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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio® for December 7, 2013  

There's An App For That!
Steve Pelletier, SlimDoggy App

Overweight DalmationSteve Pelletier is a techie, a dog lover and a fitness fanatic. Once an Economist at the Reagan White House, he's now focusing his attention on the pet obesity problem in the U.S. Currently, one out of every four dogs is overweight. This is not just bad for their health, but increases the wear and tear on their joints. Steve's invented a smartphone app that can help your dog stay in shape.

While Steve is not personally overweight, nor anal about counting his own calories, he does work out like crazy. However, he does want us to be anal about our dogs' caloric intake. Steve says he is not normal if you look at the statistics; there are more obese humans on a percentage base than there are cats and dogs.

However, Steve says he did have an obese dog. A few years ago he rescued a 105-pound Labrador Retriever who was unadoptable, named Jack. Jack was also on Prozac and Rimadyl. Steve says he was basically a train wreck.

Steve worked with his veterinarian and did a ton of research and came up with his own "special sauce." He also built a spreadsheet that would show him every day, based upon how much his dog exercised, how much he should feed him to get him safely down 20 pounds. Within three months, Jack was down to about 85 pounds, off all mediations, and is now such an amazing dog.

Slim Doggy AppJack is the inspiration behind the SlimDoggy App and Steve's website, The SlimDoggy App is a combination of two things: IN (which is food); and OUT (which is calories, burned). They have created algorithms have been created to estimate the calories your dog burns based on their activity. They then collected as much information they could on commercial dog food as possible. They now have about 2,300 food and treats listed, with most of them showing calories and their guaranteed analysis values, which is protein and fat among other things and their ingredients. This allows someone to look up food, see what a serving size should be and to see the ingredients to check if there is something in there that they shouldn't be necessarily feeding their dogs.

While they don't have calories on the human foods we slip our dogs from the dinner table, they do allow users to create their own foods that may not be listed in their database.

Studies have shown that an overweight dog will live on average two years shorter than a lean dog, and of course, we all want our dogs to live as long as possible. Also, it is costing around 8 billion dollars a year for owners of obese dogs in medicines and medical care that could be eliminated.

Remember, we are the ones responsible for feeding our dogs. They do not have opposable thumbs to feed themselves and they do not have credit cards to buy the food! Obesity is the most treatable "disease" that we have for our pets.

Train Your Dog Fun Tricks To Entertain You
Babette Haggerty, The Best Dog Tricks On The Planet

Babette Haggerty with dogBabette Haggerty has trained Jack Nicklaus' Golden Retriever to bark the number of his major tournament wins on command, Curt Gowdy's Rottweiler to say, "Go Reds," and Jimmy Buffett's Maltese to dance on cue to "Margaritaville." Now she's sharing her best with you!

Author Babette Haggerty shows you step-by-step over 100 amazing tricks your dog can do on command, allowing you to have an once-in-a-lifetime pet. These tricks are meant to be fun and to teach your dog to be useful and entertaining.

Babette states every dog can be taught tricks, young and old. Some breeds learn more quickly than others and some breeds will be better at certain tricks. For example, Golden Retrievers will crawl instinctively. So teaching a Golden Retriever to crawl is easier than teaching a dog like a Bull Mastiff to do the same trick.

There are some great tricks included in Babette's book, like teaching a dog to drive a car (not a real car); walking another dog; dogs jumping over each other or walking underneath each other; or dogs pushing a stroller or shopping cart.

The Best Dog Tricks On The Planet book coverWith full-color pictures and easy to follow instructions, you'll quickly learn the building blocks of teaching your dog tricks from fun categories such as:

• Fetch, Catch and Find – bring me a tissue, bring me the newspaper, find my cellphone
• Circus Tricks - walk on front legs, pirouettes, say your prayers, roll a barrel
• Help Me Out – sort the laundry, ring the doorbell, tuck another dog in, turn the lights on and off
• Sing, Dance, and Play Games like basketball, carry an egg, bobbing for apples
• Show off – reading a book, climb a ladder, scratch my back, fake limp

Many of the more than 100 tricks were featured by Babette's famous father, Captain Haggerty, on David Letterman's Stupid Pet Tricks. Captain Haggerty and his dogs appeared more than 25 times and was the original inspiration for the segment.

Babette Haggerty is at home in a dog kennel, literally. She was raised in one by her mom, Betty-Ann, and father, the dog-training pioneer, Captain Haggerty, whom the New York Times credited with "establishing dog training as a respectable profession in this country." She runs the Haggerty School for Dogs, splitting her time between Palm Beach and New York City.

Litter Box Training
Swheat Scoop Minute With Doc Halligan

Swheat Scoop LogoThe first step in successful housetraining is to make sure you have the right equipment. Try to find out what litter material was previously used and buy that if possible. There are lots of choices regarding litter. If you're unsure, start with unscented litter because some kittens/cats dislike the scented litter. If you already have cats at home, provide an additional box for each new cat. The box should be placed in a relatively quiet area of the house with minimal traffic. Be sure the box is easily accessible and not too difficult for your kitten/cat to find. When your kitten stops playing and begins sniffing around, gently carry it to the litter box. Simply place your kitten in the litter first thing in the morning, after meals, after periods of energetic play, after long naps and last thing at night.

This basic training is usually adequate. Most adult cats only need to learn where the new litter box is located. Confining your cat to a small room initially is the best way to foster good litter box habits. Make sure the litter box contains enough litter for digging and burying—about two to three inches is sufficient.

Keep in mind that the number-one reason a cat stops using its litter box is because the box is dirty. If your cat continues to make mistakes, the behavior can actually become a habit; so don't wait on litter box issues.

To keep your cat happy with its litter box and avoid mishaps:

Swheat Scoop Multiple Litter· Clean the box daily
· Keep fresh litter in the box at all times
· Wash out the litter pan weekly
· Never frighten your kitten around the box
· Try to prevent anything unpleasant from happening near its box

If accidents occur, be sure that your kitten is checked for any underlying medical problem that may exist.

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So-Called Designer Breeds
Darlene Arden, Animal Behavior Consultant

Darlene ArdenAnimal Behavior Consultant Darlene Arden busts the myths surround the new Cava-Poo-Chon breed. The Cava-poo-chon is a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bichon Frise mix and a Miniature Poodle. This toy dog is supposed to look forever young and live to 20. Unfortunately these designer breeds actually are a waste of your hard earned money and can be racked with health issues.

Darlene Arden says there is nothing unique about this dog; it is just another expensive mutt. All of these breeds have health problems and it is hard to get a Cavalier King Charles dog that doesn't have cardiac issues; a poodle that doesn't have skin issues; and of course the Bichon has its own issues. Every breed has issues, and when you put these three breeds together, you re tripling up on the chance of the puppies having health issues.

There is also mention that this new breed is hypoallergenic. Darlene states there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog! You may have fewer problems with certain breeds of dog, but allergies come from dog dander. You have fewer problems with dogs with hair instead of fur, but the Cavalier has fur.

CavaPooChonWhile this dog may have a puppy face, how can breeders claim that these dogs will live up to 20 years? How can they prove the dog won't get cancer or some other disease, over which they have no control whatsoever! We'd love all dogs to live to 20 years, and in the past, some breeds have. We know that the smaller the dog the longer they will live.

Breeders are charging anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000 for thee dogs, but Darlene tells us you don't have to spend a bloody fortune. All she can say is Barnum said it best, "There's a sucker born every minute." So don't get suckered in, it's just a marketing term!

Darlene Arden is an award-winning writer, lecturer, and author of "The Irrepressible Toy Dog," (Howell Book House") and "The Angell Memorial Animal Hospital Book of Wellness and Preventive Care for Dogs (Contemporary Books), is an internationally recognized authority on Toy dogs and their care, and a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant.

FLEX Rx Is Widely Used By Police & Military Dogs
Dr. Joel Ehrenzweig, ProLabs, FLEX Rx

ProLab Pets LogoProLabs began working with Canine Police Dogs when FLEX Rx was first introduced. Canine handlers, agility dog owners and trainers, after seeing how well FLEX Rx worked to improve joint health, become strong supporters of the product.

FLEX Rx is widely used by the police and military for both active working and retired dogs, all of whom have arthritis. Once you've seen the video, you'll quickly understand why ProLabs supports their effort. ProLabs is a true believer in what they do, admire how dedicated they are and want to do everything in their power to prolong the working careers of these police and military K9s and dogs used for bomb and drug detection.

Like counterparts in professional human athletics, arthritis and joint inflammation are very common in these service K9s and agility dogs. FLEX Rx was designed specifically to safely and effectively address the underlying causes of arthritis and joint discomfort they experience.

FlexRx bottleWorking with FLEX Rx, Dr. Joel has developed a program (X2Y for Extra Two Years), initially designed primarily for police and military K9s, but really for any dog with joint health issues, that can extend the working careers of these dogs for two years. Imagine: increased quality of life for two years because of the reduction in pain and inflammation that are part of arthritis and joint problems.

Listeners interested in learning how FLEX Rx can work for them are encouraged to go to the ProLabs website, contact Dr. Joel directly by email at or call 1-866-637-7716.

Click here to get a $10 Off FLEX Rx Coupon today.

Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Jazz Your Dog Up For The Holidays & Give Them A Festive Smell
At this time of year, everyone wants their pets groomed. This is an added expense around the holidays, and as you can expect, most groomers are also very busy and you may not be able to get an appointment.

However, there is a quick clean method that is easy to do, that consists of cornstarch and brushing. But let's jazz it up a little for the holidays and give your dog a festive smell.

Dog wearing wreathTake a cup of cornstarch and put it in a jar. Next, add three drops of essential oil of eucalyptus and two drops tea tree oil. Shake the mixture well and let it sit for at least 24 hours.

After 24 hours, take your dog and place them over a towel, sprinkle on the mixture and brush it through.

What does the eucalyptus tea tree oil do? Besides making them smell good and piney like a Christmas tree, it will also repel bugs. But why not just buy essential pine oil? Because it is expensive, hard to find and is not healthy for your pet.

The smell should last for a few days and is a great inexpensive way to clean your pet and make them smell festive for the holidays. It is also not just for dogs, you can do this to your cat as well.

Animal Radio® News with Stacey Cohen

Trained K9 with school childrenTrained Dogs Prevent School Violence
While some say school safety hinges on guns, cameras or alarms in classrooms, Mark Gomer and Kristi Schiller think specially trained dogs should take point in preventing violence in schools. Gomer's for-profit company has sent a gun- and drug-detecting dog to patrol the halls of an Ohio high school, while Schiller is launching a nonprofit in Houston to give schools the trained canines for free. Their programs are still in their infancy, so questions remain about dogs that can distract, scare or send kids into sneezing fits. But they think they can cultivate their ideas to help schools across the country stay safe. If a school applies for and is chosen to receive a dog, it will come fully trained and paid for. Buying and training a safety dog costs between $10,000 and $15,000.The dogs might be a distraction in the beginning, but they will become part of what students expect to see when they go to school, "There is so much these dogs can do, and they're always coming up with new ideas," said Ted Dahlin, a Harris County, Texas, constable's deputy who serves on the K9s4COPs board of directors. "If I were going to pick a school to make trouble, it would be one I knew didn't have a dog."

Bear Attends Elementary School
An elementary school will be on watch for more bears after one was sighted prompting a lockdown. Rachel Shockley of New Mexico Game and Fish says Albuquerque has actually seen less bear activity this year than usual. Students at Alvarado Elementary weren't inconvenienced for too long as the school was only locked down for about 20 minutes, before the bear took off.

Bailey Jr.Buffalo Is Man's Best Friend
An 1,800 pound bison may seem like an odd choice for a pet, but one Canadian man says his bison is his "best friend." In fact, Jim Sautner tells CBC News Bailey Jr. is actually a fairly low-maintenance companion. He says Bailey, who was named after his first pet bison, Bailey, Sr., was even able to come into his old house to watch a little TV and get a drink of water. Sautner says his bison generally behaves like a dog. But Bailey isn't allowed in his new house, although Sautner still calls him his "best friend," adding, quote, "He's my buffalo."

Roadkill - It's What's For Dinner
Roadkill might be on the menu for needy families in Maine. The state is urging hunters to get involved with the Hunters for the Hungry Program. The program accepts game meat from bears, deer and moose. Roadkill donations are also accepted, provided the meat "isn't damaged." All donated meat is processed by Department of Agriculture approved facilities and passed on to food pantries, shelters and households with a medical need.

BoomerMan Thinks He Is A Dog
Boomer the dog has a bone to pick with the world. He wants to be accepted for his doggie lifestyle. Born Gary Matthews, the retired technology worker and a self-confessed "nerd" thinks he is a dog. The 48-year-old wears a dog collar, eats dog food from a bowl (his favorite is Pedigree) and loves milk bones and dog cookies. Matthews was featured in a National Geographic special, "Extreme Anthromorphism: Boomer the Dog." The word anthropomorphism comes from the Greek words "anthros" for human and "morph" for form and refers to the attributing human qualities and emotions to nonhumans. Matthews said he has never been in trouble with the law and is not seeing a psychiatrist or taking any kind of medications for mental illness. Money is not a problem. When his parents died, he inherited their house and they left him a trust fund to live on.

Contamination Prevalent In Raw Pet Food
Raw pet food tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration contained salmonella or Listeria bacteria in nearly one-fourth of the samples, the agency reported Wednesday. The news, which drew immediate criticism from a manufacturer and a consultant, was accompanied by both the FDA's acknowledgement that some pet owners prefer raw food to processed diets and by a stern advisory. "The single best thing you can do to prevent infection is to not feed your pet a raw diet," the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine stated in its report. Out of the 196 samples of raw pet food tested, 15 were positive for salmonella and 32 for Listeria monocytogenes. When hundreds of samples of dry or semi-moist foods and jerky-type treats were examined in the first half of the study, just one tested positive for salmonella and none for Listeria The purpose of the study was to establish the potential for contamination of these products so that we could consider including them in future sampling assignments for compliance and enforcement purposes.

RupeeRescued Dog Is First Dog To Climb Mount Everest
A little more than a month after being rescued from near death, one dog is reaching heights no other dog has reached before. According to the Cape Argus newspaper, Rupee climbed to the Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal with owner Joanne Lefson, making him the first canine officially recorded at the 17,598-foot-high base camp. Lefson, who lives in Cape Town, South Africa, says she found Rupee dehydrated and malnourished at a dumpsite in India. After they hiked the world's highest mountain, Lefson tied up a pair of prayer flags at the base camp, explaining that she wished "the Gods above will bestow a home on all the homeless dogs below."

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