Animal Radio® Newsletter

On-Air Now at Animal Radio(r) - Montel Williams, Doctors Want Ban on Pets in Airliner Cabins

Montel Williams on Animal Radio(r)Montel Williams Doesn't Mince Words to Airlines.
Veteran TV host Montel Williams doesn't hold back when it comes to what's on his mind. He speaks-out against airline policy when it comes to letting his dog on-board. "Mr. Max travels with us wherever we go," Montel tells Animal Radio(r) listeners. "As a matter of fact, I'm angry, I'm going to start petitioning airlines to give animals frequent flyer miles."

Joey Villani Joins The Animal Radio(r) Dream Team
Star judge and Dogfather Joey Villani finally starts his new gig on Animal Radio(r) answering listener questions. He has a few questions of his own, like, where can you get good 'Italian' in California?

Fat Dog and Fat CatsWould You Like To Supersize That?
As we eat more fried junk food, so do our pets. A study shows that our table scraps now include fried fast-food, and that's making our pets poochier than a decade ago.

Who Gets Custody Of Max?
Breaking up is hard to do. But, did you know it can be hard on your furry-friends too? Just like children of broken homes can have problems, so can dogs and cats.

Listen to this Animal Radio(r) show now

Senior Pet Products

Cats now allowed in-cabin in CanadaDoctors Want Pets Banned From Airliners
The Canadian Medical Association Journal contained a recent editorial that claimed pets in passenger compartments of planes can post a health risk.

The doctors behind the opinion piece called for banning pets from plane cabins due to the risk of allergic reactions or even asthma attacks.

"The preferences of pet owners should not supersede the well-being of their fellow passengers. Pets can be accommodated comfortably and safely in airplane cargo holds, which is where they belong," said the authors. "Airlines must choose to put the needs of their human passengers first, or be forced to do so."

Pet guardians usually shy away from keeping their animals in the luggage holds of the aircraft. Although pressurized, pets may suffer temperature fluctuations that can be traumatic. Also many stories of lost animals surface because of careless baggage handlers.

The editorial appeared in response to Air Canada's decision to allow small pets to travel in the passenger cabin.

Animal Radio(r) for the week of Feb 27th - Wendy Diamond, Psychiatric Service Dogs

Wendy Diamond on Animal Radio(r)Diamond In The Rough
There's no denying that Animal Fair's Wendy Diamond is one tough diva when it comes to defending her dog's lavish lifestyle. She spoils 'Lucky' with the best couture and goodies.

Add Another Abbreviation To Your Doggy Dictionary: PSD (Psychiatric Service Dog)
There are many different types of assistance dogs, with everything from therapy dogs to guide dogs, and now even psychiatric service dogs.

Service DogTherapy dogs traditionally visit nursing homes, schools and do reading programs in libraries. These dogs area not specifically working for you, they are working for the people that they visit.

Guide dogs are assistance dogs trained to lead blind and vision-impaired people around obstacles.

Now there are Psychiatric Service Dogs. A psychiatric service dog assists people who have mental illnesses. Based on the Americans Disabilities Act, someone with a mental illness is someone who is severely limited in their ability to function. This includes everything from people who are bi-polar; people who have post-traumatic stress disorders (for example soldiers coming back from war); people with major depression or agoraphobia; and even eating disorders.

It seems strange that someone with an eating disorder would require an assistance dog. People with over-eating disorders usually eat when they are stressed or angry and don't sit at the table when they eat. They will usually move around while they are eating, sometimes even pacing around a room. These service dogs are very attuned to emotions and recognize a problem. The dogs will lead the person to a different room and have them sit down and nudge them to stop eating. Amazingly, some of these dogs have even been trained to stop a person from opening the refrigerator!

For people with the opposite eating disorder, anorexia, having a service dog means that they have to care for and feed their dog. Hopefully this leads them to see that they also have to take care of and feed themselves.

Someone with severe post-stress traumatic syndrome, frequently has hyper-vigilance. This means that they feel overwhelmed when people come to close to them and feel suffocated. The service dog will place itself between his person and actually block other people from getting too close to them.

Some dogs are also trained with regard to nightmares. The dogs are trained to wake the person up, lead them out of the bedroom into the living and hand them the remote control to turn on the TV. The dog then sits there watching them until the nightmare is no longer affecting them, and then will lead them back to bed.

All types of service dogs are allowed to go into restaurants, grocery stores and also to a person's place of work; everywhere the person goes.

The next time you see a service dog but the handler doesn't appear to be blind, it doesn't mean that they should not have the dog. It is important to show some compassion. When you come across an assistance dog, do not pet, make noises or call to the assistance dog, remember he is working. Also, do not feed him. And never talk to the dog, talk directly to the handler. This could be a Psychiatric Service Dog and should be treated with the same respect as any service dog. Remember, "Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not real."

You can learn more about these service dogs in Jane Miller's new book, Healing Companions.

Listen to Jane Miller on Animal Radio(r)

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Study Says: Cat Owners Smarter Than Dog OwnersSurvey Says: Cat Owners Smarter
The research revealed cat owners were more likely to be college graduates than dog owners. Dr. Jane Murray led the study and said "cats require less time per day than dogs, so they are more popular with educated people who work late and have long commutes."

Susan Boyle and CatSusan Boyle Turns Down Mansion Because Of Cat
The woman who knocked off Simon Cowell's socks with her performance on Britain's Got Talent says she will be keeping her feet firmly planted on Scottish soil for the sake of her cat.

Your Dog Can Tweet
Mattel plans on releasing "Puppy Tweets" - a plastic tag for your dog's collar. The tag is programmed to randomly generate one of 500 Tweets from your dog whenever it senses barking or movement.

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Animal Radio(r) for the week of Feb 20th - Oscar the Death Cat, Owner Performs Surgery on Dog

Oscar the Death Cat and Dr. David DosaOscar the "Death Cat" Revealed
The scientist in Dr. David Dosa was skeptical when first told that Oscar, an aloof cat kept by a nursing home, regularly predicted patients' deaths by snuggling alongside them in their final hours. And the fact that Dr. Dosa had an aversion to cats didn't help in his beliefs either.

Dosa, 37, a geriatrician and professor at Brown University, works on the third floor of the Steere House, which treats patients with severe dementia. It's usually the last stop for people so ill they cannot speak, recognize their spouses and spend their days lost in fragments of memory.

After a year, the staff noticed that Oscar would spend his days pacing from room to room. He sniffed and looked at the patients but rarely spent much time with anyone -- except when they had just hours to live. Surprisingly, families of these patients are accepting of Oscar's and are comforted by his presence.

Dosa does not explain Oscar scientifically in his new book about Oscar, although he theorizes the cat imitates the nurses who raised him or smells odors given off by dying cells, perhaps like some dogs who scientists say can detect cancer using their sense of scent.

He's accurate enough that the staff -- including Dosa -- knows it's time to call family members when Oscar stretches beside their patients, who are generally too ill to notice his presence. If kept outside the room of a dying patient, he'll scratch at doors and walls, trying to get in.

The first cat at Steere House was a cat that hung around during the construction phase. When the building was finished and dedicated, the cat wandered into the lobby and refused to leave. They kept trying to chase him out, but eventually they decided to just keep him. He was named Henry, after the building's benefactor, and he lived there for about 10 years. The nursing home adopted Oscar, a medium-haired cat with a gray-and-brown back and white belly in 2005.

Currently the Steere house has six cats, which play with visiting children and prove a welcome distraction for patients and doctors alike.

You can read more about this extraordinary gift of this ordinary cat in Dr. Dosa's new book, Making Rounds With Oscar.

Listen to Dr. David Dosa on Animal Radio(r)

Animal Radio(r) Sponsored By Safe-guard Dewormer

Paper Shredder and Puppy - Bad Mix
What happens when a curious dog finds mom's new paper-shredder? The pup ended up at the vet when his tongue activated the machine. Fortunately, the pooch is better and has lost all interest in office equipment.

Ricochet the Surfing DogSurfing Dog Loves His Job
When 'Ricochet' failed as a service-dog, all was not lost. It turns out she had the wrong job. Her calling was surfing the awesome waves of So Cal! She does it to raise money for less fortunate kids.

Life Lesson: Leave Surgery To The Professionals
A man is facing charges of animal cruelty when he operated on his dog, attempting to remove a cyst. The Labrador is being treated for a post-op infection from the botched surgery. The defendant said he couldn't afford vet care.

Horses Getting Pink SlipEconomy Bad For Animals Too - Layoffs
Even the animals are getting pink-slips. In a cost cutting move, the San Diego Police Department sold off the equestrian division. The K-9 unit also let 12 dogs go, saving the city over half a million dollars.

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Animal Radio(r) for the week of Feb 13th - Prozac for Your Pet, Aid to Haitian Pets

Dogs in HaitiAid for Haitian Pets and Animals
As humanitarian aid continues to pour into the earthquake ravaged Haiti, a group of animal rescue organizations have formed the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti. IDA Executive Director, Dr. Anand Ramanathan reports for Animal Radio(r).

World's Messiest Ball Washer
When one golfer brought his dog to the vet after it stopped eating or pooping, X-Rays showed a belly full of golf-balls. After surgery and the removal of a dozen Titans, the dog is recovering and spending less time on the green.Kitty Prozac

When Is Prozac Right For Your Pet
Some cat and dog anxiety issues are perfect candidates for anti-depressants. Along with behavior modification, the two therapies can work wonders.

World's Smallest Dog: 4-inch Chihuahua
Smallest DogGuinness World Records is back to share oddities of the animal world. Besides the really small Chihuahua, you got the guy who put 12 snakes in his mouth. Don't you know his mother's proud!

Listen to this Animal Radio(r) show now


Can Your Pet Make You Sick? Dr. Marty Becker, "America's Veterinarian"

Dr. Marty Becker on Animal Radio(r)Dr. Marty Becker addresses the possible diseases, or zoonotic diseases, you can catch from your dogs and cats. Some of these diseases are parasites (internal and external), and infectious diseases such as Lepto.

Another one is MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) transmission. While staph in itself is not good, MRSA is scary because there are not very many antibodies that kill this infection. You will see this in both pets and people and it usually appears as a red, angry looking type of sore, sort of like a red pimple that really hurts, with a ring around it, that doesn't heal. It tends to colonize in the nasal cavities and mouths of both pets and people. Recently it has been discovered that MRSA is "ping-ponging" back and forth between the guardians and the animals. This means that once you feel better, your pet gives it back to you and then when your pet feels better, you give it back to them.

Random testing was recently done on households that had MRSA. Some of the places that were suspected of having MRSA were day cares, health clubs and an involvement in the health care profession. But the results showed that MRSA was more prevalent in households that had cats. "Cat owners are eight times more likely to have MRSA in their homes," says Dr. Becker, "But remember, you are giving it to the cats more than the cats are giving it to you."

The risk of contracting zoonotic diseases is higher in the very young, the very old, and those with weakened immune systems from HIV or chemotherapy, and pregnant women.

There are things you can do such as washing your hands with soap and water BEFORE you play with your pet and AFTER playing. This way, you don't transfer any diseases to your pet. Also, ask your vet about the new antimicrobial pet shampoo to combat MRSA.

You should also use a pooper-scooper when picking up dog poop so you never touch any feces. Dr. Becker states that, "If you pick the feces up at least every other day, the parasites never reach the infective stage." But be careful where you put the feces after you pick them up. You don't want to just throw them away in the environment. There are now things that fit on septic clean-outs so you can just place the feces down the drain, which is not only more eco-friendly but limits the transmission of any possible diseases.

And lastly, don't let your dog lick you on the mouth. According to Dr. Becker, "Your mouth is such a portal for zoonotic diseases that the days of the 'canine tonsil swab' are over!"

Dr. Becker says, "Don' get rid of the pet, get rid of the risk." "Veterinarians come in contact with these diseases on a regular basis and you don't see them dropping dead!" So don't be too alarmed, just be cautious.

Dr. Marty Becker, "America's Veterinarian," is the popular veterinary contributor to ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" and the resident veterinarian on "The Dr. Oz Show." He is a regular contributor to Animal Radio(r). Visit his website You can also join Dr. Becker on Facebook as well as on Twitter.

Listen to Dr. Marty Becker on Animal Radio(r)

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Health Comes From the Inside Out - Dr. Janice Elenbaas

Canine TeethGood nutrition helps your dog resist infection and disease. He/she will live longer and spend more quality time being your friend and companion. Dogs need healthy, natural or organic human grade dog foods!

Let's take a look at the various parts of the body that can give us a signal about the state of overall health. The word 'symptom' is from the Greek word 'signal'. Symptoms are signs that the body is out of balance or attempting to heal. We want to look at what symptoms mean, not try to suppress or cover them up. Suppressing symptoms can prevent the body from healing.

We will start by looking at the eyes. Take a look at your dog's lower eyelid. The color here can indicate proper assimilation of iron and other minerals. If they are white or light colored, there is poor assimilation. The lids should be pink to red.

Gums are also indicators of the proper use of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. If in poor condition, we will see loose teeth, bleeding, tarter build up, light color or white spots. Good healthy gums show no bleeding when rubbed and firm teeth. The gums should be dark in color. Additionally, your dog should not have bad breath! Feeding a good diet of human grade dog food will help keep eyes and gums in good shape.

The skin is the largest organ in the body and is an amazing indicator of overall health. Skin needs high quality protein, fatty acids and fluids. Without these, we see dry, flaky areas, 'hot spots', recurring infections and susceptibility to parasites. Good skin should be smooth and pliable. Try lifting your dog's skin and watch how quickly it returns to shape. It needs to be elastic and firm.

If your dog's coat is dry, brittle and dull, it could mean his diet is filled with poor quality proteins and is deficient in fatty acids. A healthy coat will be soft, glossy and bright with minimal shedding. It is not normal for your dog's fur to always come out in clumps!

Energy levels are a natural indicator of health. Is your dog energetic or does he seem listless and tire easily? Dogs that appear hyper or overly nervous may be suffering from a poor quality diet loaded with preservatives and toxins.

Human grade, unprocessed dog foods provide high quality vitamins and minerals that are readily absorbed by the body. Remember we are what we eat! Health always comes from the inside and is reflected out!

Dr. Janice Elenbaas DC has had a long and successful career as a Chiropractor to both humans and animals. As the first woman recognized to adjust animals in Canada and a founding member of the first Ontario Veterinarian Chiropractic Association she is passionate about our animals' health. With four years of Nutritional Studies coupled with a natural approach to health care and a lifelong love of animals it was only natural that Dr. Elenbaas founded Lucky Dog Cuisine Inc. A company dedicated to providing All American, all natural, "Human Grade", cooked meals for dogs. For more information or to contact Dr. Elenbaas please go to

Lucky Dog Cuisine

Ask the Animal Radio(r) Dream Team: Giant Schnauzer Has Severe Allergies

Animal Radio(r) Dream Team
Listen to Animal Radio(r) LIVE every Saturday at noon eastern and Sundays at 5pm eastern on XM ch. 158 (America's Talk) or on any of the 99 AM-FM radio stations. Call with your questions toll-free 1-866-405-8405 or email

Giant Schnauzer Has Severe Allergies

Carrie: I have a 10 yr old giant schnauzer with severe allergies. I have managed to get his food allergies under control thru diet (blue buffalo fish & sweet potato), but since I restricted his diet he now has a lot of dander/dry skin. With his food allergies I'm afraid of trying any supplements, is there any shampoo or other product that might solve this problem?

Doctor Debbie: It's fabulous that you've had some good luck getting the food allergies under control. I can understand your reluctance to introduce anything dietary into the mix. A dietary supplement would be my first choice over a shampoo- mostly because it's harder to "get to the source" of dryness through all those protective epithelial layers. The typical supplement I advise for allergy cases is fish oils (fatty acids). There is some conflicting data on whether fish oils contain any allergenic peptides at all and therefore whether they would worsen food allergies. Some believe you can supplement fatty acids without any issue, and others say there is still the potential for allergic effect. Since you dog is currently on a fish/sweet potato based diet I wouldn't see any problem in trying a fatty acid supplement, but if you are nervous about it...consider algae based fish oils. You might find a source at a health food source (Vegans and vegetarians commonly use algae based fatty acids to get those important omega 3's and 6's!)

But if you'd rather go the shampoo route, then I'd look for oatmeal based shampoos that won't be too drying. There are lots of brands out there- some through veterinarians and others on the general market. I'd also follow with a conditioner that has a humectant ingredient (my pick would be DermAllay conditioner from Dermapet). Other than oatmeal based shampoos some good basic seborrhea type shampoos include Calm by Douxo and Malacetic by Dermapet. You might have to check what is available in your area though.

Thank you so much for your inquiry - good luck with the dry flakies!

Listen to Dr. Debbie on Animal Radio(r)

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Public Events Calendar

PETLOVERS Pet Education Seminar
Saturday March 13, 2010 - 10 am to 2 pm
Meeting Room at Dog Beach Dog Wash, 4933 Voltaire St, San Diego (Ocean Beach), CA
Order by phone. Call 760.631.7886 Or CLICK HERE for a mail-in registration form.
Learn more about how you can have a happier, healthier pet! Speakers include:
Caring For Your Aging Pet - Rebekah Peterman
Canine Sports Massage - Denise Rolen
Reading Your Dog's Mind - Kristen Craig
Emotional Nutrition for Your Pets - Meg Harrison
Planting with Your Pooch - Judy Macomber

Celebrate your pets right now!

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