October 22, 2014
by Sam Bourne
3 Comments

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
1 Comment

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.

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October 17, 2014
by Sam Bourne
1 Comment

Why Doggy Dental Care Could Save Your Dog’s Life

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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.

October 16, 2014
by Sam Bourne
1 Comment

Alabama Dog Euthanized, Rises From the Dead

alabama-dog-dead

Dogs can be resilient animals, withstanding the elements to survive outdoors only to return home to families who are ecstatic to have them back. But sometimes, a canine gets put through the ringer and ends up surprising even the veterinarians with their ability to persevere.

According to Discovery News, a Black Labrador mix was being housed at an animal shelter in Helena, Alabama, after his owner could no longer take care of him and dropped him off at the facility. Lazarus, as he was named by one of the attending staff members, spent a week in the shelter before the doctor euthanized him – or so he thought.

After administering two shots that were intended to put the poor dog down, the 4-year-old pup was found alive the next morning, complete with a full stomach from eating his leftovers. Although he was a bit groggy and wobbly, Lazarus was alive and well in his cage. While a highly unusual circumstance, Auburn University professor Robert Lofton, D.V.M., suggested that the shelter may have administered an incorrect dose or missed the vein.

Lazarus’ miraculous survival is just one of many incredible pet stories that have sprung up throughout the years.

Inspiring ‘tails’ of animal survival
The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals compiled a list of amazing true stories from 2013. These animal survival tales captured the hearts of many, displaying the resiliency of pets in the face of various threats.

In May, Tarzan the orange cat was found abandoned in a dirty construction site, hiding from fast-moving cars and dangerous equipment. Covered head to toe in black tar, Tarzan was rescued by the MSPCA and shaved completely to get rid of the mangy coat. After enduring the lengthy cleaning process, the cat was swiftly adopted into a loving home where he lives happily to this day.

A 7-week-old Pitbull puppy was found in a dumpster and was rescued by a kind-hearted stranger in April. He was suffering from a broken jaw and spent eight weeks in the shelter, eating healthy food while wrapped in a warm blanket and surrounded by loving staff members. His jaw quickly began to heal and Oscar was adopted into a wonderful home soon after.

These animals endured serious hardships and came back stronger than ever. For pet parents, they can fortify their furry friends’ health with beneficial supplements from PetPlus. Sign up today and start saving!

October 14, 2014
by Sam Bourne
0 comments

Why You Should Be Mindful of Which Butts Your Dog is Sniffing

dog-butt-sniff

Recently, the world has been in a frenzy over the Ebola virus outbreak occurring in West Africa. Now, a U.S. patient was admitted to a Texas hospital and diagnosed with the disease, which can be transferred through direct contact with an infected person’s fluids, such as saliva, urine or vomit, and often results in death.

According to ABC News, Ebola can be spread by monkeys, bats and a long list of other animals. This creates a legitimate concern that dogs might become viable hosts of the virus, too. Officials in Madrid, Spain, received a court order to euthanize the pet of a nursing assistant who contracted Ebola while working overseas, despite there being no existing documentation to confirm that canine-to-human transmittal is possible.

This begs the question: Can dogs get Ebola?

During an Ebola outbreak in the African country Gabon that occurred between 2001 and 2002, researchers tested dogs for traces of the virus. Of the 337 dogs in surrounding towns and villages, roughly 9 to 25 percent showed evidence of antibodies to Ebola, an indication that they were infected or exposed to the virus. Additional lab experiments suggested that animals’ urine, stool and saliva might contain the virus, which, in theory, means humans might catch Ebola through a dog licking or biting them.

However, Sharon Curtis Granskog, a spokesperson for the American Veterinary Medical Association, explained that “the risk of canines spreading Ebola in the U.S. is very small.”

Protect your dog from other animals
Be it rabies, Ebola or some other health risk, it’s important to protect your canine from other dangerous animals. The AVMA offered several measures that owners can take to protect their pooches – and themselves – from health threats.

When taking your dog on walks at parks or reservations, make sure he stays clear of stool. Canine droppings can contain harmful items, like parvovirus and hookworms, that get your little pooch sick, and you should be careful not to let him get too curious.

If your dog has a disease or is in the middle of taking prescription medications, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian before bringing him to dog gatherings. This can put him at risk of catching illnesses from canines or other animals in the area. If your pooch is sick, it’s a good idea to keep him indoors and comfortable until he’s fully recovered.

To bolster your dog’s health and vitality, sign up for a PetPlus membership to purchase prescription medications at discounted prices.