Showing posts from January, 2012

How do Dogs Spread Happiness

Dogs make us happy - there is no doubt about that! But have you ever wondered why? Well my dad told me when I was little that it was because when they wagged their tails, we got sprinkled with doggy magic, but according to a recent article in USA Weekend, there is actually some science behind it.

Acording to the article there are numerous scientific reasons why dogs make us happy including:
Studies show that when petting a dog, a hormone called oxytocin is released helping reduce blood pressure and decreasing levels of cortisol, a hormone related to stress and anxiety.
The simple act of taking a dog for a walk is healthfu as it has a cardiovascular benefit and acts as  a social lubricant.The article quotes John O’Hurley, host of the National Dog Show Presented by Purina e who says  “When a dog wags his tail, it is connected to his heart.”and that's a sentiment we sure agree with.

Read the full article in USA Weekend here.

Teaching Puppy to Recognize his name

 Once you've  chosen a name for your puppy one of the first things you need to do is teach your puppy to respond to  his name. You want to teach your puppy to give you his full attention when you call his name. He needs to  stop what he’s doing, turn his head and look directly at you.
This simple puppy trick means that as you go on to teach your puppy other commands you’ll have much more success as your puppy will be focussed on you while you are teaching him these commands.
Its also important from a safety point of view, as you can call your puppy if he is about to get in to danger such as walk on to a road or chew on a power cable.
When you use your puppy's name, make sure it’s associated with good things. Don’t call his name and then proceed to tell him he as been naughty because if you do, he’ll start to associate his name with getting into trouble and won’t respond. Try some eye contact and a nice pat or tummy rub when he responds to his name.
The next progression is to…

Introducing your pet to baby

Are you expecting and wondering how your new baby and your pet will get along? Well first of all, "congratulations"! Secondly, "don't panic"! Thousands of households every day bring baby home to meet the pets and it all goes swimmingly! Remembering a few simple things will also help ensure that the first time baby meets your dog or cat will go as smoothly as possible. Your first step is to consider a series of obedience classes before the baby arrives, especially if your dog doesn’t know the basic commands: sit, come, stay. When teaching the ‘leave it’ command, rather use the word ‘mine’, as this word is commonly used by toddlers. Also, take bite prevention exercises. Even if your dog is perfectly trained not to bite, do this training again, just in case.

Also prepare your pet by preparing your nursery and you should get on to this at least several weeks before the baby is due. For hygiene and safety reasons, the nursery should be a 'pet free' area -…

Animals with artificial limbs

The recent release of the movie "Dolphin Tale" with Morgan Freedman has renewed many people's interest in the idea of artificial legs for dogs and cats and other animals. The loss of a limb or worse, two, can be devastating for an animal but for those pets lucky enough to have access to veterinary professionals with the ability to attach prosthetic animal limbs  and owners or others willing to foot the expense, a prosthetic limb can mean a long and almost normal life.

We recently heard about both a cat with artificial limbs and a dog with artificial limbs (see below), but there are many examples of pets with prosthetics and also wild animals with artificial limbs.
One of the world leaders in artificial limbs for pets is veterinary surgeon Dr Noel Fitzpatrick and one of the first dogs to receive prosthetic limbs by Dr Fitzpatrick was a Belgian Sheperd called Storm (pictured above). Storm lost his paw after it became infected with a tumor and Dr Fitpatrick fitted him wit…