Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Thirteen Year Old Invents Solution for Dogs Who Separate From Separation Anxiety

LifeWithDogs: 9.6.13 - 13 Year Old's Invention1If you worry about how much your dog misses you while you’re away, a thirteen-year-old girl might have a solution.

Spokane, WA resident Brooke Martin created a device called iCPooch, which will allow you to video chat and give treats to your dog from anywhere.

“My dog Kayla suffered from separation anxiety, so I thought it would be really cool to be able to video chat with her while I was away from home to make sure she was OK,” Martin explained. “The idea of delivering her a treat seemed liked it would really make her happy if I could figure out how to do it.”

The finalist for the GM Young Scientist Award pitched the idea at a Startup Weekend event last year, and was met with a standing ovation. She garnered the attention of venture capitalist Tom Simpson, who was eager to get on board. Brooke launched her own company and filed for patents. They are still working on the product, which is in the prototype phase, and hope to have it on store shelves soon.

Some money has been raised, and a Kickstarter campaign has been started. Here is a bit about the iCPooch, taken from the Kickstarter page:

“With the iCPooch device connected to a home wireless Internet router, you can deliver a treat from a smart phone, tablet or computer no matter where you are. The device also has an adjustable mounting bracket so that you can attach a tablet or smart phone (not included) and video chat with your pet! The tablet/smart phone operates independently of the iCPooch device, allowing you to use Skype video chat software to auto-answer your calls (we are also working on our own video chat solution). As long as your smart phone/tablet has a microphone and a camera (most all do) and is connected to the internet, you can video chat with Fido at eye level, and in the separate iCPooch app deliver a treat. An estimated 13 million-plus dogs suffer from separation anxiety, and we know that pet owners do, too!

9.6.13 - 13 Year Old's Invention2

“The iCPooch device is a combination of a miniature vending machine and a computer. The device acts like a computer, using a motherboard (Raspberry Pi) and Wi-Fi module to connect to the Internet. The computer is attached to a motor that is activated when the owner of the device gives it the “drop treat” command from their remote computing device (smart phone, tablet, PC, etc). A removable/re-loadable sleeve inside the device houses the treats, and one treat is pushed out by the motor arm each time the motor is activated.”

The campaign has only 24 days to reach their funding goal of $75,000 in order for the iCPooch to be created. If you are interested in helping see Brooke’s vision become a reality, please click here. It could make a really great present for soldiers on tours of duty, out-of-state college students or people traveling who are unable to take their pets with them.

See Video HERE

September 7, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Are Surfing Dogs Really Happy… or Horrified?

Video:  Are Surfing Dogs Really Happy… or Horrified?

Story at-a-glance

  • If you’ve ever wondered if those dogs you see surfing the waves off the California coast or elsewhere are actually enjoying themselves, you’re not alone.
  • According to surfing dog instructors and owners, only pets who like being in the water and show aptitude for the sport are trainable. Dogs who fear or dislike the water can’t be trained to surf.
  • Safety is of principal importance for canine surfers. Dogs should be healthy enough to participate in such a physically demanding activity — often in cold ocean temperatures — and they should always wear life vests while in the water.

By Dr. Becker

Most of us have seen videos or pictures of dogs surfing. Have you ever wondered if the dogs are really having fun, or just hanging on for dear life until they reach dry ground?

It’s hard to read every doggy expression, but it’s easy to imagine not every pup on a surfboard is enjoying himself.

However, according to the folks who train canines to surf, the dogs actually like the sport:

"You only attempt surfing with dogs that really love the beach and water," says Rob Kuty, animal trainer at the Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego. "Dogs who fear or dislike either are almost impossible to train to surf, so you won’t find those dogs at these types of competitions."

Kuty conducts surf clinics for dogs during the summer months in the waters off San Diego.

How Dogs Learn to Surf

The first step in teaching a dog to surf is desensitizing her to the board. This involves getting her accustomed to standing on the board while it’s on the sand. Liberal praise is given while a dog is on the board, which tends to reinforce the behavior. Dogs off their boards are ignored.

So the desensitization phase of the training is about not only getting the dogs comfortable on their surfboards, but also positively reinforcing the behavior.

Once a pup is at ease standing on a surfboard on the sand, the next step is to put him on it out in the water. The trainer holds the board with his four-legged student standing on it so the dog can begin to experience the feel of being on the water.

According to Kuty, this is the time when most dogs display their individual approach to surfing. Some like to face forward on the board, others face backwards, some position themselves sideways, and many bulldogs (a breed that isn’t known for its swimming prowess, by the way) prefer to lie down on the board.

In Kuty’s experience, “… the dogs that do a lot of surfing are water and beach loving beings who have developed a positive association with their boards and have found a comfortable way to hang ten."

If a dog shows an aptitude for being on a surfboard in the water and is healthy, she’s a good candidate to enjoy the sport, according to Kuty. This makes perfect sense, because let’s face it … no matter how much your dog may want to please you, it would not be an easy task to “force” an unwilling canine to surf. There are many things an unenthusiastic dog can be compelled to do, but riding the ocean waves on a surfboard isn’t one of them.

Believe it or not, there are surfing competitions for canines. The dogs are judged on the length of their ride, their confidence level, and fashion. “Fashion” apparently refers not only to the dogs’ surfing attire, but also to the way they move on their boards.

Safety Must Always Be the Priority

Dog surfers should always wear life vests while hanging ten.

And they should be checked out by a veterinarian ahead of time to insure they are healthy enough to participate in a physically demanding activity that often takes place in cold water.

Owners and trainers of surfing dogs should take care not to allow them to overexert themselves.


Goat Surfing

Sun Valley pet resort pampers pooches

Huntington Dog Beach

Doggie Beach – Dogs on-leash only until after Labor Day

Stress in Dogs (Pets)

Take the Stress Out of Car Trips with Your Dog

With Pets Travel Series: Have Dog, Will Travel: Tips For Taking Your Pet On The Road – Part II

August 16, 2012 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Events, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Stress in Dogs (Pets)

Angelina Not A Chocolate Bunny Pup - 2009

Sometimes the question can be… is it stress or is it fun?  And was it caused by my Pet-Parent? Winking smile h/t to the pet stress blog for photo 1 & the  UCLA Shutterbug Photo 2

Stress in Dogs (Pets)

Stress is one of greatest factors affecting the behavior of both humans and animals, and they both react to each other’s stress.  Stress levels of dogs or their humans, as well as most other animals, can completely change the dynamic or the relationship the behavior of both, which unfortunately only makes the stress worse.

Stress is the cause of many aggressive behaviors (such as barking, lunging, biting or nipping… especially around food or toys).  You can prevent these behaviors by monitoring your dog’s level of stress.  And you can monitor your dog’s level of stress, by reading your dog’s stress signals. Removing your pet from the situation that is causing them stress is always the best suggestion and remedy, but understandably, not always possible.

The following behaviors usually signal stress in dogs and most pets:

Slow Tail Wag.  A slow tail wag is NOT friendly.  It is a sign of stress.

Tail tucked between hind legs.  This behavior probably signals fear.  Fear is an extreme form of stress.  

Being unable to eat.  If your dog took food a moment ago, and abruptly will not take food, evaluate the dog’s environment and see what maybe causing stress.  Immediately move the dog away from the source of stress, to prevent triggering of possible aggressive behavior.  

Being unable to play.  If your dog is normally playful and suddenly can’t play, it is likely that your dog is stressed.  Again, immediately remove your dog from the situation he or she is in.  

Low ear carriage.  Scan the area for a probable source of stress, if you find the source, move away from it and watch how your dog’s ears respond.  If they lift, then you have done a great job protecting your dog from stress and helped her feel better.  This will increase your dog’s ability to trust you and will deepen your bond with your dog (or cat). 

Blinking of eyes.  Deliberate eye blinking can be a sign that your dog is experiencing stress.  

Squinting of eyes.  Again, this can be a sign of mild stress.  

Holding Breath.  Breath holding can be a precursor to aggressive behavior.  If you notice your dog holding her breath, rapidly remove her from the source of stress in her environment.  

Puffing.  Puffing is when the dog rapidly exhales a small amount of air, that causes her cheeks to puff out.  Puffing is a precursor to aggression.

Stiffness.  Also a precursor to aggression.

Staring.  Another precursor to aggression. 

Panting.  If you notice your dog panting and she is in a potentially stressful situation she may need to be moved away from the stressor.

Urinating. Controlled or uncontrolled urination can be caused by stress.  It is the same dynamic as with young children who wet the bed, soil their pants or withhold voiding.  It is something they can control and get attention for, even if it is negative.

Seizures.  Stress can absolutely cause seizures in dogs.  It is a sign of severe stress or could be Canine Stress Syndrome or one of several other more serious conditions or illnesses.  And yelling at a dog that is already stressed to the point of seizures will only bring them on and make them worse.

Loss of fur, feathers or scales.  Many animals begin to shed or molt when under stress.

Hiding.  Both dogs and cats will hid to avoid stressful situations.  So will some pocket pets if they can move around freely.

Below are SOME of the situations that create doggie stress:

Travel.  Air flight, train travel or extended car trips if it is not something your pet is used to.

New environment. Some dogs hardly notice, but many have a hard time.

New people. Some dogs, like some people, are more sociable than others, but many have a hard time, especially with lots of new people added to a new environment

Feeling that they are not liked or welcome.  God created dogs to please humans.  They have feeling and become aggressive or retreat into themselves if they feel unwanted.  Dogs can become depressed and some will act out, only making the situation worse.

New Home.  Moving to a new home can be traumatic for some dogs and create no problem for others.  If possible, letting them visit their new home before moving there is helpful and advisable.

New or different routine.  Most dogs love a new adventure, but they are also creatures of routine.

The introduction of an additional dog, pet or small child.  A new pet, visiting animal or a new small child or children can be threatening or scary for pets in general.

Changes in food or feeding.  Food is one of the mainstays of a dog’s (pet’s) life.  Changing their type of food, schedule to eat, or having to share food with additional pets can be a very stressful situation.  Occasionally dogs can develop stress from reactions to a new or different food or feeding schedule… or something they ate that they shouldn’t have.

Schedule Changes.  Changing more than one schedule at once, like eating, walking, sleeping, playing or whatever they are used to in their routines can case stress.

Noise. Loud noises, loud voices, new sounds and noise can all be threatening and stressful to dog (pets).

Yelling or Anger, especially unwarranted or unfair corrections. Because the dog’s need and want to be loved and pleased yelling and perceived anger can cause stress along with negative behaviors.

New training. Training can be fun for some dogs and very stressful for others, especially when it doesn’t go well or the dog is not rewarded for its efforts.

Loss of family member:  human or animal.  Dogs and pets in general grieve just like humans and especially grieve for the loss of their human(s).

Illness of Pet.  Illness causes a myriad of side affects for pets, just like for humans.

Illness of Pet Parent or family member.  Illness of a pet parent or family member can cause severe stress in dogs (pets)!

Perceived inequitable treatment of Pet. Dogs like children and most creatures react negatively to inequitable treatment.  If you have more than one dog or more than one dog is living or present in your situation, it is the smart and right thing to do to treat them equally.  Feed them the same.  Take then out and play with them all, etc.  Feeding one dog while other watch is like feeding or sharing with one child and not the others.

Fear. Dogs (pets) like humans have fears that run the gamut and their level of fear cannot be judged by their size, age, situation, or your perception of how they should feel or react… or what they should do.

Anxieties. Like with fears, dogs (pets) like humans have fears that run the gamut and their level of fear cannot be judged by their size, age, situation, or your perception of how they should feel or react… or what they should do.

Unknown or unfamiliar animals or people entering your pet’s perceived territory.  Dogs perceive their house, yard, space outside their car and familiar places as their territory.  It is their natural instinct to protect their property, themselves, other pets (especially dogs because the for a pack) and their humans or family.)

Over-reaction to behaviors.  Over-reacting to negative behaviors or if your dog is acting out, usually produces the opposite affect that you want.  (Also scolding a dog or any pet after the fact… a while after they did something wrong or if you did not see who did it if you have more than one pet is fruitless, unfair and could create greater problems.  A pet cannot connect what they did wrong with the scolding for something they did earleir, even if you take them to the site and point at it.)

New attention or reactions… to good or bad behavior.  laughing at a behavior good or bad, is attention and sometimes will the cause the recurrence because of your reaction.

Lack or exercise.  Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do do for your pet for many reasons, including their health, stress level, behaviors, and boredom level.

Boredom.  Dogs, like all creatures, suffer from boredom and some tend to act out when they are bored.  Exercise, preferably regular walks, as well as one on one time, training, playtime and rides in the car are positives and will help manage their stress… and yours!

Lack or attention or play time.  Lack of interaction or playtime with their or a human or other dogs and pets can create stress because of boredom, inactivity and lack of one on one time.  Because of their nature, dogs need regular interaction more than most pets.

Loss or change of their belongings and space.  Dogs are territorial so they protect their space, belongings and food.  Losing their special niche, pillow, toy. ball or place on the bed or in your life can create stress in most dogs and most other types of pets and animals to some degree.

Extended time without their human(s) or alone time if it is a change.  Dogs and other pets, although unusual, have been known to pine away or even die after the loss of their human or family.  Even temporary, but extended  time away from their pet parents or humans can cause stress in some dogs.  Others adjust just fine.  But for this reason, keeping your dog with a pet sitter is always better than a kennel!

Medications, lack of medication and medical conditions.  Medication, lack of medications or ongoing medical conditions can cause stress in dogs and pets in general, like in humans.  A change in meds can often cause that temporarily. (A relatively unknown fact this that dogs can suffer from ADHD, ADD and other like conditions.  Those pets/animals can portray the same conditions and behaviors as the human counterparts.  And it really must be remembered that they cannot help their behaviors and reactions.)

Even drastic weather or climate changes.  Drastic weather conditions can cause stress because it can cause the inability for them to go outside, or go out often, or to get their regular exercise.  Lightening and thunder can cause fear and stress in animals.  And in some pets dampness, extreme heat or extreme cold can cause the flare up of health problems like arthritis, rheumatism, heat exhaustion, etc as well as stress.

Abuse.  It goes without saying that abuse… physical, emotional, verbal, lack of food and clean water, over-crowding or abuse of any kind causes dogs, humans and all creatures stress and need to be stopped and/or reported immediately!!  Silence and non-action makes us all accomplices!

Reaction to pet-parent’s stress.

If you notice your pet exhibiting any of the stress indicators, try to remove them from the situation. And if your pet experiences more than three of these at a given time and you cannot change the situations or remove your pet, it might take a good while for them to adjust or re-adjust.  It could even require a behaviorist if extreme or undesirable behaviors manifest or persist.  Try to remember that you could be the reason for your pet’s stress!

Remember, the average dog has he mental and emotional capacity of between a two and three year old human child, depending on the individual dog and the breed, but they lack the ability to reason.  Plus you obviously cannot explain to them why things have changed, nor can they communicate what is bothering them.

Let us also remember that barking is a dog’s way of talking… communicating and although too much can be aggravating, it is natural for them to bark!

Patience, love and positive reinforcements are always the best reaction.  Yelling, punishment and anger only confuse them more and add to their stress.

Dogs have the intelligence of a 2 to 3 year old toddler, depending on the breed and the individual dog.  But they lack the power to reason and have no conception of time. Although when you read an article like the one about the Commuting Dogs in Moscow, you gotta wonder!  And, dogs and other animals do have other abilities and intelligence or intuition that we people don’t!  They also have enemies all over the world (Man’s Best Friend in Shariah’s Cruel Crosshairs)

Being a pet parent is like being the parent of a perpetual toddler and some need more patience, understanding and love than others.  Loving the good or perfect ones is easy.  Loving the ones who aren’t so perfect or have special needs is the true test of your love and parenting skills.  It really is a test of your character not their abilities.  Try to remember, the ones that need the most love usually love you back the most if you let them.

Source: Courteous Canine, Inc. 2006   No Force, Just Fun! 


‘Dogs Have The Intelligence of a Human Toddler’

Tails of Love

GoD and DoG

Dogs and Heaven

On the First Day God Created the Dog!

Until One Has Loved an Animal, Part of Their Soul Remains Unawakened

My Goal in Life

The No Kill Movement

*Birds tend to suffer from more stress than most and the holidays provide stress for most pets!

By Marion Algier  -  h/t to the pet stress blog for photo 1 & the  UCLA Shutterbug Photo 2

April 1, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health | , , , , | 11 Comments

13 Halloween Safety Tips To Prevent Scardy Cats & Pups


Halloween Safety Tips

No Scaredy Cats This Halloween: Top 13 Safety Tips for Pet Parents

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy.

  • Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Symptoms of significant chocolate ingestion may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, increased thirst, urination and heart rate—and even seizures.
  • Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. In cases of significantly low blood sugar, liver failure has been known to occur.
  • Ingesting tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, yet they can produce gastrointestinal upset should pets ingest them. Intestinal blockage could even occur if large pieces are swallowed.  (As we head toward decorating for Thanksgiving or Christmas… some popular plants used are much more toxic and hazardous).

3. Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet could experience damage to his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise extreme caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets, and can be fun and great with others!! Please don’t put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams and some are pretty neutral!).  Some even love going out with the family in costume for trick or treating.  But for pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume can cause undue stress.  For some pets walking with the adult who is supervising the trick or treating is better than leaving them home, but don’t send your pets out with your children.  It can end up being traumatic for both the kids and the pets.

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal’s movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also try on costumes before the big night (at least during the day today, if you haven’t already). If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au natural or donning a festive bandana.  Also, if you are one to dress up to give out candy, make sure your pets are comfortable with your costume or mask.  And make sure that your pets are either their to watch you and kids dress up or remove the masks and scary parts before they see you, after coming home.

7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.  Another option is to put up a baby gate in front of the door, so you don’t have the constant ringing of the door bell.  Many pets do much better with that because they feel part of the activities without the noise.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn’t dart outside, another plus for using the baby gate idea.  Make sure that birds, exotics, and pocket pets, etc are in their cages or in restrained areas as well.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification, and today is definitely a day when they should be wearing them!  If for any reason your pet escapes and become lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can increase the chances that he or she will be returned to you.  And if you are taking your pet trick out trick or treating with the family, ID’s and leashes are a must!

11.  Do not leave your pets at home alone during peak trick or treating hours, (or during ‘trick or treating hours’ at all if you can help it).  The noise of children running, the strange sounds, and the doorbells can be very stressful and even traumatic for pets.  If you can’t be home, get a pet sitter or drop them off with someone who will be home.  For most of us, someone can stay behind to give out candy and be with the pets or if you are going to a party, they usually start, or at least get going, long after the trick-or-treaters have gone.


12. If you are Having a Halloween Party or Going to One, take your pets to a friends’ or family member’s house, board them, or take them to a sitter.  Large amounts of people, lots of costumes and scary noises, doors opening and closing where they can get out and lost, and dropped food or food and alcohol given them by unknowing or drunk friends can mean disaster for your pets!!


13. Be a responsible pet parent, companion and animal caretaker and use your common sense like you would with your small children to keep your pets’ safe and stress free!  If you do suspect your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Source: ASPCA & Common Sense

 Happy Howl-oween!!

October 31, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Stop Animal Cruelty | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment