26 November 2008

Picking the Perfect Sweater for Your Dog

Sweaters are not just a silly accessory. Many dogs need to wear them in cold weather, even inside. Shorthaired breeds, older dogs, sick dogs and puppies are likely candidates for a cover-up. If you'd like an unbiased second opinion, ask your vet what they think.

To be effective against cold, a sweater should completely cover your dog's stomach, keep its legs free for easy movement, fit snugly and end at the base of the tail.

If you are unsure which size your dog should wear, consider their weight along with their size. Toy breeds under 20 pounds wear small, beagle-size dogs 20 to 35 pounds wear medium, retriever-size dogs 40 to 80 pounds wear large and dogs the size of a Saint Bernard wear extra-large.

If all else fails, hold the sweater up to your dog to check for size.

If your dog is wide and short like a bulldog or basset hound, buy the size that fits around them and then cut the sleeves to fit.

Choose a sweater that will be easy to care for. You might want to avoid dry clean only. If you're the kind of pet parent that likes to go all the way for their little furry baby, consider boots for your dog to protect the pads of their feet from cold.

To help them adjust to their new outfit, have your dog wear the sweater anytime it goes out in cold, wet weather. Make putting on the sweater a part of the dog's routine, like putting on the leash, then when they see the sweater come out, it's joy not dread they feel.

There are literally hundreds of places to shop online to find what you are looking for, but going to a local pet supply store to shop may be a lot more fun.

[Source: News 10 Now]

25 November 2008

Thanksgiving Goes to the Dogs

The NBC Thanksgiving Day special "The National Dog Show Presented by Purina" will crown one of America's great show dogs as its 2008 champion while offering special coverage of famed Uno the Beagle (pictured) and introducing the newest American Kennel Club-sanctioned breed, the Dogue de Bordeaux.

The holiday special follows the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC and is watched annually by a total of almost 20 million viewers. Over 150 breeds vie for "Best in Show" honors at the tradition-rich Kennel Club of Philadelphia competition.
The 7th annual, two-hour NBC special will also feature:

The appearance of Uno, the Beagle, who became an instant celebrity earlier this year when he won Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Uno received congratulations from President George W. Bush in a White House visit and he threw out the first pitch at two major league baseball games this past summer. Uno will also appear on NBC during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, riding on the Peanuts float while fellow famous beagle Snoopy is elsewhere on the parade route in his annual role as a giant balloon.

The Thursday TV special, set for 12-2 p.m. in all time zones, is hosted for the seventh straight year by John O'Hurley, the "Seinfeld" ensemble actor who emerged as the ultimate champion on ABC's inaugural presentation of "Dancing With The Stars." O'Hurley will be joined by expert analyst David Frei, who is the face and voice of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on USA Network.

Unlike traditional dog show coverage, the two-hour special offers family-oriented features on dogs and pet care, facilitated by the open format of the event, one of only five remaining "benched" shows in which the dogs are on display all day for the visiting public.

[Source: Market Watch.]

24 November 2008

Dog Missing for 5 Years Reunited With Owner

Tootsie, the adventuresome dachshund who went missing more than five years ago, is on his way back home to Pleasantville, N.J. Tootsie was found two weeks ago wandering around Wilkinsburg, PA. He was taken to the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania and was traced back to his owners using a microchip implanted in his neck.

"Donde estaba?" -- Where have you been? -- his owner Elda Arguella said as she wrapped Tootsie in her scarf outside a television studio in Harrisburg -- the halfway point between Pleasantville and Wilkinsburg. Tifanie Tibero of the rescue league delivered Tootsie to her there. The dog was shivering from the cold but appeared content in Mrs. Arguella's arms.

The family believes the dog was taken from their gated yard more than five years ago. "I looked for him for many, many days," said Mrs. Arguella, who brought along her children Edna Colon, 18, and Daniel Colon Jr., 16.

So much time had passed that when the rescue league sent her a letter several days ago she hadn't remembered losing a dog. "I said, 'What about Tootsie?,' " Daniel remembered. "I just put that out there but I didn't really think they could have really found her five and a half years later."

[Source: Pittsburge Post-Gazette]

20 November 2008

Noel Gallagher Saves Former Bond Girl's Dog

Noel Gallagher saved a dog from being kidnapped. The Oasis guitarist scared off a group of thieves who were trying to snatch a black Labrador - belonging to his neighbor, former Bond girl Caroline Munro - tied up outside a supermarket.

A source said: "Noel was so brave - the men could have been carrying knives but he just didn't care. He's a tough guy and he doesn't like people taking what isn't theirs so he tackled them and they quickly fled."

Caroline - who played pilot Naomi in "The Spy Who Loved Me" - was quick to express her gratitude to Noel, 41, when she was reunited with her pet.

The source added to Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper: "The dog is the cutest little thing and wears a red neckerchief. Caroline takes him everywhere - even to the pub so she was ever so grateful for what Noel did. She would have been devastated to lose him."

[Source: Exposay]

19 November 2008

Cold Weather Tips for Pets

Due to the onset of cold weather, the Greater Birmingham Humane Society would like to remind pet owners that the most comfortable place for your pet is inside. If your pet cannot live inside, here are some tips to keep them safe:

- If you use a dog house be sure to face the doorway out of the wind or cover it to reduce draft. The temperature may not be freezing, but the wind-chill can still kill.

- If you have a garage, use it for the colder months to protect your dog from extreme temperatures.

- Dogs eat more in the winter, be sure to supply plenty of food. Keeping warm requires a lot of energy. Check water bowls every morning to crack the ice.

- Allow plenty of bedding. Dogs will ‘nest’ in whatever material is available to keep warm.

- If you have more than one dog, buy a dog house big enough for them to sleep together to keep warm.

- Certain breeds with short hair or naturally low body fat reserves are not suitable to live in cold temperatures. For example greyhounds do not retain enough weight to keep warm outside.

- Heating pads and raised dog beds can be purchased to make your dog more comfortable.

- It’s never too late to train your dog to live inside. Remember, dogs are social creatures and prefer to live within a family group.

- Cats, much like the smaller dogs, often do not have the body fat or thick fur coats to keep warm during cold weather. If you permit your cat to go outdoors or live outdoors completely, it is especially important to provide adequate shelter during cold weather.

- If your cat is kept outdoors throughout the year, make sure you provide increased amounts of food during the winter months and check the water bowl daily.

- Your cat may also appreciate a warm place to get out of the weather – i.e. a small dog house with appropriate bedding or access to your garage.

- If your cat is typically kept indoors, please remember that the shock of the temperature change can be very detrimental to your cat’s health.

[Source: NBC13.com]

18 November 2008

DCH Spotlight: Angel Coat

It's warm. It's whimsical. It successfully combines a hood, sherpa-inspired trim, wings, hearts, and pom-poms. What's not to love about this dream of a dog coat? What a way to welcome Winter!

Study Says Jilted Dogs Get Jealous

Dogs get jealous when jilted, suggests a new study that found canines feel especially intense jealousy pangs when in a "love triangle" involving their owner and another, more recently introduced, person or animal.

The finding suggests dogs may also experience pride, embarrassment, shame and other secondary emotions outside of basic emotions such as anger, anxiety and surprise. Scientists previously thought only humans and chimpanzees showed behaviors linked to secondary emotions.

A genetic propensity for jealousy may even run as deep as a dog's ancient wolf ancestors. "I would definitely think you would find jealousy in wolves," said lead researcher Paul Morris. "For example, sexual jealousy would be an extremely powerful motivator in the wild state. Jealousy would also relate to position in hierarchy and alliances between animals within a pack."

The researchers asked the pet owners to report observations of both primary and secondary emotions in their animals, which included cats, pigs, horses, rabbits, rats and hamsters, as well as dogs. All the animals received high scores for secondary emotions, with over 80 percent of owners claiming their dogs showed signs of jealousy.

Morris also studied the phenomenon directly with his own two dogs, Silver and Jessie. He went out of his way to shower Silver with attention, and then only occasionally gave Jessie her usual head pat. Jessie showed her teeth and snarled, but contained her anger and tried to push her way back into the mini pack.

"Jealousy is at its heart related to the real or anticipated loss of love, affection and attention," Morris told Discovery News. "Dog jealousy is different to human jealousy, in that it is tied to the here and now; dog jealousy occurs only in the presence of the interloper. So when I talk about dog jealousy, I see it as a much more primitive and hugely less elaborate version of human jealousy."

[Source: The Discovery Channel]

17 November 2008

Puppy Cam Goes Viral

It takes a village of some 4 million to raise six cuddly pups, or at least to ogle them for hours on end.

What began as a way for a San Francisco couple to keep tabs on their pet Shiba Inu dog Kika’s litter while they were at work has become an unlikely Web sensation. Viewers flock to the Internet site Ustream.com to monitor the 5-week-old brood’s growth, watching the energetic pups paw and play with one another and have at it with their chew toys.

Ustream co-founder Brad Hunstable explained how a private dogsitting webcam became a worldwide phenomenon. “It started out in the Ustream offices; our employees found the puppies when they only had one or two viewers,” Hunstable told Holt and Robach.

“We fell in love with them, we forwarded them to our friends and our friends forwarded it to their friends. The next thing you know, mothers were forwarding it to daughters and daughters were forwarding it to mothers. Over 4 million people in the last week have tuned in to watch.”

The universal reaction among viewers is “Awwww...how cute!” as the fuzzy brown look-alike pups live their lives out in a “Truman Show”-like existence. Viewers know the pups by name and by the color of their collars. They include boys Aki (green collar), Akoni (black collar), Ando (blue collar) and girls Autumn (purple collar), Ayumi (yellow collar) and Amaya (red collar).

[Source: msn.com]

14 November 2008

Bolt - Official Movie Trailer

Check out the trailer for the new Disney animated movie staring Bolt (voiced by John Travolta), a canine action hero. It looks like a great dog-friendly family movie, just in time for the holidays. Fun!

13 November 2008

Puppy Power is Penguins' Saviour

A world-first dog trial has proved central to turning around the fate of Warrnambool's Middle Island penguin colony - and now the next generation of pups is set to continue the good work.

After dwindling to a dire population of just four in 2005, penguin numbers at Middle Island have rebounded this year. An early start to the breeding season has already seen eight penguin chicks leave the nest and another 16 are still on the island in various stages of development. Deakin University PhD student Amanda Peucker, who is monitoring the penguins' progress, said the population growth could largely be attributed to the success of the guard dogs in keeping predators, like foxes, off the island.

"A couple of years ago we had something like 180 penguins killed by foxes, now there aren't even any fox prints in the area," she said. Mrs Peucker said about 51 penguins returned to Middle Island this breeding season. "Every year we get just a few more birds breeding," she said. "It's very exciting going out there and seeing the chicks grow. The early breeding season this year was a bit of a bonus too, so hopefully we'll get some more eggs laid in the next few weeks."

After the success of the trial, two female Maremma puppies are undergoing training to become the permanent guardians of the little penguins during breeding season. Environmental scientist and dog trainer Dave Williams said he expected the dogs would be placed on the island full-time next month, when they were six months old.

Right now the pair is regularly on Middle Island learning the ropes from Esta, an older Maremma that is teaching the puppies guardian behaviour. The Maremma guard dog project, which began late in 2006, hasn't been without controversy. The dogs were taken off the island last December after accidentally killing 10 penguins.

However, Warrnambool City Council decided in May this year to extend the project for another 12 months at an estimated cost of $40,000. This includes the employment of a Maremma carer, dog training and monitoring equipment

[Source: The Age]

12 November 2008

Yorkie Breeder Featured on Animal Planet's 'Dogs 101'

Denise Ronayne has been breeding dogs for 20 years, a family business called Country Home Yorkies that she runs out of her own home. She raises and trains Yorkshire terriers and miniature dachshunds, not as show dogs, but as family pets.

The dogs have the run of the place, with dog beds and dog “playpens” in every room. Two very young litters of puppies — their eyes have not yet opened — rest with their mothers in playpens in the computer room. They are painfully cute, soft as velvet, each one able to fit in the palm of your hand.

Once the puppies are old enough to be adopted, Ms. Ronayne said, she spends hours interviewing prospective dog owners, making sure the dog and owner are the right fit. “I want to know how the dog is going to affect your life,” she said. “I try to match the personality of the dog to the home.”

She has a long list of clientele that includes NFL players and coaches, doctors, CEOs and airline pilots, who have each chosen to pay nearly $2,000 for one of her signature pets. Without the media exposure gained by bringing dogs to shows, Ms. Ronayne said, her business has grown mostly by word of mouth and referrals.

That may change this weekend, when her Yorkshire terriers will be featured on “Dogs 101,” a television show on Animal Planet that features different breeds of dogs every week. Television crews came into Ms. Ronayne’s home three times to tape footage for the show, Ms. Ronayne said, and the dogs played and nuzzled on a bear rug in her living room.

“It was delightful, certainly, to be noticed,” she said. “This is really a small family business. It’s something I love doing.”

“Dogs 101” introduces Animal Planet viewers to different breeds of dogs every week. Along with Yorkshire terriers, this weekend’s episode will feature bloodhounds, Great Danes, Shih Tzus and Rhodesian Ridgebacks.

[Source: The Worcester Telegram]

"World's Ugliest Dog" Dies

Gus, a one-eyed, three-legged dog, died yesterday in Florida, succumbing to skin cancer. He was nine.

A hairless Chinese Crested dog who had been rescued from a crate in someone's garage, Gus garnered global attention when he was named the "World's Ugliest Dog" in a contest this past June. Fighting cancer at the time, Gus' guardian said that they would put the $1,600 cash prize towards Gus' radiation treatments.

Gus' endearingly misshapen appearance was part illness and part folly. He lost a leg to skin cancer, and an eye to a particularly ill-tempered tomcat.

[Source: Examiner New York]

11 November 2008

Why Your Dog May Be Your Answer to the Recession

As stress levels rise and spending power diminishes in today’s tough economic times, dog owners are finding that when the going gets tough, the tough... go play with their dogs. While there’s no denying that dogs come with fixed costs ranging from food to vet care, your dog can also be your best friend during an economic downturn. Here are nine ways Rover just might be your answer to the recession:

1. He’s a Good Reason to Stay Home. Staying home—rather then heading out and spending money—is never more appealing than when there’s a four-legged friend waiting for you.

2. He’s a Great Exercise Partner. Need to save money by cutting back on a fitness club membership? No problem. You’ll never have a more dedicated personal trainer you’re your dog who will remind you — and remind you, and remind you — that it is time to get out and exercise.

3. He Loves Day Trips. Can’t afford that week at a Caribbean resort? Fido’s happy you’re staying home and considering taking him on a day trip to the lake or local park.

4. He Doesn’t Mind Cutbacks. OK, you might not want to opt for a home haircut yourself, but your dog doesn’t mind if you cut out the groomer and just give him a trim yourself.

5. He’s Happy with Used Items. Do the kids want the latest toys in the stores? You won’t have that same pressure from your dog. He’s happy with used toys from garage sales and thrift stores, perfect for playing fetch or romping around the yard.

6. He’s a Great Stress Reliever. Economic problems cause stress, there’s no doubt about it. But it’s a proven fact that dogs are an excellent stress reliever and also do wonders to lower high blood pressure.

7. He’ll Help You Get Out and About. Whether you’ve lost your job and no longer see your usual crowd of people or you’ve just cut back on social events, economic difficulties can mean less social interaction. Your dog, by encouraging you to get out and walk or to play in dog parks, helps you to interact with people with similar interests.

8. He Knows You Are King. A beleaguered bank account or a pink slip can leave you feeling worthless. All you have to do, though, is look in your dog’s eyes and you know that you’re the best there is.

9. He Knows the Best Things in Life are Free. Your dog values your companionship more than anything in the world. Money doesn’t mean a thing to him but you do. There’s no greater gift you can give your dog than your own time.

[Source: Dogtipper.com]

DCH Spotlight: Symbolized

With a well-constructed, yet cozy design and just a touch of whimsy, this Puppia dog shirt is just thing for those days when Annie wants to be a couch potato, but not look like one.

10 November 2008

Your Opinion: The Obama Family Dog

The Search For First Puppy Continues

President-elect Barack Obama informed reporters at a packed press briefing Friday that one campaign promise was proving more challenging than expected.

Obama promised daughters Malia and Sasha a new puppy if elected and in his acceptance speech he pledged to make good. The problem? Malia is allergic. Obama noted that there were several breeds that were hypoallergenic but the issue quashed presidential hopes of getting a pound puppy.

"Our preference would be to get a shelter dog," Obama said, who then joked that it could have been, "a mutt, like me."

The American Kennel Club has a suggestion for the first family. How about a poodle? "This poodle is a breed that doesn't always get the respect it deserves, but it is truly an ideal family pet," said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "And while poodles require frequent grooming, their consistent and predictable coat is crucial for Obama's daughter and all who suffer from allergies."

[Source: Market Watch]

07 November 2008

Dog Takes Car for a Drive

Here's a lesson for those who like to keep their vehicles clean - never take your dog with you when you're at the car wash. A Pryor, Oklahoma man learned that lesson the hard way on Thursday, after he left his pooch inside his automobile while he was busy cleaning it at one of those do-it-yourself places.

The 70-lbs. pit bull got restless while his best friend was taking care of business, jumped in the front seat and somehow shifted the car into reverse. The vehicle then started moving, headed onto the highway, drove in a loop for a minute or two, and finally, mercifully came to a stop in one of the car wash's automated lanes.

No one was hurt and amazingly, nothing was hit. But the owner lost his car anyway when police coming to check out the report of a vehicle being driven by a dog found the man had no proof of insurance. He was forced to walk the canine home after the now spotless car was towed away.

Fortunately, the animal wasn't charged for his little sojourn into the human world. After all, the dog already had a licence.

[Source: City News]

06 November 2008

Your Opinion: Sweaters Made from Dog Hair

Wearing the Hair of the Dog

These aren't just lovely portraits of people posing with their pets, but look a little closely and you'll see that the owners are wearing sweaters and vests that resemble the fur of their dogs. And they should because they were literally made from them. This is a series of photographs (an ongoing project) by photographer Erwan Fichou of people posing with their beautiful dogs, sporting canine couture... actual sweaters and vests made from the hair (fur?) of their own pet dogs. Here is the description of the series:

Dogwool series, 2005-2007. Eleven portraits (in progress)

The hair, especially hair known as the stuffing, once recovered after brushing, is carefully preserved until the amount necessary to achieve the knit structure. The hair is spun into balls of 50 g by a specialist before returning via mail, to its owner.

C-prints, 40 * 50 cm, Marie-Louise, glass, wooden framework.


[Source: If It's Hip, It's Here]

'Greatest American Dog' Contestants Keeping Busy

They were voted off CBS-TV's "Greatest American Dog," but Beth Joy Knutsen and Bella Starlet Dog refuse to stay in the doghouse and whine.

Knutsen and Bella Starlet are nominated in the "best musical" category for the 2008 DogCatemy Awards, held Nov. 6 at the North Shore Animal League America's annual gala in New York. Their entry is a video about their relationship, scored to the Turtles' song "Happy Together."

"We have an appeal to people who are passionate about their dogs and about life," said Knutsen, who sports a tattoo of Bella Starlet on her left leg. "I get e-mails from a woman with lupus and a woman with cancer, saying they are in so much pain, but watching us on TV makes them smile."

Knutsen tirelessly advocates for rescue dogs, warning that more pets are being abandoned as economic times get tougher. Scarcely less busy is Bella Starlet, a blonde mixed breed with strawberry and silver highlights. A rescue dog herself, Bella Starlet has a forthcoming line of dog-and-human jewelry, a new clothing line, and a new foundation to help raise money for rescue agencies.

[Source: NilesHeraldSpectator.com]

Van Damme Cancels JCVD Promo for Sick Dog

Belgian martial artist and actor Jean-Claude Van Damme has cancelled promotional appearances for his new flick JCVD to take care of a puppy. Van Damme, who earned himself the nickname 'Muscles From Brussels', had recently adopted seven dogs from Bangkok, and one of them is said to be in a coma.

"Van Damme will stay in Thailand to see this dog through this very trying time," the New York Post quoted a source as saying.

JCVD is a fictional biopic about an action star who struggles with financial problems and a custody battle. Van Damme will be playing as himself in the movie. More detail could not be obtained about his role, as his manager did not return calls and e-mails.

[Source: Oneindia]

05 November 2008

Presidental Pet Musuem Honors White House Pets

There's quite a long history of lovable, furry four-leggers in the White House, and it's great that the Obama Family will be continuing that tradition. If you're interested in learning about presidential pets past and find yourself in Annapolis, Maryland, be sure to check out The Presidental Pet Museum.

The Museum highlights past and current White House Pets. See a portrait of Lucky (President and Mrs. Reagan's Bouvier des Flandres) made from her own hair, and photos and exhibits of famous pets from George Washington's Horse, Nelson, the Clinton's famous Buddy and Socks to the current White House Pets!

First Dog Tradition to Continue Under Obama

Worry not dog lovers, the White House will still have a “First Dog” under a Barack Obama administration. Obama had promised that whether or not he won the White House, his daughters Sasha and Malia could get a dog.

“Sasha and Malia, I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us,” Obama said at the start of his victory speech. His predecessors dating back several administrations had dogs and yes, a few cats occupied the White House too.

Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, is also getting in on the act. He told reporters traveling with him earlier that his wife had promised him a “big dog” if he got elected. Jill Biden had taped pictures of different dogs on the back of the seat in front of him on his campaign plane to inspire the candidate as he criss-crossed the country in the final sprint to election day.

“Jill had said the only way you are getting a dog is if you are president...we didn’t think about vice president,” said Biden. “She said at least if you live in the White House you are home.” He dropped out of the presidential race but when Obama asked him to join the ticket, his wife Jill said if he did so she would let him have the dog he wanted.

[Source: Reuters]

03 November 2008

Subway-Inspired Dog Fashion

If you live in New York City long enough, you'll eventually develop a bizarre sense of pride for the subway line you ride most often. You might love it, you might love to hate it, or you might develop complex theories about how it is faster or slower or warmer or colder or has more mariachi band invasions than the other subway lines. But if you want to really solidify your identity as an F train rider/A train survivor/remember when the 1 train was the 9 train-er, you've simply got to check out this new line of MTA licensed gear for dogs.

Brightly colored and richly embroidered, durable nylon leads and collars along with doggie T-Shirts and hoodies sporting subway line and station symbols are a stand out in any crowd. Definitely a conversation starter!

Check out the full collection at The Transit Museum Store