiling the relationship. You can structure it in such a way that the dog will associate the love, the affection and attention and the babying that he has been getting from you with the presence of the child.
For example, when the baby goes down for a nap, most people have a tendency to then lavish all of the attention to their dog, because they now have the time. This is not good. This will teach the dog that when the baby is around, no one loves him, but when the baby is gone, everything is good again. So, when the baby is down, put the dog down too in his own safe place, whether it be another room or a crate, and leave him on his own for a while. This will also leave you a break to take a nap if you'd like. Then when the baby wakes up, whether you are nursing or changing diapers, bring the dog out and into that interaction. This will help the dog associate familial closeness with the three of you and the dog won't feel left out. This will also teach him that the presence of the child means attention and love for him, so we are not setting up a competitive dynamic, but rather a friendship.
Signs to look for which can tell you the dog might have a problem with the baby is they might look uneasy, they might slink away and not be sure how to relate to the newcomer. They might experience fear or agitation when the baby starts crawling towards them. They might shrink away and seem depressed.
The mistake people make when they see their dog acting this way is to ignore it and think it will be fine and just giving it a little time. But left alone, things like this tend to escalate. Don't ignore this behavior.
In the last third of his book, Michael has listed ways to set it up so the dog has strong, positive association with the presence of the baby, at various ages, but primarily from the infant to toddler stage. His easy-to-use guide, filled with photos and simple instructions, makes a great gift for any expecting family with a dog, whether the dog is perfectly trained or in serious need of behavioral help.
Michael is building an online community around this subject for people who want more information. He will also be doing free conference calls if you want to connect directly with them. To join, visit http://www.gooddoghappybaby.com.
"HERO PEOPLE OF THE WEEK" - Olivia Ries - Empowering Youth
When Olivia Ries was 7-years-old, she started a non-profit organization to save endangered animals. That was five years ago. Since then, she has spoken to dignitaries and lobbied for the voiceless. You'll melt when you hear our young Hero Person.
Instead of spending their free time watching TV and movies, playing video games, or participating in sports, Olivia, along with her brother Carter who were ages 7 and 8 at the time, decided to spend their time devoting it to saving the world's endangered species.
To do this, they decided to start their own organization. They tried out many names like, "Please Feed Me," "Please Adopt Me," and "Please Save Me for the Next Generation." They were learning about endangered species in school at the time and kept exclaiming, "Oh My Gosh! OMG!" and knew then that they wanted to include OMG in their company name, which eventually lead them to "One More Generation."
OMG may have the two youngest founders of any environmental organization in the US. The goal of OMG is to educate the next generation of leaders to help save animals from becoming extinct for at least one more generation and beyond.
Over the last five years, OMG has brought awareness by going to schools, churches, girl scouts and boy scouts, trying to reach as many people as possible.
One of their current projects is an Orangutan Letter Writing Campaign, where they are teaching children about the problem with Palm Oil Plantations. Palm oil is derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree. The palm fruit yields both palm oil and palm kernel oil. Palm oil is extracted from the pulp of the fruit and is edible oil used in food. Palm kernel oil is extracted from the seed of the fruit and is used in the manufacture of cosmetics.
Palm oil plantations are the main driver for deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia. These two regions account for 85-percent of global production of palm oil. Palm oil is often cultivated in an unsustainable way, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia. The unsustainable establishment of mass palm oil plantations is harming the environment, indigenous communities and wildlife, including the Orangutans.
Their Orangutan Letter Writing Campaign is designed to get people from all over the world to learn about the issues and show their support by writing letters addressed to the new Indonesian President asking him to please take a strong stand for Orangutan and help them save them for future generations. They have set it up so you can write your own letter or sign a pre-written letter. Olivia and her brother hope to deliver the letters to Indonesia and meet with their President personally.
According to Olivia, the siblings are just starting on their journey to help save the world's troubled wildlife: "I love all animals and someday my brother and I will have the world's largest animal sanctuary. We want to create a place where all endangered species have an opportunity to survive and flourish."
Olivia and Carter have also launched additional divisions within OMG designed to empower youth around the world to stand up and help create solutions for the pressing issues of today.
OMG is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization and they appreciate any and all donations.
Animal Radio's HERO PEOPLE is brought to you by Zeuterin a safe, permanent and virtually painless alternative to surgical castration.
Two Forms of ID Are Necessary
Dr. Karen Halligan, The Lucy Pet Foundation
The Mission of The Lucy Pet Foundation is to reduce pet overpopulation by having mobile spay/neuter clinics across the country and to support causes that benefit animal welfare. With one mobile clinic, the group can spay and neuter 120 pets per week; it plans to eventually have 30 of them.
But that's not all; they also offer many other low cost services such as microchipping, vaccination and de-worming.
Today, Dr. Halligan will talk about the benefits of always having two forms of identification on your pets at all time.
Pet ID Tags
Never ignore identification tags, as they are a vital piece of your pet's outfit. Even if your pet is strictly an indoor pet, it must always wear a collar with current ID. If the jingling of the tags drives you nuts, buy plastic covers to minimize the sound. Never use an "S" hook to attach a tag to a collar because tags easily come off with this method. Use a slip ring like you use for your keys. Tag durability is essential. Stainless steel is probably the most durable, but if you use plastic, just make sure you check it weekly for readability. Remember, identification tags are your pet's ticket home.
Because identification tags on a pet's collar or halter can come off, microchipping is an additional way to ensure that your pet will be returned to you if lost, but microchips should not be used as a substitute for standard ID tags. A microchip is a tiny computer chip, the size of a rice grain, with an identification number programmed into it.
These chips were originally developed to track and identify livestock. The chip is injected with a hypodermic needle deep under the skin of your pet's neck, usually between the shoulder blades. The injection itself is the same as any regular vaccination and will cause no physical side effects.
A special scanner is used to send a radio signal through the skin of your pet to read the chip. The animal feels nothing as the scanner is passed over him and the chip is read. The microchip number is then relayed to the scanner, where it is displayed.
No two microchip numbers will ever be the same, so you can be assured that your pet's microchip number is totally unique. The chip itself has no power supply to replace or moving parts to wear out, and therefore can be expected to last decades, well beyond the lifespan of your pet.
Your pet's number is then registered to the chip company's database, which will trace your pet back to you if found. But if you move your residence, you must contact the chip company, pay a small fee and give them your new address and contact numbers.
The two most commonly implanted chips in the United States are from American Veterinary Identification Devices (AVID) and Home Again. All animal shelters and most veterinary clinics have scanners that will read chips from these companies. After a scan, the shelter or vet clinic calls in the code to the chip company's database of pets with identifying microchips and the lost animal's owner will be contacted immediately, providing the owner has a current phone number or address on record.
Puppies and kittens can be microchipped as early as 8 weeks old. Microchips are suitable for almost any pet, including horses, reptiles, rabbits, birds, exotics and even fish. (I've had clients ask about chipping people, but to date, it hasn't happened-although you never know!)
A microchip is completely permanent, and can't be cut off or altered. If your pet is ever stolen and sold to a research facility, it will be returned because most research facilities won't take an animal that has a microchip implant. I've seen a small percentage of microchips move or migrate, which can make it more difficult for the scanner to pick up. However, this is rare, and if they do migrate, they don't cause any problems with your pet, but may be missed by the scanner.
Microchips are very affordable and should not replace a collar and identification tag. Collars and tags are the best insurance you can provide to ensure your pet's safe return should it become lost.
Here is a list of upcoming free or reduced fee mobile spay and neuter clinics:
Until the end of June
If you live in the City of Downey or Baldwin Park and are low income (below $30,000) spays and neuters are FREE.
Orange County FREE Spaying or Neutering sponsored by Love Bug Rescue
You must get on a list to have your pet spayed or neutered at these locations. Please call The Lucy Pet Foundation toll free at 1-855-499-5829 to get your pet scheduled.
Pet Flipping - SevenTips to Safeguard Your Pet - Dr. Debbie
Pet lovers beware of the disturbing criminal trend called "pet flipping." This is when a person steals a pet or takes ownership of a lost pet, and then sells the animal. Pets are typically sold on the Internet to make a quick profit. The American Kennel Club (AKC) reports a rise in pet thefts.
Pet flippers most commonly target purebred dogs because they can fetch a high price, but even mixed breed dogs are at risk. Dogs are swiped from porches, fenced in back yards, dog parks, and cars. Some pet scams involve a person advertising as a pet sitter or trainer, who then disappears with your pet. Other scams involve someone who steals a pet and then responds to the lost pet ad, making money on rewards.
Top 7 Tips to Prevent Pet Flipping:
1. Don't Leave Your Pet Unattended
Avoid leaving your pet unattended, even in your own backyard. Don't leave your pet outside of stores or coffee shops. Tying your dog's leash up while you run that quick errand can give a thief the few minutes he needs to snatch your pet while you step away. Keep a watchful eye on your dog when visiting dog parks.
2. Get Your Pet Microchipped
A microchip is one of the best tools to reunite lost pets and serves as legal proof of ownership. Be sure to keep your contact information up to date with the microchip company.
3. Use GPS Collars
A GPS collar allows you to track your dog's movement minute by minute. These units can help you find your pet quickly if lost, but are of little use if a pet flipper removes the collar. I use the Tagg Pet Tracker for my dog and like that I can locate him to a precise location with my smart phone.
4. Get Your Pet Spayed or Neutered
Dogs that aren't spayed or neutered are especially prized targets to thieves since they are perceived as a money-making opportunity. Spaying and neutering also decreases the desire to stray and is good for your pet's health.
5. Research Pet Services Carefully
Before signing on for pet sitting or dog trainer services, research the business person's reputation with the Better Business Bureau. Ask your veterinarian for a referral to a reputable pet professional. Request references before using a new pet service.
6. Buyer Beware
Be cautious when buying a pet online and only use reputable breeders. Check out a breeders standing with the AKC and breed clubs. Be wary of individuals that lack documentation of breeding or veterinary health care records.
7. Sign Up For Doggie Facial Recognition Apps
High-tech facial recognition technology is now available to identify and track down lost pets with services like Finding Rover. Use your IPhone to download the app at http://findingrover.com. Upload your pet's photo in their database, and promptly notify Finding Rover if your pet is ever lost.
Pet flipping is so heinous because it exploits the cherished relationship between family and a beloved pet. Share this information with fellow pet lovers to spread awareness and halt this criminal trend.
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."
It's a Wacky Wednesday Here at the Animal Radio® Studios
WackyWed Contest IS ON - LIKE your FAVORITE pic and the three pics with the most LIKES & SHARES are this week's winner will receive a Stress Kit for Pets from Calm My Pet.
WackyWed@AnimalRadio.com - (Please put WACKYWED in the subject line & give us your pet's name, your name & where you hail from) If YOUR pic is chosen then spread the word to your friends & family on Wednesday - the pics w/the most LIKES and SHARES will be the winner!
This week we are giving away a Calm My Stress Kit, which includes a Calm My Stress Essence and a Calm My Pet Music CD from Calm My Pet.
The Calm My Stress Essence from Calm My Pet provides energy balance and calming for intense stress situations for all types of dogs and cats, while the CMP Music CD contains specific musical compositions lovingly selected by Pamela Fisher, DVM to help pets cope with common phobias such as thunderstorms, household noises and stress.
Join Animal Radio® on Facebook for Wacky Wednesday! Win great prizes every week for your wacky pet pictures. Last month we gave out goodies from Open Farm, Tractive, Remarkabowl, Inset Shield and more. Visit us on Facebook now.
Animal Radio® News - Lori Brooks
Dog Walking Pays Well in the UK
If you love animals and you're looking for a new job and an adventure you may consider moving across the pond where dog walkers earn a fifth more than the average UK salary by working just two weeks out of every month! Dog walkers charge an average of almost $18 per hour per dog in the UK and walk 192 dogs per month, which adds up to annual earnings of $41,000 dollars which is 20-percent higher than the British national average salary! Britons' spending on their pets is set to surpass $7 billion for the first time this year - that's a 25-percent increase since 2010. Around a fifth of that spending goes on non-food items, including toys, grooming and daycare.
It's That Time Of Year For Allergies For Everyone, Including Pets
Unlike humans, who can get hay fever because of breathing in pollen, pets primarily develop allergies through their skin. Dogs walking around on the floor act like a dust mop. If dogs are allergic, then their skin is going to itch. You may notice them scratching and keeping you awake at night and licking their paws excessively. The most common areas are the ears, feet and underside. The 'flare' in allergic skin disease, even when typically well controlled, leads to increases in itching and scratching. This can create secondary skin infections involving bacteria and/or yeast, which can compound the problem and make the dog/cat/horse even itchier. Did you know that some pets could even be allergic to fleas? Even one little fleabite can blow up into dermatitis and a dog that is allergic to fleas can scratch for two weeks from one fleabite
Warm Weather Tips For Pets
It's not officially summer, but close enough now that we've passed the traditional summer start of Memorial Day, so here's some things to keep in mind so both of you can enjoy the warm weather and outdoors. (1) If your companion pet is a sun seeker and has a thin or light-colored coat make sure you put sunscreen on those vulnerable areas - like their nose, face and tips of their ears and their belly for those pets who like to sleep on their backs in the sun. Just be sure to use sunscreen made specifically for pets, or use PABA-free sunscreen or zinc oxide. (2) When temperatures get extreme, heat exhaustion and heatstroke are concerns, especially for dogs with flat faces, such as Boston terriers, English and French bulldogs, Pekingese and pugs. For short-faced breeds, as little as 15 to 20 min in high temperatures can be fatal. Dogs with heavy coats or those with heart problems may also be at risk. Signs of heatstroke include: excessive panting, weakness, dizziness, dark red gums, nausea and loss of consciousness. Cool the pet with lukewarm - not cold - water, and get him to the veterinarian right away.
Our Pets Need Better Dental Care
A new study shows America's dogs and cats need better dental care. The Pet Dental Market Study brings together perspectives from both veterinarians and pet owners and examined foods, treats, chews, toys, toothpastes, medical services, therapeutic products and drugs used in dental cleanings. Veterinarians indicated that the majority of the pets they see have dental problems. But the vast majority of pet owners consider their pets' dental status as normal and less than 30-percent recognized any potential teeth and gum problems. That said, 80-percent of dog owners and more than 50-percent of cat owners purchased dental health products in the past year - mostly treats. About 20-percent of dog owners and 10-percent of cat owners had their pet's teeth cleaned professionally by a veterinarian.
Rodent Traps Kill Pets
There's a warning for pet owners after a cat was found with its head stuck in a rodent trap. It happened in England but pet owners everywhere are being asked to look out for traps that can also kill smaller pets such as cats and dogs. The cat, which was seriously injured, was caught in a fenn trap, meant for squirrels and rats. Luckily the cat was found and rescued by a Good Samaritan. Since the incident in England last month, the SPCA is now calling on people to be aware that setting these traps could be breaking the law. While not illegal if the traps kill rodents, if the trap kills a domestic animal, the owner could be prosecuted by the police.
Human/Dog Bond Dates Back Years
The bond between humans and dogs may be much older than we once thought. A group of researchers discovered an ancient wolf bone and say its DNA suggests dogs diverged from wolves as far back as 40,000 years ago and point to the ancient wolf as possibly the most recent common relative of modern wolves and dogs. Another implication of the study: re-imagining how dogs became an important part of human society. The most prevalent theory is that dogs became domestic creatures once humans settled into agricultural-based communities. But humans could have also "caught wolf cubs and kept them as pets and that gradually led to wild wolves being domesticated."
Carry Your Cat In A Kangaroo Pouch MewgarooHoodie.809.jpg
A Japanese pet supply company has created a cute new sweatshirt with a built-in pouch in front so humans can carry their cats and other small pets. It's a pullover with a large vertical pocket. It's actually designed for cats, with its kangaroo pouch and called the Mew-garoo hoodie. It's not cheap, selling on one site for $101, plus the shipping from Japan, but it's a clever design and does come with a washable inner liner as well.
NEWS UPDATE brought to you by Drs. Foster & Smith, affordable pet supplies. Low prices every day, so you save on every order.
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