We all love to take our dogs with us when we go out and about, but should you really leave your dog tied up unattended on the sidewalk while you go inside shops and restaurants? Animal welfare advocates say that there are too many threats to your dog’s well-being to risk it. In fact, it’s illegal to tie your dog up outside a shop in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Here are some common sense reasons why you shouldn’t do it.
Look at the facial expressions and body language of dogs you see left tied up outside. You’ll see how stressful it is for dogs when their owners leave them by themselves in unfamiliar places.
Did you know that one out of five dogs are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year? Certain breeds like Yorkshire Terriers, French Bulldogs, and Chihuahuas are particularly vulnerable to being stolen outside of shops and restaurants.
Your dog could get frightened by something and escape, or get injured if his leash gets tangled up or wrapped around a pole. A well-meaning stranger trying to help your dog could get bitten if your dog is scared.
Your dog may be sweet, but the combination of being left alone by you and getting approached by strangers could trigger fear-based aggression. Little children will often want to reach out and pet dogs they see on the sidewalk, but your normally friendly dog could turn irritable and display hostility towards kids, and also other dogs walking by.
It’s common courtesy to supervise your dog. You can’t monitor your dog’s behavior on a busy city street if you’re not with him.
It would be nice to think that all shelter dogs and cats have an equal chance at finding a new home, but studies indicate that when it comes to the amount a time an animal spends in a no-kill shelter before adoption, age and physical characteristics are what potential adopters look at first.
In two separate studies published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, researchers studied the adoption records of both dogs and cats at a few no-kill shelters in New York State. They found that certain types of dogs and cats had a much longer length of stay (LOS) than others.
In the dog study, young puppies had the shortest length of stay; LOS increased with a dog’s age. Surprisingly, neither coat color nor sex was found to be a factor in LOS for dogs. Medium-sized dogs had the longest LOS, while both very small dogs and very large dogs had shorter LOS. Researchers were surprised to find that “fighting” dog breeds had shorter lengths of stay than “guard” dog breeds, which had the longest LOS among purebreds.
In the cat study, the average length of stay for cats and kittens was 61.2 days, with individual cases ranging from 1 day to 730 days. Researchers found that younger, lighter colored cats spent less time at the shelter than older, darker colored cats. Adult cats with coloring described as “yellow” had the longest length of stay, but coat color had no impact on a kitten’s LOS. Coat patterns and whether or not the cat was purebred also impacted LOS. Male cats and kittens had a shorter LOS than female cats and kittens.
Potential cat adopters are more likely to be particular about superficial characteristics like color than dog adopters. In addition to color, cat adopters pay attention to age and sex. Dog adopters are also interested in age, but their other primary considerations are size and breed. The authors of both studies advocate for shelters to pay special attention to dogs and cats with characteristics that lead to long lengths of stay, and develop strategies that increase adoption rates for these deserving animals.
A recent study conducted at Kyoto University in Japan proves that dogs understand when people are mean to their owners, and will even reject food from those people in a show of solidarity with their owners.
Researchers tested several groups of dogs by having their owners ask strangers for help opening a box. In the first group, one person refused to help the owner while a third person remained neutral. In the second group, one person helped the owner while a third person remained neutral. Neither person interacted with the owner in the third control group.
After the dogs watched the human interactions, both strangers offered them food. Dogs that saw their owners being snubbed were significantly more likely to take food from the neutral person and ignore the person who refused to help their owners. Dogs in the other two groups showed no preference when offered food from the strangers.
The authors of the study note that dogs are able to evaluate the behavior of people and make decisions based on those perceptions, even if it means foregoing a treat. They argue that if the dogs acted only out of self-interest, they would have accepted food from any of the strangers, regardless of behavior.
Dogs share this ability with just humans (who develop it at around 3 years old) and some, but not all, primates.
Animal hospice care shares the same philosophy as hospice care for people…to provide palliative care for pets who are in the last stages of a terminal disease, or at the natural end of life. The goal of hospice care for pets is to provide comfort and pain relief for the patient and to support the emotional needs of the family as they prepare for their pet’s passing.
An animal hospice care program does not necessarily involve a physical place, it allows the pet to spend her final days in the comfort and familiarity of her own home, while pet parents are able to get emotional support while saying their final goodbyes to their beloved companion.
Hospice care may be a good option for pets with cancer, organ failure, cognitive dysfunction, failure to thrive, and old age. Pain control in pet hospice care is more than just drugs. Many programs offer such therapies as acupuncture and acupressure, chiropractic, massage, warm water therapy, Reiki, herbs, and essential oils.
Hospice care is about providing your pet with a “good death” and may or may not include euthanasia. Many animal hospice practitioners will also offer hospice-supported natural death in certain situations. Your hospice care provider can also help you with decisions about burial or cremation, and different ways you can memorialize your best friend.
Summer is a great time for having fun with your pets, but it’s important to keep a few simple things in mind to make sure your pets don’t overheat, both outdoors and indoors, in the summertime.
The core body temperature of cats and dogs is warmer than humans…generally around the 101.5 degree mark. Your pet is in danger of heatstroke if his body temperature rises to around 103 degrees. A fatal core body temperature for pets is 107 degrees.
How can you make sure your pets stay cool this summer? Just follow these simple, common-sense guidelines.
Never leave your pet alone in a parked car in warm weather, even if it’s parked in the shade with the windows down.
Close the curtains or blinds during the hottest part of the day in rooms that get a lot of sun.
Make sure you always have plenty of fresh drinking water available, both indoors and outdoors. Be sure to change the water in outdoor bowls frequently.
Give your pets access to rooms with cool tile floors, like laundry rooms and bathrooms.
Make sure your garden has cool shady spots for your pets to lie in if they spend time outside.
Brush or comb your pets frequently to get rid of any mats, which can trap heat.
Pay special attention to pets with short muzzles like Pugs and Persians, as they are more susceptible to overheating.
Take your dog for walks in the morning and evening to avoid the heat of the day. Consider using protective paw wax if your dog’s feet get exposed to hot pavement.