Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dogs Behaving Badly - What To Do About A Dog Bite

Even man’s best friends can have mood swings and act out of character some times. We have all heard how Martha Stewart needed nine stitches after her gorgeous French bulldog, Francesca, knocked her in the face. This is an all too common injury that may land you in the emergency room begging for the plastic surgeon on call to suture up your wounds.

According to the American Humane Association, an estimated 4.7 million dog bites occur in the U.S. each year and 800,000 dog bites require medical care. About half of dog attacks involve children under 12 years old. Dogs can get startled, feel threatened, agitated, or jealous at times and can react badly. Although they may not mean any harm, if their beloved owner’s face is too close to their snoot, tragedy can result especially when young children are involved. Any dog can bite, although some breeds are genetically predisposed to this behavior, such as pit bulls and Rottweilers. Veterinarians recommend that you keep your face away from dogs’ faces and avoid looking a canine straight in the eye in close proximity. The American Humane Association warns to never bother dogs that are busy, playing with or guarding toys, eating or sleeping.

Medical attention should be sought if the wound does not stop bleeding, or is open. If the bite is on your face, it must be treated promptly and with extra care to minimize potential scarring. According to New York City Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, David Shafer, MD, “The most common areas of the face to be attacked by a dog are the lips, nose, and cheeks, and these injuries can be disfiguring if not properly managed. Antibiotics may be necessary - especially for very large or deep puncture wounds. The wound needs to be thoroughly cleaned to ensure that all debris or broken teeth are removed prior to repair. If the edges of the laceration are unable to touch, the wound will need emergency medical attention. In most cases, absorbable sutures can be used inside the mouth and on the lip. If the skin is injured, removable sutures are usually required. It is important that the sutures are removed in five to seven days to help minimize scaring."

Dog bites to the face can also be life-threatening if major infection occurs. Dr. Shafer advises to watch for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, weeping and heat. “It is important to ensure that the patient is up-to-date on rabies vaccinations. Whereas small, simple cuts and lacerations can usually be repaired by the emergency room doctors and staff, more complex wounds require the evaluation and treatment by a plastic surgeon, especially on the central face where scarring is more common." Most plastic surgeons concur that early intervention is the best practice and primary repair is the method of choice as soon as possible. Furthermore, complicated lip reconstructions may necessitate multiple staged operations over several years in some cases.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Fish Oil For Dogs Is Healthy

Fish Oil For Dogs Is HealthyFor those pet lovers there is nothing in the world that can replace the love of your pet. A dog is one such animal which is friendly and known as Man's Best Friend, a dog is no doubt the best companion to have in your home.

Loyal and kind animals, pet care for a dog is the most essential especially when it comes to the food it consumes. There are types of food which do not agree with dogs leading to all types of diseases and health complications. So pet lovers are trying their best to keep themselves updated on the latest types of food for their best friend in order to give them the best pet care.

It is said that fish oil makes them healthy warding away all kinds of diseases and sicknesses they are prone to. All types of food for dogs mixed with fish oil is best for them.

The benefit of fish oil for dogs is stated below

1.Brain – The use of fish oil for dogs is best for their mental health. Consumption of this product in their food helps to promote healthy brain supplements especially to pups.

2.Deadly Disease – The most common deadly disease is Cancer, which is widely spread all around the world is even effecting dogs. Fish oil for dogs is said to ward off Cancer and the best thing about the nutrients in this oil is that it helps dogs fight the deadly disease. The consumption of this fish oil is good for any type of cancer.

3.Weight gain – Fish has a lot of benefits that helps dogs in their weight gain. Fish oil for dogs helps to regulate the cholesterol levels for your pet thus keeping the cardiovascular muscles of your dog healthy.

4.Bone Deformity – Many dogs suffer from arthritis and bone deformities. According to research it is said that fish oil for dogs is the best treatment to prevent and protect dogs from these harmful disorders.

5.Skin – Many pet lovers want to give their dog a shiny coat, but don't know how. The answer to your problem is none other than fish oil which is high in minerals, EPA and DHA helping to reduce skin dryness and prevent hair loss. These are some of the benefits of fish oil . This fish oil is available at any pet store or pharmacy.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Horses are king at 'Cavalia'

Horses are king at 'Cavalia'Trick rider Fairland Ferguson has just finished a preview performance of "Cavalia" and could use a break, but her first job is to take care of her horse, Criollo. "We all say the horses get treated much better than the performers," she jokes.

Backstage in the stables, it's easy to see why. The unique show, which opened Wednesday in Burbank, features a cast of 49 horses, and their backstage life consists of oversized stalls and 20 attentive handlers catering to their every need — feeding, washing and grooming, with daily enrichment exercises and one to two hours of playtime outside each day. Each aspect of the show, from scenery to the sand on the floor to the smallest props, has been approved by the horses; the four-legged performers systematically sniff, scratch and even taste everything to ensure that they feel at ease. When it comes to show time, each horse is required to "work" for only five to seven minutes onstage.

"People wonder why we have so many horses and that's why — none are ever tired or overworked," says Ferguson. While it uses trained animals, "Cavalia" is really much different than a circus or any other kind of animal show. Created by one of the founders of Cirque du Soleil, Normand Latourelle, the grand-scale spectacle is a one-of-a-kind combination of equestrian arts, multimedia, dramatic visual effects, live music, dance and acrobatics. Horses, mostly stallions, from all over the world, including Arabian, Spanish, quarter horse, mustang and Andalusian, interact with 37 performers — riders, aerialists, acrobats, dancers and musicians.

"I wanted to do something artistic with horses," says the gentle-spoken Latourelle. "I didn't want to do something like a circus where you hear the whip cracking and the horses are under control, where it's more about the trainer than the animals. I wanted to do a show that was all about them. It's not about the horse being perfect each time the show is on. I want them to be the way they are."

"Cavalia" debuted in 2003 in Quebec and was last seen in Irvine in 2006. Latourelle says this return engagement offers much more spectacle. "It's now a much bigger show, with more performers and more horses onstage," he says.

The troupe took over a former industrial site in downtown Burbank, and it took 12 days to erect the imposing Cavalia Village of nine white tents, including the big top. Inside that main tent are a 160-foot stage and a 210-foot-wide digital screen that serves as a backdrop for projections and special effects. "Many shows are in the round, but this is a big open space that gives the horses plenty of room to move," says Latourelle. In addition, all 2,000 seats have been spaced so that the stage is always in full view and horses' hooves can be seen.

The 140-minute show follows a loose storyline about the evolution of the horse and its pivotal place in human history. Two frolicking foals (which are rescue horses) set the tone in the opening sequence. The following chapters include a poetic pas de deux of horse and riders, and a thrilling Wild West showcase with horses galloping at full speed across the stage as trick riders catapult off their horses in amazing feats. Ferguson, the only female Roman rider in the team, impresses by straddling two horses and then racing four and then six steeds bareback. "It's like skiing down the slopes while texting and reading a book but without your feet strapped in," says the buoyant Virginia-born rider.

But perhaps the most poignant performance is the "Grande Liberte," where trainer Sylvia Zerbini effortlessly orchestrates nine unbridled Arabian horses in complex routines of trotting, cantering, turns and pivots. She's been dubbed the show's horse whisperer.

"I'm not really the horse whisperer," Zerbini smiles. "I'm more a horse listener. What you are witnessing is how they would naturally communicate with one another. It's like they have accepted me into their family. Everything is done by body movement and verbal cues. When the horse understands, they enjoy it much more."

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dog day care offers Erie pooch parents a place to take pups

Job would give Liz Freitag the look. The look that dogs give you out the window when you're walking away from them on your way to work in the morning. The look that says, "I know you're not going to be home to walk me, play with me, pet me" for eight, 10, 12 hours. "It's heartbreaking," Freitag said.

So she quit her job and started a business in Erie to provide other pooch parents with care for their canine children. Peninsula Pups Doggie Daycare opens today at 801 W. 12th St. The facility, which Freitag said runs like one for children, will be open Mondays through Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. "I'm in heaven to be able to work with dogs all day, to bring my dog to work with me," Frei tag, 37, said.

She was expecting six dogs this week to join Job, her Basenji-mix whose name is pronounced with a long "o" like the biblical character known for his patience, and two Bernese mountain dogs belonging to her general manager, Dino Sorbara.

Freitag has three other employees and said the number could grow to 20, most part-time, if Peninsula Pups reaches its capacity of 60 dogs.

Temperament testing, a requirement before being enrolled at the day care, has been done on about 20, she said.

Her dog used to attend a similar facility when they lived in Chicago. After Freitag lost a job there, a friend in Erie suggested she move here. She was ready to leave the big city, where she spent three hours a day tied up in traffic and Job "only knew how to potty on cement," she said.

Arriving in Erie in the fall of 2009, they found local parks for walks. But then Freitag got a job, and Job was left at home.

Dog walkers were willing to take him out for a bit each day, and dog sitters were ready to visit him in Freitag's home.

Numerous Erie County businesses provide those or services like overnight boarding.

Joan Wienczkowski, owner of Proud Land: The Pet Place, in Fairview Township, said she occasionally gets an owner, maybe someone going away for just the day, who drops off a dog.

Pawsability Boarding & Grooming, in Harborcreek Township, has had similar experiences, an employee said.

Fred Schade, owner of Best Friend Pet Center in North East Township, does watch dogs for a day and said there's an owner who will drop a pet off one day a week while running errands.

He offers play time and hikes, but doesn't do group play.

Schade said he hasn't had a big demand for daytime service.

"I don't get a lot of calls for day care," he said.

He thinks one reason is that with the poor economy, people are asking friends to do the dog-watching for little or no cost.

Carol Redlawsk has seen the business grow, however. She said one reason is because people are working longer hours and don't want to leave animals alone.

The owner of Safe and Sound Pet Sitting and Doggy Daycare began pet-sitting 15 years ago and added day care more than five years ago.

She provides day care on weekdays for five to eight dogs on her Millcreek Township property.

The dogs are together outside and also have an indoor area and a barn to play in, she said. She also is able to separate them.

While there aren't statistics solely for dog day care, the pet industry overall has been growing for years, said Robin Bennett, dog day-care section chairwoman for the Pet Care Services Association.

The estimated amount of money spent on pets in 2010 in the U.S. was $47.7 billion. The total was just $17 billion in 1994.

That's about the time some of the earliest dog day cares were starting, Bennett said. The facilities aren't tracked so it's hard to know how many are around.

"There is a growing demand as people continue to delay their families by marrying later and delaying children," Bennett said. "The dogs become a big part of the family, and people want to take good care of them.

"Families are spending more time with their pets, bringing them in the home and taking better care of them. At the same time, families tend to work longer hours and that can make it hard to own a dog.

"Day care fills the void by offering a good chance for doggy exercise so the dog is not home alone," she said.

Susan A. Smith, of Erie, had been hoping somebody would start a dog day care here.

She said a pet nanny now visits her "only child," a parti cocker spaniel named Gracie, for an hour in the afternoon. Smith will continue that. But she plans to take Gracie to Peninsula Pups for half a day or every other day with other dogs.

"She definitely will be a regular there," Smith said.

She's comforted by the fact that Gracie and the dogs she'll interact with at Peninsula Pups all have to undergo temperament testing. Bennett said day cares should have screening processes to make sure dogs are safe.

Smith also said taking her dog to day care will help her do her job better because she won't be worrying about Gracie.

"It really causes stress and anxiety if you have a little one waiting for you at home," Smith said.

Another benefit, Redlawsk and Freitag said, is that because dogs get exercise at day care, tired owners don't have to take pets for walks after work.

"It kind of gives the owner a reprieve," Freitag said.

Day cares also allow dogs to socialize with one another.

And a dog that isn't home won't be able to chew up an owner's shoes or get into other trouble.

While Redlawsk has 74 acres for dogs to explore, Peninsula Pups has a 6,200-square-foot day-care room divided by fences into four areas for small, medium and large dogs and for puppies.

"Everything is double-gated because you don't want to open a gate and have a dog scoot out," Freitag said.

Potty breaks will take place in fenced-in outdoor areas.

Inside, a trench drain runs down the center of the room.

"Every night we have to hose down the floor," Freitag said.

She'll use dog-friendly, earth-friendly disinfectant.

The floor also is dog-friendly. Sorbara said it's made of recycled rubber tires.

Freitag said that's better for dogs' joints, feet, backs and muscles. "And for the handlers," she added. "Who wants to stand on cement all day?"

The day care will have one handler, trained in dog CPR, for every seven to 10 dogs, Freitag said, and a dog will never be in an area without a handler. Even in the timeout room, located off the main room for dogs that become aggressive, an animal won't be left alone, she said.

Owners also can pay for one-on-one time with a dog trainer, Freitag said.

She believes people will pay for her day care, which starts at $23 a day and drops to $18 with a 20-day prepaid package, because they love their pets.

"I'm crazy about my dog and I know there are other people crazy about their dogs," she said.

Freitag looked into opening a franchise but said it was $250,000 to start plus monthly royalties.

She was able to open Peninsula Pups with help from family, friends and about $80,000, which includes salaries for the first three months. More than a third of the money went for the floor and fencing, she said.

Before doing any of that, Freitag put out surveys to see if there was local interest in a dog day care. They all came back positive, she said.

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happiness is a warm dog (or cat), experts say

Buying new clothes may be a quick fix for happiness, but if you want a longer-lasting alternative outside the closet, medical researchers and psychologists recommend adopting a companion animal.

"Having a pet allows a person to learn to take care of something and elevates the sense of caring, which positively supports the development of well-being," said Monty P. Satiadarma, a psychologist at the Tarumanagara University in Jakarta. He explained the ability to express one's feelings of caring, such as for a pet, creates a sense of lightness in a person.

"People have lots of needs, and one of those is the need for nurturance. Since animals are living beings, caring for them increases the person's feeling of being meaningful to the subject being cared for and that meaningful feeling of the self supports the development of well-being," he said.

Pets are credited not only for dispelling loneliness, but also for lifting their owners out of the blues.

Dogs are able to pick up on a master's feelings almost instinctively, which can strengthen the bonds between master and pet, Monty explained.

"Every experience we have triggers our glands to secrete a liquid or an antibody, and a canine's powerful olfactory sense can smell and interpret these body chemicals our glands give off as either positive or negative, so whenever an owner has stress, it will be sensed by the dog," he said.

Putu Tommy Yudha S. Suyasa, a lecturer in psychology also at Tarumanagara University, said, "It's understood that when we are happier, we are healthier, and pets provide us with that connection by helping us feel not alone, and that in turn elevates our feelings of well-being and happiness."

Monty, who oversaw a research paper on the positive effects of animal companionship on the elderly, and Tommy, who assisted him, said those who are living alone would benefit healthwise from having an animal as they help their owners feel less anxiety and alleviate feelings of isolation.

"Both having pets and caring for pets trigger feelings of care and that is emotionally healthy [for any age]," Monty added.

Tommy, who has owned a dog for seven years, said a pet gives owners renewed purpose, distracts them from daily problems, encourages communication with others, and allows another outlet for physical exercise. In turn, these benefits brighten a person's overall outlook on life.

An Australian study discovered that those who owned an animal had lower blood pressure and lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as a reduced likelihood of developing heart disease than those who did not have a pet. In addition, the study observed that these risks were still lower despite the pet owners' consumption of above average amounts of meat and fast food.

Another study of heart attack victims in the US noted those who were pet owners usually survived another year longer than those who did not own an animal.

Long-term healthcare facilities abroad recognize the health benefits that pets provide to humans, and enlist companion animals to help patients cope with terminal illnesses and physical, mental or emotional disabilities.

Resident or visiting cats and dogs are considered invaluable assistants with their selfless characteristics of companionship, comfort and attention they provide for patients, and are shown to effectively complement treatments for a number of mental health disorders, especially depression, autism and dementia.

Medical care workers abroad have observed that patients interacting with animals become less anxious, respond better to treatment and communicate easier with the therapist.

While animal-assisted therapy or pet therapy in hospitals and institutions abroad has grown in popularity over the past several decades, it is not a new health trend.

Animal-assisted therapy can be traced back to British Quakers in the 18th century, who would have farm animals interact with mentally ill patients to avoid the unpleasant psychiatric treatments commonly used at the time.

Although conditions in Indonesia may not be conducive for the arrival of animal-assisted therapy as of yet, Monty was optimistic about the future as he noticed more people accepting pets in their lives as evidenced by the growing number of animal salons sprouting up around the capital.

He also said people were quite surprised to learn from the media that Muslims in other countries used and cared for dogs that played an important role in locating explosive devices. Birds and fish might not be as cute and cuddly as their furry counterparts, but Monty said they occupied a special place in people's hearts here.

"Freshwater fish are kept in ponds as pets and in Central Java songbirds are bred not only for competition, but to enjoy their singing."Aside from animals improving human health and well-being, Monty pointed out that owners find their pets listen with compassion at the end of a trying day, accept them without judgment and give limitless entertainment without lifting a paw.

While the medical community will expound how important it is for humans to be around animals, pet owners can feel reassurance in knowing their lives are enriched from having a familiar furry friend waiting at the door for them when they come home.

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Dogs show off their grooming

Every dog has its day. This expression came true for around 300 dogs of 42 breeds from various corners of the country during a dog show organized at Yadavindra Public School (YPS) on Sunday by the Mohali Kennel Club under the aegis of Kennel Club of India (KCI).

Dogs with the price tag, ranging from Rs 3,000 to Rs 3 lakh, showed off their pedigree in front of Robert LT Dawson of Philippines and Jagteswar Singh of India despite the winter chill. Mohali SSP GPS Bhullar and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Babbi Badal were present.

Among the breeds that walked the ramp included the small-structured Chihuahua to the fiercest Tibetan Mastiff (also known as Gaddi)-- Rottweiler, Pit Bull, Lhasa Apso, Newfoundland, Great Dane, English mastiff, Pug, Labrador, English pointer, Basset hound, Afghan hound, German shepherd, Beagle, Dashound, Boxer, Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, Saint Bernard and Miniature Pinscher.

The participants were cheered by around 15,000 visitors, especially youngsters. A Newfoundland breed dog owned by Kulbir Singh of Khanna in Punjab was adjudged the best, while a Lhasa Apso owned by Chandigarh-resident Vinod Kumar alias Sonu, won the top honours in dog-trainer category. Most of the prizes in other categories were bagged by Ludhiana-based breeders.

Terming the event to be north India's biggest dog show, Mohali Kennel Club president GS Sandhu claimed that despite the cold weather, they received huge response. Residents of Kanpur, Meerut, Noida, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttaranchal and others arrived to show off their pets.

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