October 27, 2014
by Sam Bourne
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Why is Your Furry Friend So Chatty?

talkative-dogsWhile owners love their pooches unconditionally, it’s understandable that they might get frustrated with their furry friends from time to time. This includes moments when the family dog won’t stop howling at some unseen animal or disturbance off in the distance.

But why do canines howl? From loud police sirens to miming their owners, dogs let loose deep, throaty calls that can echo throughout their homes. According to Gizmodo, one of the main reasons that pooches howl is simply due to their shared ancestry with wolves. These wild canines use the noise to communicate with pack members over long distances. It’s believed that they’re relaying locations to other wolves who are scouting for prey that are far removed from the den.

This instinct has been passed down to domesticated dogs through genetic memory, which explains why certain breeds, such as Huskies and Malamutes, howl more than others. Family pooches might be calling family members home after being separated for long periods of time.

Dogs might respond to noises that sound like howls as part of pack bonding. When ambulances roar by their homes or their owners start howling, canines will follow suit as pack animals.

Learn more about talkative dogs
Gizmodo explained that dogs howl for any number of reasons, from calling for help to claiming territory. While some pet parents may prefer quiet canine companions, other owners might lean toward a pooch who likes to speak his mind. Here are some of the most vocal dogs, according to VetStreet.

  • Bloodhounds: This sweet and lovable breed might produce a king’s share of drool, but they are most renowned for their ability to track humans and other animals. Bloodhounds’ trailing skills have even been used in some court cases as acceptable testimony. But owners should be prepared for long training hours to ensure that these loud dogs don’t start barking out of boredom.
  • German Shepherd: Natural protectors, these canines are intelligent, athletic and loud. With focused attention and training, owners can ensure that their German Shepherds are fine-tuned for running and jumping.
  • Beagles: The quintessential hunting dog, these pooches might be best known for their acute sense of smell. But Beagles will howl along with sirens and bark whenever strangers approach the front door. Keeping them active is the key to limiting their vocal outbursts.

Owners should sign up for PetPlus today and start saving on discounted supplements for their talkative dogs.

October 22, 2014
by Sam Bourne
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Forget Elvis, These Famous Dogs Were Kings

belka-and-strelka

Belka and Strelka

Museums around the country are dedicated to historical figures and bizarre oddities, but one in St. Louis boasts robust information on man’s best friend. The building is a rarity itself, as it’s one of the few that allows dogs inside to learn about their brethren.

Boston.com reported that the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog has many exhibits dedicated to canines, including paintings, sculptures and numerous displays about famous dogs in history. The curators have no problem with dogs walking around the museum, with no fear of items getting knocked over or messes being made.

The museum is located inside a historic home in Queeny Park that dates back to 1853. There are items dedicated to champion dogs from various competitions, along with canines from pop culture, like Rin Tin Tin. Service dogs even get exhibits, such as search-and-rescue pooches who save lives.

The AKC facility also hosts guest dogs throughout the month so visitors can learn about the different breeds. Employees coordinate dog club meetings as well, and oversee training sessions for owners and their furry friends. The museum attracts roughly 10,000 visitors per year.

Famous dogs throughout history

CNN explained that canines have grown alongside mankind for thousands of years, cementing their own spots in history. These famous dogs have found themselves as historical figures for their achievements – both big and small.

  • Strelka and Belka: These Russian pooches were the first animals to successfully return back to Earth from space. They were launched on the spaceship Sputnik 5 in 1960 for a one-day mission into orbit, and their trip allowed scientists to glean useful information about interstellar travel. One of Strelka’s puppies, Pushinka, was given to John F. Kennedy’s daughter, Caroline.
  • Peritas: Even Alexander the Great needed a furry friend by his side. When the legendary soldier was surrounded by Persian troops, Peritas leapt into the fray and bit the lip of a charging elephant. Alexander was able to survive the attack and went on to forge an empire that’s still talked about to this day.
  • Jofi: The beloved Chow of famed psychologist Sigmund Freud, Jofi is considered the first-ever therapy dog. He was kept in the office during psychotherapy sessions, as Freud believed that Jofi comforted the patients. In fact, his notes on these interactions became the basis of modern-day pet-assisted therapy.

The key to raising famous dogs is maintaining their health, and a PetPlus membership gives owners access to discounted supplements and medications that help make a strong canine.

October 22, 2014
by Sam Bourne
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Tips to Give Your Achy Dog The Bee’s Knees

dog-knee-health-blog

Playing sports like football, basketball and soccer puts considerable strain on people’s knees and can lead to traumatic injuries, such as tears to the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. But humans aren’t alone in this risk, as running after tennis balls or jumping off the couch might injure dogs’ knees as well.

ABC News explained that while dogs can get hurt similarly to their owners, it’s more likely that their tears are subtle and will continue to grow over time from everyday strain. Eventually, these injuries could become a painful obstacle to manage due to the animals’ high level of physical activity. Surgeries pose a challenge, as many veterinarians aren’t qualified to conduct these extensive operations.

However, 65-pound pitbull Molly underwent her first procedure in December 2012 to repair a torn ligament. But after only a few months, an injury to her other knee resulted in a second operation. Yet, the 3-year-old pooch has endured. Now, she’s able to run, swim and climb like she did prior to surgery.

According to ABC News, dog surgery can cost up to $5,000 depending on the location and severity of the injury. This high cost makes maintaining proper knee health essential to the well-being of both canines and their owners.

Promoting strong dog knee health
Keeping your pooch’s knees safe and healthy is critical to ensuring a long and happy life, but sometimes injuries can’t be avoided. According to VetStreet, sudden lameness in young, active canines typically serves as a sign of an acute injury. But for older dogs, ligaments can simply break down after chronic wear and tear.

While surgeries are pathways to healing injuries, the best action that owners can take is prevention. It’s always better to avoid injury than sink money into lengthy procedures. One of the best prevention methods is keeping your dog at an ideal weight and taking him on runs to bolster his conditioning. This strengthens the leg muscles to better support his knees. Exercises like swimming maintain low-impact training, which reduces stress on the ligaments and tendons.

If your dog yelps while running or comes up lame after trotting, don’t wait to take him to a veterinarian. This might decrease his chances of fully recovering and could limit the function of his legs.

When looking to promote strong dog knee health, a membership with PetPlus gives you access to discounted supplements that support strong ligaments. Sign up today and ensure that your pooch continues his active lifestyle for years to come.

FOR MORE STORIES LIKE THIS, AND THE BEST PET INFO AND HUGE DISCOUNTS ON PET ESSENTIALS, FOLLOW US ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK!

October 22, 2014
by Sam Bourne
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New Ordinance to Put Cap on Multi-Dog Homes

multi-dog-home-blog

While raising one pooch can be challenging enough, many families love having multiple dogs lounging around the house. But a South Carolina city has moved to place limits on the number of canines allowed in a single home.

Greenville Online reported that in Easley, South Carolina, the city council provided initial approval for an ordinance that would set a cap to the number of dogs owners can keep in their homes. The new maximum number would be set at five. The move comes after council members received complaints regarding a local household where residents claimed roughly 40 dogs were being sheltered.

Two councilmen – Brian Garrison and Chris Mann – voted against the ordinance due to concerns about privacy and citing precedents for invasions of personal rights. The 5-2 vote will be reviewed again next month with the possibility of an amendment for extenuating circumstances, such as dogs that have litters. This would give owners a time limit to get the puppies out of the house.

City officials stated that the council moved to limit the number of dogs in a residence due to the complaints, but also cited the lack of such laws being provided by the county or state.

Living in a multi-dog home
Although one canine can be fun, sometimes owners want to give their furry friends a playmate. While it can be tough to keep the peace at first, pet parents should know that their own personalities and behaviors will play important roles in creating a relaxing and rewarding multi-dog home.

The Whole Dog Journal explained that because dogs are pack animals, having more than one in the household requires owners to be vigilant in their position as leader. For example, feeding multiple pooches can be challenging if they keep invading each other’s space. To prevent this, feed the dogs separately either in different rooms or one at a time in the same area. Over time, they’ll learn to only focus on their own bowls rather than running around to gorge on numerous servings.

In addition, living in a multi-dog home can lead to some serious roughhousing during play time. It’s important for owners to closely monitor playing early on so they become comfortable with calmly intervening and breaking up the session if it gets too aggressive. If one of their pooches becomes overly excited, he can be put in a crate for a time out until his energy level has dropped down.

Owners should sign up for PetPlus to gain access to discounted supplements and prescription medications that make raising multiple dogs easier than ever before.

FOR MORE STORIES LIKE THIS, AND THE BEST PET INFO AND HUGE DISCOUNTS ON PET ESSENTIALS, FOLLOW US ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK!

October 17, 2014
by Sam Bourne
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Why Doggy Dental Care Could Save Your Dog’s Life

doggy-dental-care

It’s common knowledge that dogs age differently than humans, but the old comparison of seven dog years to every one human year isn’t as accurate as people think.

Business Insider explained that if we truly aged seven times slower than canines, many humans would be able to have children at age 7 and live to be more than 150 years old. But it’s clear that’s not the case. During their first two years of life, pooches age faster than humans, which causes them to reach full sexual maturity at a much quicker rate.

Because their aging process slows down toward the end of their lives, comparing your dog’s age to your own becomes tricky, but it’s not entirely impossible. Smaller breeds tend to live longer than larger ones, meaning that overall weight plays a larger factor into canines’ ages. For example, a pooch that weighs 20 pounds or less at 1 year old is actually 15 in dog years. Medium dogs – between 21 and 50 pounds – follow the same pattern, but larger breeds that weigh between 51 and 90 pounds are around 14 years old at one human year.

The origins of the seven-year myth are unknown, but it’s clear that dogs require extra care to extend their lives to the fullest extent. And with dental problems being at the root (pun intended) of 3/4 health concerns vets see, most pet parents could stand to put a greater emphasis on the importance of proper doggy dental care.

Promoting doggy dental care
From natural dog food to dietary supplements, there are numerous ways to keep your furry friend strong and healthy late in his life. However, the American Kennel Club suggested that many dog owners neglect dental care, which can help your dog stay in top form.

Healthy gums are firm and pink, black or spotted, the AKC explained. Young pups should have smooth white teeth that will darken with age. Depending on the breed, puppies will have 23 baby teeth, and adults wind up with around 42 permanent chompers. To check on dental health, it’s best to put your hand over the muzzle and lift up the sides of his or her mouth.

Look for soft white matter or hard yellow or brown matter on the teeth, as this can indicate plaque or tartar buildup. If found, owners should brush the gunk away to ensure that their dog’s mouth is healthy. Mouth infections can lead to serious health problems, including heart failure, so it’s important not to let your canine’s dental hygiene fall to the wayside.

By signing up for PetPlus, owners can purchase dental cleaning kits and treats specifically designed to promote strong teeth at discounted prices. Each order also comes with free shipping, allowing you to ensure your dog’s health without breaking the bank.