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Friday, June 29, 2018

How to Reduce Pet Allergens at Home

Pets can be your best friends, but if you have allergies or asthma, they can also be your worst enemy. Pets shed dander, a combination of dead skin cells and hair (or feathers), which can trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions in some people. However, you can cut down on pet allergens at home.

Cute but hazardous

Pets shed dander, a combination of dead skin cells and hair (or feathers), which can trigger asthma attacks and allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to the allergens. (Cold-blooded pets such as snakes and turtles do not produce dander.)
Some guidelines recommend that people with allergies or asthma avoid keeping pets—especially cats. If a doctor says that you—or your child's—allergies or asthma is aggravated by dander, you may ultimately need to find a new home for your pet. However, there are several ways you can cut down on pet allergens at home.

Minimize contact

You can reduce dander in your home by keeping your pet outdoors as much as possible. At the very least, you should bar pets from bedrooms where people with allergies or asthma sleep.

Children with allergies should also avoid petting or touching animals. If they do come into contact with a pet, they should wash their hands thoroughly.
Restricting pets to rooms with wood floors may also help. Wood flooring traps less dander than carpet and is easier to clean; keeping pets off carpet may help cut down on allergens.

Keep Fluffy off the couch

Keeping pets off carpets, upholstered furniture, and beds can reduce exposure to dander. (Using allergen-resistant bedding will help fend off any dander that does find its way into bedrooms.) Keeping pets out of cars—or restricting them to a tailgate area, if possible—is also a good idea.
In addition, any furniture, fabrics, or materials that pets do come into contact with should be vacuumed or washed frequently. This includes throw rugs, pet beds, cushions, pillows, and blankets.

Clean, clean, clean

Dusting as often as possible will keep dander (as well as dust mites and other allergens) to a minimum. Vacuuming, however, may not get all the allergens from the lower levels of a rug and may stir up a bit of dander as you clean. It may help to use vacuums equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter or double bags. However, it's still a good idea to dust or vacuum when the person with allergies or asthma is not at home.
Replacing wall-to-wall carpets with wood floors will make it easier to remove dander.
A 1999 study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology compared the levels of allergens in dog dander before and after a five-minute bath with an unnamed “proprietary shampoo” (which could describe an allergen-reducing shampoo). The researchers found that the bath reduced the dogs’ allergen levels by about 85% .

Close registers

If you have forced-air heating and air conditioning, closing air registers may reduce the amount of animal dander that circulates through your home. If closing all of the registers isn’t practical, try closing those in the rooms where asthmatic or allergic individuals spend the most time (especially bedrooms).
Replacing the filter in your furnace or air conditioner with a HEPA filter and/or purchasing a room air cleaner may also help. Studies on the effectiveness of these methods have been inconclusive, however. Research shows that frequently bathing your pet reduces the allergens found in their dander.

Clean cages

Though hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, and other pets typically confined to cages tend to be less problematic for allergy and asthma sufferers, dander and urine produced by these pets can still provoke allergic reactions and asthma attacks.

Birdcages and rodent cages should be cleaned at least once a week and, if possible, the cages should be moved outside to a garage or shed. Likewise, litter boxes should be cleaned frequently and moved out of living areas.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Dog attack what to do

There are about 4.5 million dog bites every year in the U.S., according to the CDC. Nearly one in every five of those bites becomes infected (around 900,000), and between 1999 and 2007, dogs were the cause of 250 deaths. If you don’t count venomous insects, man’s best friend is one of the deadliest animals in the U.S.

A majority of dog attacks are caused by people’s pets that have either gotten loose or weren’t properly leashed to begin with, but some attacks are by stray or feral dogs.
Feral dogs, sometimes referred to as wild dogs or street dogs, are free-ranging, non-domesticated animals that are not and never were somebody’s pet. They’re usually afraid of people, but can be far more dangerous than a lost or abandoned pet (stray) if they’re cornered, starving, or infected with rabies. According to the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management, feral dogs usually form communities that travel together, and they often have rendezvous sites like wolves. They tend to scavenge for food, like garbage and roadkill, around human populations, but they’ve been known to hunt in packs as well. When feral dogs go hunting, it’s usually for livestock, neighborhood pets, and, occasionally, people who are in the wrong place at the wrong time. And don’t think feral dogs are something you’ll only find in rural areas. Feral dog packs can be found in almost any city, from Detroit to Dallas, where a woman was recently mauled and bitten over 100 times in the middle of the street.

f you encounter a single dog you’re not familiar with, be it a stray, feral, or a dog you’re sure is somebody’s pet, the CDC recommends you avoid it—even if it seems like it’s lost or needs help. This goes double for dogs that are sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies. Even if it’s obvious the dog is someone’s pet, an unleashed dog can be dangerous, especially for children. If an unfamiliar dog approaches you, do not run, panic, or make loud noises. Stay motionless, keeping the side of your body facing the dog while avoiding direct eye contact. Say things like “No” or “Go Home” in a deep, firm voice, and slowly raise your hands to cover your neck while keeping your elbows in. Now wait for the dog to leave or begin to slowly back away.

If the dog charges you, it’s still important to stand as still as possible. As Dr. Sofia Yin, DVM, MS, explains, dogs charge for one of two reasons: either because they are scared and know offense is their best defense, or because something you or another person in the vicinity did something that excited them and made them think they’re being rewarded. People’s pets can get caught in a self-reinforced feedback loop where they “play” a little too hard and don’t know any better. If you yell and move around frantically, the dog will think you’re playing along and won’t stop.

If the dog is clearly being aggressive, not playing (growling, snarling, barking), or obviously feral (dirty, no collar, not reacting to commands), Yin recommends you try and put something between you and the animal. A backpack, purse, jacket, or even a shoe can make for a great shield. Look at the dogs’ body language so you can prepare to block attacks. Tension in the body, raised hackles (the hair along the dog’s back), and ears that are flat against their head are things to watch for. Don’t try to hit the dog with the item, though, as this can make the dog even more aggressive. Just try to back away slowly. If the dog knocks you down, curl into a ball with your head tucked, make fists with your hands to protect your fingers, and use your hands and arms to cover your ears and neck.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Wild Animals | Rattlesnake

Rattlesnakes are predators that live in a wide array of habitats, hunting small animals such as birds and rodents.
Rattlesnakes receive their name from the rattle located at the end of their tails, which makes a loud rattling noise when vibrated that deters predators or serves as a warning to passers-by. However, rattlesnakes fall prey to hawks, weasels, king snakes, and a variety of other species. Rattlesnakes are heavily preyed upon as neonates, while they are still weak and immature. Large numbers of rattlesnakes are killed by humans. Rattlesnake populations in many areas are severely threatened by habitat destruction, poaching, and extermination campaigns.
Rattlesnakes are the leading contributor to snakebite injuries in North America. However, rattlesnakes rarely bite unless provoked or threatened; if treated promptly, the bites are seldom fatal.
Like all pit vipers, rattlesnakes have two organs that can sense radiation: their eyes, and a set of heat-sensing "pits" on their faces that enable them to locate prey and move towards it, based on the prey's thermal radiation signature. These pits have a relatively short effective range of about 1 ft, but give the rattlesnake a distinctive advantage in hunting for warm-blooded creatures at night.

Heat-sensing pits

Aside from this pair of simple eyes, rattlesnakes are able to detect thermal radiation emitted by warm-blooded organisms in their environment. Functioning optically like a pinhole camera eye, thermal radiation, in the form of infrared wavelength light, enters, passes through the opening of the pit and strikes the pit membrane located in the back wall, warming this part of the organ. Due to the extremely high density of these heat-sensitive receptors innervating this membrane, the rattlesnake can detect temperature changes of 0.003 °C or less in its immediate surroundings. Infrared cues from these receptors are transmitted to the brain by the trigeminal nerve, where they are used to create thermal maps of the snake’s surroundings. Due to the small sizes of the pit openings, typically these thermals images are low in resolution and contrast. Nevertheless, rattlesnakes superimpose visual images created from information from the eyes with these thermal images from the pit organs to more accurately visualize their surroundings in low levels of light. Research conducted recently on the molecular mechanism of this ability suggests the temperature sensitivity of these pit organs is closely linked to the activity of transient receptor potential ankyrin 1, a temperature-sensitive ion channel saturated in the pit membrane.

Skin and circulation

Rattlesnake skin has a set of overlapping scales which cover the entire body, providing protection from a variety of threats including dehydration and physical trauma. The typical rattlesnake, genus Crotalus, has the top of its head covered with small scales, except, with a few species, a few crowded plates directly over the snout. The skin of snakes is highly sensitive to contact, tension, and pressure; they are capable of feeling pain.
An important function of the skin is the sensation of changes in air temperature, which can guide the snakes towards warm basking/shelter locations. All snakes are ectotherms. To maintain a stable body temperature, they exchange heat with their external environments. Snakes often move into open, sunny areas to absorb heat from the sun and warmed earth, a behavior known as basking. Nerves in the skin regulate the flow of blood into the veins near the surface. Rubio states, "The skin's acceptance of radiant energy, its ability to determine the temperature, and the snake's ability to move toward or away from one temperature gradient to another are among the most important behavioral actions in its daily life."
The skin of rattlesnakes is intricately patterned in a manner that camouflages them from their predators. Rattlesnakes do not generally have bright or showy colors (reds, yellows, blues, etc.), instead relying on subtle earth tones that resemble the surrounding environment.
Creases in the epidermal tissue connect the scales of rattlesnakes. When ingesting large prey, these creases can unfold, allowing the skin to expand to envelop a much greater volume. The skin appears to tightly stretch to accommodate the meal, but in reality, the skin is simply smoothing out from its creased state and is not under very high tension.

Jane Worll for Animalix

Thursday, June 21, 2018

If dogs and cats had legal rights, how would that impact other animals?

People are duking it out over custody of the family companion animal in divorce proceedings. People are suing for damages when a companion animal is injured or killed. People are demanding consideration of companion animals during disaster response.
I guess that means laws giving rights to, at the very least, dogs and cats should be right around the corner, right?
Not so fast, pardner. There are plenty of adversaries to face down before you ride into that town.

Like who?

Well, the American Veterinary Medical Association, for one. To be sure, they WANT you to consider your pet a beloved family member. But they don’t want you suing the crap out of them when you believe a member of their ranks provides substandard care.
They do have a valid point. If dogs and cats had rights, the cost of veterinary care would go through the roof. Think your vet bills are high now? What would they be if the cost of malpractice insurance was tacked onto the cost? And that thing I’m doing now with using a dog medication off-label with Bubba Cat? I’m sure THAT would not be allowed to continue.

Pet stores and Puppy mill breeders are most certainly not for animals having rights. Would that impact the sale of animals? Probably. At the very least, the standards of care required for breeder animals would be strictly regulated, unlike it is now.

Research labs would not be able to conduct the testing on dogs and cats, because dogs and cats cannot provide consent.

Dog food would be more expensive as the requirements for manufacture would become more stringent. Though, to be sure, dog food is already a cut-throat business, and manufacturers are already employing strict manufacturing standards to avoid recalls that can destroy a brand.

Shock collars would most certainly go by the wayside. Say good-bye to your invisible fence!

If you think the one-upmanship of pet owners is bad now, imagine how it would be if your neighbor could report you for not bathing your dog regularly or not taking him for a walk every day. It would be kind of like child abuse investigations are now: some investigations have merit, while others are nuisance calls made to harass the one being investigated.

If dogs and cats had legal rights, how would that impact other animals?

It wouldn’t take long for courts to rule that the Great Apes should also be afforded rights. After all, they are the animals most like humans in appearance. That would impact research labs and zoos.

Animal agriculture would most certainly be impacted. The cost of meat, milk, and eggs would rise as farms would be forced to provide humane living conditions for animals used to feed humans.

Extermination practices would have to change considerably, as it would no longer be acceptable to just poison rats and mice.

As you have no doubt figured out, this is not a change that people would willingly accept in one lump sum. It’s going to take time, and a continuing change in public perception to get us there.

Are YOU still willing to fight for animals to have rights, or is the cost going to be higher than you’re willing to pay?

The cost of eggs is going to go up because of the law recently enacted in CA. Even midwestern egg farmers will have to raise their prices if they supply to California, because they will have to comply with the new regulations, that require the chicken’s cage be large enough for it to move around and flap its wings. That means fewer chickens in the same amount of space, which means fewer eggs, and higher heating costs for farmers. Of course, you could just buy eggs from your local farms, where you can see the chickens running free the way they are meant to be. The cost will be comparable.

You can always cut meat and dairy out of your diet if the cost irks you.

There should be a way to grant animals more rights in terms of quality of life without granting full “personhood”.

It is good that someone is tackling this subject. Like you say, it is large and complex. Mostly, I see it as sad.

to help animals, and more who think it is lucrative…Their prices reflect their greed in many cases.

There are faults on all sides, over breeding, shelters–(badly named if they ‘kill’), lax laws for abusers, the people who ‘have to have purebreds over mixed breeds, (those people should look at the percentage of purebred animals that end up in “shelters” and are destroyed,) the list goes on and on.

Turning things around takes so long, it sometimes feels hopeless—actually a good deal of the time.

Granting ‘personhood’–I wonder….’Personhood’ is what is responsible for the status of things now….

Thought provoking post. I think animals do have ‘rights’ or at least protection in law. I stand by the RSPCA (and other charities) in their fight for fair treatment of all animals – domestic or farmyard. And to bring prosecutions where necessary. Only by debating animal rights, will more people become aware of the issues and perceptions will change. In the meantime, it is incumbent on all animal lovers to bring wrong-doing to the attention of the authorities and social media.

The protection laws we have in place here in the UK are clearly not working so rights are needed. I don’t care how it effects puppy mills and pet shops. I would be happy to pay more for food. And vet treatment is one of those things you expect as a pet owner. I would pay whatever it took. 

However I do take your point on the off the label medicines. When one of my guinea pigs was ill, they recommended an anti-biotic which was actually for cat use but it worked exactly as they promised. 

However we already see pets as members of the family, why doesn’t...

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Active Puppies in the park

Dogs are social creatures. In addition to spending time with their human family members, pups also like to socialize with other dogs. Dog parks provide the perfect venue for pooches to play and exercise with other dogs in a safe and controlled setting. However, introducing a puppy to the dog park scene might cause a pet owner some anxiety. How do you keep your puppy safe in this new environment full of other canines?

Puppies present a unique set of challenges to their owners when being introduced to dog parks. Puppies generally are more active and curious than adult canines which could lead to more conflict with other dogs; however, with caution and preparation, puppies can enjoy dog parks while learning important social interaction skills.

To start off, puppies younger than 4 months old shouldn't be brought to the dog park. They have not been fully immunized and will be susceptible to catching diseases from other dogs. If an older dog displays aggressive behavior towards him, your puppy could be traumatized during a very important stage of his social development. But once your dog is fully immunized and ready to be around new dogs, visits to the dog park will help him to develop good etiquette for healthy interaction with his fellow canines.

The key to keeping your active puppy safe at the dog park is to have a good grasp on how your dog will respond to other dogs. Before taking your puppy to the dog park, test how your dog will react to meeting a new canine friend. Introduce your puppy to a friend or neighbor's dog to gauge how he'll react.Next, we'll take a look at some more useful tips for keeping your romping bundle of fur safe once he gets to the dog park.
Once you've prepped your dog to enter the dog park, start off in a cautious manner. Evenings during the week, holidays, and weekends tend to be busy times for dog parks, so it's best to introduce your dog to the park when there's not a big canine crowd. Walk your dog before you take him to the dog park so that he's not too wound up with energy. Keep your first visit short so as not to overwhelm your puppy. Start out with a 15-minute visit, and slowly increase the length of your stay.

Once you've entered the unleashed area of the dog park, be sure to let your dog off his leash.

Mixing unleashed and leashed dogs can create a hostile environment. Leashed dogs and their owners can display body language that might be perceived by unleashed dogs as threatening, causing the unleashed dogs to act in an aggressive manner. Also, don't bring treats or toys to the dog park. Rewards and snacks might create jealousy and aggression between puppies.
Once your puppy is acclimated to the dog park scene, you still have to be vigilant about supervising him. Watch him closely when he's interacting with other dogs; keep an eye on both his body language and the body language of other canines. If he starts to become fearful or aggressive, it's time to leave the park. But with a little forethought and preparation, an active puppy will have a safe and rewarding dog park experience.

Monday, June 18, 2018

How to raise a dog friendly puppy

There's a short period in every puppy's development, from very early puppyhood to three or four months of age, when his experiences have a big effect on his entire approach to life. If he has lots of positive encounters with other dogs during that developmental window, he's far more likely to grow up to be dog-friendly. If he doesn't, he can become fearful and aggressive.
An adult dog's personality is far less malleable than a puppy's, but exposure to other dogs can still improve his social skills. Just move slowly and cautiously, and if you see signs of aggression or timidity, get help from a professional trainer right away.
This is easy, since other dogs, starting with your puppy's mother and littermates, do most of the work.
Young puppies teach each other how to act around other dogs, mainly by practicing how to show and read the signs of submission and dominance. Without this lesson in canine etiquette, a dog may attack another dog who's trying to tell him, "I give up--you're the boss!" Or he won't know how to defuse a dominant dog's aggression by signaling his submission. Either way, you're likely to wind up with expensive vet bills.

The solution is simple: Give your puppy plenty of chances to practice his canine etiquette.

Bring home your puppy at the right age. Don't buy or adopt a puppy who was taken away from his mom and littermates before eight weeks of age. Any earlier, and your pup won't have had enough chances to practice his canine manners with them.

Set up playdates. When you bring your new pup home, invite your friends to bring their healthy, vaccinated dogs over to play. To make sure your pup doesn't get intimidated, start with mellow, well-behaved dogs.

Start him in school. As soon as possible, sign up for puppy kindergarten classes that allow the pups plenty of time for off-leash play.

Feed his social life. When your puppy grows up, take him to the dog park, invite friends' dogs over to play, and keep exposing your dog to other canines. Even if your dog had a hopping canine social life during puppyhood, he needs regular exposure to other dogs throughout his adulthood or he risks becoming less friendly over time.

Bottom line: No matter what the breed or bloodline, every dog should get regular playtime with canine pals to be friendly and safe around other dogs. This is especially important before the age of three or four months, when a pup's experiences can shape his personality as an adult.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

How to Leash Train Your Active Puppy

If there's one thing you need to know about puppies, it's that they're unpredictable. Some may take to leash-walking well, others, not so much. So what are you to do if your puppy falls into the latter category? We've got some tips to help you out!

Choose the Right Leash and Collar for Your Puppy

This might seem obvious, but with so many collar and leash options out there, it may be confusing which to choose. Most professionals suggest getting a light weight collar and leash so the addition doesn't seem too imposing to your puppy. Once he or she gets used to the collar, you can move onto a different kind in the future once you understand your dog's needs better.

Help Your Puppy Become Accustomed to the Collar

Like most kinds of training, you want to make sure your puppy feels safe and secure while you're helping him get used to his collar and walking on a leash. Since simply adding a collar might result in a temper tantrum or cause your pup to become fearful or nervous, try slipping it on at a time when there are other distractions to occupy your puppy's mind. Try putting it on when you're interacting with him at home, or taking him out into the yard with you, or feeding him. Associating the collar and leash with food will give positive reinforcement to your pup, making it less stressful for both of you. If your puppy scratches at the collar, try to get his attention to distract him from the new addition around his neck. If that fails, bringing out a favorite toy should help.

Seems pretty simple right? You'd be surprised. Often a dog will tend to run around like crazy once he feels some tension on the end of the leash. To avoid this, attach the leash and let him run around while it drags on the ground. Obviously only try this in an area where you can supervise your pup to make sure he doesn't run off and to avoid any entanglements. Ideally, you should try this when there is another dog around so your pup can play while wearing the leash. If this isn't possible, simply play with your dog or go through a fun training routine, rewarding him with a treat. While doing this, occasionally pick up leash and call him to you. The trick is to encourage him while gently picking up the leash, again rewarding him with small treats.

Snagle Paw Tangle Free BungeeX2 Double Dog Leash Coupler, 360° Swivel No Tangle Dual Dog Walking & Training Leash|30-100lbs|, Comfortable Shock 

If your dog naturally walks at heel, that's great - but don't expect it - and don't try to get him to. Yanking on the leash won't help the situation, so think of getting him to walk as a gradual process. You may need to stand still or kneel down while he figures out what's going on - that way your pup realizes that he won't be able to go anywhere unless it is by your side. Some dogs may decide to sit down and not move. If this happens, call to your pup and offer him a reward when he comes over. Never yank him toward you. Once he comes over of his own will, offer him a treat and continue walking with him by your side.

Final Tips

Leash-training your puppy may be frustrating, but it's important to take your time and remain calm. Your puppy may not get leash-training on his first try, so it's important to take it slow and guage how quick your little one is able to learn. Small steps will soon lead to big gains - and soon enough your puppy will be walking nicely on his leash with you.

Coprophagia Dogs Eating Feces Part 2

Enzyme deficiency

In the wild, the canine diet works in harmony with its surroundings. When the canine eats prey, it eats whole prey, including the guts, which would naturally contain the appropriate amount of digestive enzymes the dog needs. This isn’t the case with the kibble-heavy, highly processed diet the modern urban dog subsists on. Digestive enzymes are a key component of your dog’s digestive process, and without them, they can’t properly absorb their food. Basically they will poop out nutrients undigested. Dogs do create enzymes in their body, but they are not enough to complete the digestive process effectively – so they need to get some of these enzymes from their food. If there is a deficiency, not only may they then develop ailments, but they may also start to crave that feces they just rid themselves of – because, well, it’s full of nutrients.

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)

Also known as pancreatic insufficiency, this is a condition where your dog is creating little or no digestive enzymes in the pancreas. Without added enzymes, a dog will basically slowly starve, with symptoms including weight loss, diarrhea, and yes, stool eating, because he’s trying to get those much-needed nutrients.


Intestinal parasites that absorb the nutrients your dog should be getting from his food could be another reason your dog is craving stool.

Conditions causing increased appetite

Certain diseases like diabetes and thyroid issues, as well as steroids, can make dogs ravenous enough to eat stool (honestly many dogs don’t need much of a push).

Other deficiencies

According to Roger DeHaan, DVM, a hydrochloric acid deficiency that may happen with age or from a bad diet can also lead to poor digestion that can in turn lead to a search for nutrients in stool. Hydrochloric acid breaks down protein as part of the digestive process. Joseph Demers, DVM, says a trace mineral deficiency can also lead to stool eating, as well as eating less digestible things like plastic. (The Veterinarians’ Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs by Martin Zucker)


Any other condition that may lead to poor nutrient absorption can in turn lead to stool eating. Not only may your dog want to eat his stool, because of those tasty undigested nutrients, but he may find your cat’s stool even more delightful. It’s important to consider whose stool he is seeking, because it may also be an indicator of a deficiency or illness in that pet.


Make sure you are feeding your dog enough food at regular times. If your dog is losing weight on a fresh, whole diet, then feed him more! And keep to a schedule, a hungry dog will look for other food sources you may not like.

Why Do Dogs Eat Poop? There Are Behavioral Reasons

Now that we’ve covered some of the potential medical causes for stool eating, we’ll move into possible behavioral reasons. If his health checks out, consider the following:


There’s one key time that a dog will eat stool and it’s very much in the natural order of things. This is when a female dog cleans up after her puppies to keep the nest clean. This drive for cleanliness could also account for other dogs that “clean up” stool.
As puppies start to get curious about their surroundings, they may decide to take a nibble out of some feces as part of the exploration process. Puppies usually grow out of this.
Dogs are natural scavengers that are attracted to scent. They are not repulsed by feces as are us humans. And if the opportunity presents itself, they might just take it.


If your dog is home alone all day with not much to do, and there happens to be some poop within his reach, he may just find a new way to entertain himself and get a little treat in the process.

Attention seeking

Our dogs love us and want our attention. If they’re feeling a little ignored, even getting in trouble will please them, because, well, they have our attention. So sneaking out into the yard and plopping down for a mid-afternoon fecal snack is a double whammy because he gets a treat AND our attention.


Dogs who are stressed (is he in a kennel all day?) may relieve stress by eating poop.

Puppy mills

According to Karen Becker, DVM, puppy mill dogs may be at risk to develop this behavior because of the conditions they are raised in: lack of food and long-term crating, for instance.


Also, according to Dr Becker, dogs who were punished for pooping in the house may start to think poop is bad and eat the evidence, so to speak.

Doggie see, doggie eat doo-doo 

A younger dog can learn this behavior from an older dog that has acquired a taste for dung. So make sure and nip the problem in the bud!

OK, so there are plenty of reasons your dog may be an avid connoisseur of poop. But now the real question, how exactly do you nip the problem in the bud?
Quick List
First and foremost, keep things clean. Pick up after your dog immediately. Don’t give him the opportunity to wonder how that fresh, enticing piece of dung tastes.If you have other pets, clean up after them right away, too – especially litter boxes. In other words keep temptation at bay by keeping the stool away.
Keep your dog mentally and physically engaged. Make sure you give him regular playtime like fetch and if he’s particularly energetic or a working dog, try something like agility or some other brain-stimulating training. And make sure that he has plenty of toys available to help keep him entertained.
Make sure he’s eating a raw, whole, varied diet of quality proteins. Raw food has those digestive enzymes your dog needs to help him process his meals. If you’re feeding cooked food only, you’ll definitely want to add digestive enzymes. Raw, green tripe is particularly high in digestive enzymes, as well as probiotics.
For a trace mineral deficiency, you can add some kelp, according to Dr Demers. And for a hydrochloric acid deficiency, try some apple cider vinegar (1 tsp per 25 pounds in food), which may help mimic the missing acid and help the body compensate for the deficiency, according to Dr DeHaan.
Also, check your dog’s stool regularly for parasites.
Avoid punishment, because according to a study at University of California, Davis involving 1,500 Internet surveys of pet owners, it is ineffective. The study also found food additives used to stop poop eating are only effective up to 2 percent of the time. Positive reinforcement training wasn’t very effective either.
Keep on top of the digestion situation of all the pets in your household. Remember, your dog may be attracted to another dog’s or cat’s stool, not only because he is deficient in something, but because they are not absorbing their food and their poops are extra enticing.

Clearly, the gross, but seemingly simple act of stool eating may be somewhat complicated. If your dog starts nibbling on poop, look for medical causes and if he’s clear of issues, then make sure to keep things clean, your dog engaged and well fed. Be patient and be consistent.

Coprophagia Dogs Eating Feces Part 1

Does your dog have a dirty little secret?

A number of readers have contacted us about dogs who munch their own or other animals' feces. Here is background on the condition known as coprophagia, and what you can do to discourage doggie-do-eaters from this somewhat common, natural behavior that strikes humans as a disgusting gustatory pastime.

Background and principles:

* Coprophagia is a condition that compels dogs to consume feces.

* Why does the dog engage in this habit? A dog may ingest fecal matter for various reasons:

He may be hungry and has no access to real food.

You may be feeding a food lacking in sufficient nutrients and/or not appropriate for your particular dog.

When a dog is fed low-quality and/or inappropriate dog food, he feels compelled to eat more of it in an attempt to satisfy his body's craving for nutrients. As a result, the dog is ingesting excess food, and a large proportion of the food goes through his digestive system undigested. The resulting stools smell and look fairly close to the food that the dog previously consumed, so the dog tries to consume the 'food' again. This is not just a vulgar habit; it is a cry for health. The dog needs a better diet that will enable him to absorb the nutrients his body needs.

When dogs consume feces from other animals, they may be seeking minerals lacking in their regular dog food.

The dog may be consuming feces out of boredom, loneliness, anxiety or stress.

A dog who is confined to a kennel, chained, or restricted to a small yard or other space may eat his feces to occupy himself or clean his personal space. This dog needs to be exercised and played with several times a day.

Some breeds instinctively like to carry things in their mouths. Picking up feces and carrying it around may signal that the dog needs more daily exercise, mental stimulation and interaction with his people. 

A yard or kennel where stools are allowed to pile up may prompt a dog to 'clean up' his stools. Be sure to clean the dog's area every day, and preferably right after the dog eliminates.

The emotional stress of being left alone or restricted to a small area for long periods of time without the companionship of the caregiver can result, for some dogs, in the eating of his own feces.

Internal parasites may lead a dog to consume feces, because the parasites can leach nutrients from the host animal's system. Thus, the dog will feel unusually hungry.

If a dog is punished for defecating in the house, she may eat her feces in order to hide the evidence and avoid punishment. Typically, when a dog defecates indoors, it is because she feels unable to hold it. It is a myth that dogs poop indoors for spite; spite is a human, not a canine, emotion. More responsive management and training by the owner is the solution, not punishment. Also realize that elimination in the house can be a sign of a health or medical problem, from parasites to a serious condition.

* Sometimes a mother dog will eat the feces of her pups out of a natural instinct to hide evidence of her offspring from predators.

* It is common for many puppies to taste and try to eat feces. Some researchers even suggest that some components of feces actually can stimulate the brain and immune function in young animals. However, that possible benefit is far outweighed by the health risks of ingesting excrement. Prevention is the wisest practice. Don't let the pups indulge, and they won't develop a taste for excrement ... and won't develop this habit.

* Prevention is better than treatment in mature dogs as well, since coprophagia is usually self-rewarding, meaning that the act of ingesting the feces is satisfying to the dog so he is likely to repeat the undesired behavior.


* Change the dog's diet. Buy or prepare only nutritious, quality food that is formulated for the dog's age, breed and any medical issues.

* For the dog who may be hungry, try feeding him a little more, and make sure you feed a quality, nutritious food that is appropriate for the age and type of canine.

* Take the dog to your veterinarian for an examination for underlying medical and health problems, parasites and other problems that may be compelling him to eat feces.

* Clean up after your pet, right after he goes - before he has a chance to eat his poop. Stopping access is one key to stopping this habit.

* Walk the dog on leash so that you are in a better position to tell the dog 'leave it' and to physically keep the dog from trying to sniff and eat stools. Always praise your dog for listening. You can also reinforce the verbal praise with tidbits carried in a pouch.

* As soon as the dog starts approaching excrement, tell her 'nah-ah-ahhh' or 'leave it!', and distract her with praise supported with a treat, clicker click, playtime or other action or activity that is appealing to the dog. This will convey the idea that it is more rewarding to attend to you than to attend to poop. As soon as she turns her attention to her, praise her ('Good dog!') and reward her. A wise practice is to always carry appealing tidbit treats, a favorite toy, clicker - something you can always use to effectively gain your dog's attention and reinforce desired behaviors. Once you get her attention, give her something positive to do. For example, tell her to 'Sit', reward her for listening, then proceed to an enjoyable activity such as playing or walking together. Distract her from undesired things like feces, and substitute a good, desired behavior such as sitting and attending to you. A dog who is interacting with her owner can't be investigating poop at the same time.

* If the dog is defecating in the house, the dog needs to be fed and walked on a schedule that allows her to eliminate before the owner leaves her alone for the day and before bedtime. The dog also may need housetraining help. Teach the dog instead of punishing her; this is the sensible and effective approach. Also, visit the vet to see if a medical condition is the underlying cause of the dog eliminating indoors.

* If a pup or dog is pooping in his crate, make sure he gets more exercise and has the chance to eliminate before placing him in his crate. Also, read about crate training. Dogs naturally do not like to poop or urinate in their living quarters, so a dog who potties in the crate needs you to help crate-train him properly ... and perhaps a trip to the vet to rule out medical problems that may underlie an inability to 'hold it' for a few hours. However, also realize that pups can't physically hold their elimination for more than one to three hours, and that it is not healthy or kind to crate adult dogs for more than 5 to 6 hours a day. Take the time to properly train your dog so that he can be left alone in the house, in a pet-safe area instead of confined in a crate.

* There are products that you can apply to the stools that will discourage your dog from consuming them. Some are available from pet supply stores and others from veterinarians. These include Forbid.

* Some alternatives to drugs that work for some:

Add two to four tablespoons of canned pumpkin to the food bowl each day. Pumpkin apparently tastes good in food, but repugnant when expelled in excrement.

Add a spoon (teaspoon or tablespoon depending on the dog's size) of canned pineapple, pineapple juice or spinach to the dog's food.

Coat stools, following elimination, with hot sauce or lemon juice. Or booby trap sample stools by penetrating some left in the yard with hot sauce.

* Block the dog's access to any kitty litter boxes to keep him from developing a taste for kitty tootsie rolls ... or to help break a habit that has already formed. Keep the litter box in a room that the cat, but not the dog, can access. Or place a lid over the box that only the cat can access. Or place a baby gate around the box that has openings too small for the dog.

* Coprophagia can be a hard habit to break since it is self-reinforcing, but do not be discouraged. Follow these tips and give them a chance to work.

* In summary, the steps to stopping poop-eating are: feed a complete, nutrient-packed and balanced diet; provide lots of exercise, playtime and interaction; keep living spaces, crates, kennels and yard clean; avoid confining the dog for long periods of time; and take him to your veterinarian for a health checkup.



Malnourished dogs who lack nutrients in their diet or are unable to digest the nutrients in their food may resort to eating partially digested food in poop in order to meet their nutritional needs. Consult your vet about the best diet for your dog, and also to rule out any existing medical problem associated with coprophagia, the scientific name for the act of dogs eating their own or other animals’ feces.

Breaking the habit

After addressing dietetic needs, and ruling our medical conditions, you'll have to break the habit. There are two approaches to stopping the behavior. The most common approach is to use either Adolph's meat tenderizer or a product called "For-bid". These products are supposed to give the stool a bitter flavor when eaten. In my experience, these products are only successful some of the time. Another approach that may work better is to find the stool in the yard and cover it with a hot sauce, such as Habanero sauce, that will be uncomfortable to eat but cause no real damage. After a bite or two, most dogs will decide it isn't worth it.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Dog Breeds | Malinois or Belgian Shepherd Dog

 The Malinois or Belgian Shepherd Dog is a medium breed of dog, sometimes classified as a variety of the Belgian Shepherd Dog classification, rather than as a separate breed. The Malinois is recognized in the United States under the name Belgian Malinois. Its name is the French word for Mechlinian, which in Dutch is either Mechelse herder or Mechelaar (one from Mechelen). The breed is used as a working dog for tasks including detection of odors such as explosives, accelerants (for arson investigation), and narcotics; tracking of humans for suspect apprehension in police work; and search and rescue missions.

The U.S. Secret Service uses the Malinois Dogs to guard the grounds of the White House.Like all Belgian Shepherds, the Malinois is a medium-sized and square-proportioned dog in the sheepdog family. The Malinois has a short mahogany coat with black markings. It has black erect ears and a black muzzle. It has a square build in comparison to the German Shepherd. The Belgian Malinois (pronounced MAL-in-wah) is a medium-size Belgian shepherd dog that at first glance resembles a German Shepherd Dog. Malinois are shorthaired, fawn-colored dogs with a black mask. They are one of four types of Belgian herding dogs, and have been shown in the U.S. as a separate breed since 1959. Originally developed in Malines, Belgium, Malinois have a great deal of stamina and truly enjoy working. They are intelligent and very active dogs that excel at many tasks. In addition to herding, they also do well with police work, search and rescue, and in performance events, such as agility. People who are not familiar with the Malinois often confuse him with the German Shepherd Dog (GSD), but there are significant differences in the body structure and temperament of the two breeds. Malinois are smaller dogs with lighter bones. They stand with their weight well on their toes, which gives them a square body profile, while today's GSD has a long, sloping back and carries his weight flatter on his feet. Malinois are fawn-colored, red, or brown, and the tips of their hair are black, while the GSD is usually tan with a black saddle.
Additionally, the Malinois has a more refined, chiseled head that the GSD and smaller, more triangular ears. Many think that the Malinois is more alert and quicker to respond than the GSD. They're also very sensitive dogs that don't respond well to harsh training methods. Some Malinois are friendly and assertive, but others are reserved and aloof with strangers. They should never have a fearful or aggressive temperament. Because of their energy level and sensitivity, Malinois are recommended only for people who have previously owned dogs and have experience with dog training. Malinois are very intense dogs who like to be included in all of the family activities. They aren't well suited for people who work long hours or must travel often, leaving their dog at home. If you have decided that the Malinois is the breed for you, you should expose yours to many different people, dogs, other animals and situations as early as possible. Puppy kindergarten classes are recommended for your Malinois puppy, followed by obedience training class. Malinois are quick learners and eager to do whatever their people ask of them. They excel are obedience, tracking, agility, flyball, herding, showing, Schutzhund and other protection sports, search and rescue, and police work. Trainers describe them as having a high "play drive," which means that they love to play, and about anything you ask them to do is play to them. But the Malinois' owner should never forget that this is a breed that was developed to protect and herd. Poorly bred Malinois or ones that have been poorly socialized may be aggressive out of fear or shyness. Additionally, although well-socialized Malinois are good with children, especially if they are raised with them, they may have a tendency to nip at their heels and try to herd them when playing. 


Belgian Malinois have a great deal of energy and need a lot of exercise. Make sure you have the room and time to provide it.
Malinois are very intelligent and alert. They also have strong herding and protection instincts. Early, consistent training is critical!
Although they are good-size dogs, they are very people-oriented and want to be included in family activities.
Malinois are constant shedders. They shed heavily twice a year.
Belgian Malinois are intense dogs that are play-oriented and sensitive. Training should be fun, consistent, and positive.
Because of their intelligence, high energy, and other characteristics, Malinois are not recommended for inexperienced dog owners.
To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.


The Belgian Malinois is one of four varieties of Belgian Sheepdogs, which were developed in Belgium in the late 1800s. The four varieties are the Malinois (fawn-mahogany, short coat with black mask), Tervuren (fawn-mahogany, long coat with black mask) the Laekenois (fawn, rough coat), and the Groenendael (black, long coat). The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes all but the Laekenois as separate breeds in the U.S., while the United Kennel Club recognizes all four types as one.

The Club du Chien de Berger Belge (Belgian Shepherd Dog Club) was formed in September 1891 to determine which of the many different types of dogs was representative only of the shepherd dogs developed in Belgium. In November of that same year, breeders and fanciers met on the outskirts of Brussels to examine shepherd dogs from that area. After much deliberation, veterinary professor Adolphe Reul and a panel of judges concluded that the native shepherd dog of that province were square, medium-size dogs with well-set triangular ears and very dark brown eyes and differed only in the texture, color, and length of hair. Subsequent examinations of dogs in other Belgian provinces resulted in similar findings.

In 1892, Professor Reul wrote the first Belgian Shepherd Dog standard, which recognized three varieties: dogs with long coats, dogs with short coats, and dogs with rough coats. The Club du Chien de Berger Belge asked the Societe Royale Saint-Hubert (Belgium's equivalent to the AKC) for breed status, but was denied. By 1901, however, the Belgian Shepherd Dog was finally recognized as a breed.Today's Malinois can be traced to a breeding pair owned by a shepherd from Laeken named Adrien Janssens. In 1885, he purchased a pale, fawn rough-haired dog called Vos I, or Vos de Laeken from a cattle dealer in northern Belgium. Janssens used Vos I (which means fox in Flemish) to herd his flock and also bred him to a short-haired, brindle-brown dog named Lise (also known as Lise de Laeken or Liske de Laeken). After that mating, Vos I was bred to his daughters, establishing a line of very homogeneous dogs with grey rough-hairs and short-hairs, and fawn rough-hairs and short-hairs. Today, Vos I and Lise de Laeken are recognized as ancestors not only of the modern Belgian Shepherd Dogs as well as the Bouvier des Flandres and Dutch Shepherd Dogs.
Breeders decided to give each of the different varieties of Belgian Shepherd Dogs their own names. The city of Malines had formed a club for the promotion of fawn shorthairs Belgian Shepherd dog in 1898. Louis Huyghebaert, an early breeder under the "ter Heide" kennel name, as well as a judge, author and the "godfather of the Malinois" (and the Bouvier), along with the Malines club had done much to help popularize these short-hairs, so the name "Malinois" came to be associated with the fawn shorthairs.
In 1897, a year before the formation of the Malines club, Huyghebaert, suggested that since there weren't very many sheep left in Belgium, that the shepherd dogs should have field trials that showcased their intelligence, obedience and loyalty. From this recommendation, dressage trials for the shepherd dogs were developed that tested a dog's ability to jump and perform other exercises. The first dressage trial, held on July 12, 1903 in Malines, was won by M. van Opdebeek and his Malinois, Cora van't Optewel.
Belgian Shepherds were also used as guard dogs and draught dogs. They were the first dogs to be used by the Belgian police. Before World War II, international police dog trials became very popular in Europe, and Belgian dogs earned a number of prizes at the trials.
When World War I broke out, many Belgian Shepherd Dogs were used by the military for a number of jobs including messenger dogs, Red Cross dogs, ambulance cart dogs and, according to some, light machine-gun cart dogs.
During the 1920s and 1930s, several outstanding Malinois kennels were started in Belgium. During the first decades of the 20th century, Malinois and Groenendael were the most popular varieties of the Belgian Shepherd dogs to be exported to other countries. At that time, many were exported to the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Canada, United States, Argentina and Brazil.

In 1911, two Groenendaels and two Malinois were registered by the AKC as "German Sheepdogs." In 1913, the AKC changed the name to "Belgian Sheepdogs." The first dogs were imported by Josse Hanssens of Norwalk, Connecticut. He sold the two Malinois to L.I. De Winter of Guttenberg, New Jersey. De Winter produced several litters from the Malinois under his Winterview kennel name.
After World War I, many American servicemen brought back Malinois and other Belgian Shepherd Dogs from Europe, and AKC registrations increased rapidly. The first Belgian Sheepdog Club of America was formed in 1924 and became a member club of the AKC soon after that. In 1924 and 1925, Walter Mucklow, a lawyer in Jacksonville, Florida, popularized the Malinois through AKC Gazette articles that he wrote. He also bred Malinois for a short time under the name of Castlehead Kennel.
By the end of the 1920s, the Groenendael and Malinois Belgian Sheepdogs had risen in popularity to rank among the top five breeds. During the Great Depression, dog breeding was a luxury that most couldn't afford, and the first Belgian Sheepdog Club of America ceased to exist. During the 1930s, a few Malinois were registered with the AKC as imports trickled into the country. Even after the Great Depression, there were so few Malinois and interest in the breed had dropped so much that the AKC put them in the Miscellaneous Class at AKC shows in the 1930s and '40s.
In 1949, a second Belgian Sheepdog Club of America was formed in Indiana. In that same year, John Cowley imported two Malinois and began his Netherlair kennel. He showed several of his dogs and several people became interested in them. By the 1960s, more people were breeding and showing Malinois. In March 1992, the American Belgian Malinois Club received AKC parent club status.
In the last decade, Belgian Malinois dogs have received a lot of attention for their work in the military, drug detection agencies, search and rescue operations, and police forces around the country. As a result, many Malinois have been imported to the U.S. in the last several years. They rank 90th among the 155 breeds and varieties recognized by the American Kennel Club.


This is an outstanding working dog who is confident and protective in any situation. He's affectionate with family members but reserved toward strangers until he takes their measure. The watchdog abilities of the Malinois are excellent. He protects his people and property with only as much force as is required. Shyness and aggression are never appropriate in this breed.
That said, temperament doesn't just happen. It's affected by a number of factors, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with nice temperaments are curious and playful, willing to approach people and be held by them. Choose the middle-of-the-road puppy, not the one who's beating up his littermates or the one who's hiding in the corner. Always meet at least one of the parents — usually the mother is the one who's available--to ensure that they have nice temperaments that you're comfortable with. Meeting siblings or other relatives of the parents is also helpful for evaluating what a puppy will be like when he grows up.
Like every dog, Malinois need early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Malinois puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.


Belgian Malinois are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they're prone to certain health conditions. Not all Malinois will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.
If you're buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy's parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition. In Malinois, you should expect to see health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia (with a score of fair or better), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand's disease; from Auburn University for thrombopathia; and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifying that eyes are normal. You can confirm health clearances by checking the OFA web site.
Hip Dysplasia: This is a heritable condition in which the thighbone doesn't fit snugly into the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with hip dysplasia. As the dog ages, arthritis can develop. X-ray screening for hip dysplasia is done by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP). Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred. If you're buying a puppy, ask the breeder for proof that the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and are free of problems. Hip dysplasia is hereditary, but it can also be triggered by environmental factors, such as rapid growth from a high-calorie diet or injuries incurred from jumping or falling on slick floors.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). This is a degenerative eye disorder that eventually causes blindness from the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye. PRA is detectable years before the dog shows any signs of blindness. Fortunately, dogs can use their other senses to compensate for blindness, and a blind dog can live a full and happy life. Just don't make it a habit to move the furniture around. Reputable breeders have their dogs' eyes certified annually by a veterinary ophthalmologist and do not breed dogs with this disease.
Elbow Dysplasia. This is a heritable condition common to large-breed dogs. It's thought to be caused by different growth rates of the three bones that make up the dog's elbow, causing joint laxity. This can lead to painful lameness. Your vet may recommend surgery to correct the problem, or medication to control the pain.
Anesthesia Sensitivity. Belgian Malinois are very sensitive to anesthesia. They have a higher than average rate of death when put under anesthesia because of their muscle to fat ratio. Be sure your vet understands this sensitivity before allowing your Malinois to have surgery or even have its teeth cleaned.


Belgian Malinois can do well in small quarters if they receive enough exercise. They prefer cool climates but adapt well to warmer environments. They do best when they are allowed to be a part of the family and are able to live indoors at least part of the time.
If possible, provide your Malinois with some off-leash exercise in a fenced area in addition to long walks or jogging. Malinois need about 20 minutes of activity three or four times a day, and a leisurely walk won't satisfy them. They're built for action. If you like to hike or jog, your Belgian Malinois will be happy to be by your side. Consider training him to compete in obedience or agility. It doesn't really matter what you do as long as you keep him active. Don't be surprised if he runs in large circles in your yard; it's a remnant of his herding heritage.
Puppies have different exercise needs. From 9 weeks to 4 months of age, puppy kindergarten once or twice a week is a great way for them to get exercise, training, and socialization, plus 15 to 20 minutes of playtime in the yard, morning and evening. Throw a ball for them to fetch. From 4 to 6 months of age, weekly obedience classes, daily half-mile walks, and playtime in the yard will meet their needs. From 6 months to a year of age, play fetch with a ball or Frisbee for up to 40 minutes during cool mornings or evenings, not in the heat of the day. Continue to limit walks to a half mile. After he's a year old, your Malinois pup can begin to jog with you, but keep the distance to less than a mile and give him frequent breaks along the way. Avoid hard surfaces such as asphalt and concrete. As he continues to mature, you can increase the distance and time you run. These graduated levels of exercise will protect his developing bones and joints.
Malinois are sensitive and highly trainable. Be firm, calm, and consistent with them. Anger and physical force are counterproductive.

Children and other pets

Well-socialized Malinois are good with children, especially if they are raised with them, but because of their herding heritage they may have a tendency to nip at their heels and try to herd them when playing. You must teach your Malinois that this behavior is unacceptable. An adult Malinois who's unfamiliar with children may do best in a home with children who are mature enough to interact with him properly.
Always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
Malinois can be aggressive toward other dogs and cats unless they're brought up with them from puppyhood. If you want your Malinois to get along with other animals you must start early and reward them for appropriate behavior. If your Malinois hasn't been socialized to other animals, it's your responsibility to keep him under control in their presence.