Benefits of Dog Training:

 Puppy classes provide the opportunity for getting your new family member started off right. Puppy classes provide the experiences and opportunities for your puppy to develop interaction skills with other puppies, with people, and in new environments.

 Puppy socialization has been found to be critical to the psychological health of adult dogs. Puppy classes provide the opportunity for this important facet of your puppy's upbringing.

 Training classes provide dog owners the skills and knowledge for dealing with common, normal dog behaviors--starting with puppy behaviors such as housetraining and chewing.

 No matter what age you start training your dog, foundation training provides the basis for any activity, behavior or job you want your dog to do.

 Training provides dogs with the basic good manners we all want--from polite greeting when guests arrive, to walking nicely on the leash, to coming when called.

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 A trained dog is a fully participating member of the family--what a gift for all of you!

A trained dog joins in the fun when company comes, accompanies the family to the kids' sports games, goes with you to visit friends and relatives, goes for hikes, swims, and everything else the family does together.

 Training enables you to choose from among a broad range of activities and dog sports to participate in and enjoy with your dog such as dog agility, Rally-obedience, dancing with your dog, tracking, search & rescue, skijoring, sledding, water rescue trials, obedience, carting, reading programs, therapy work, and a nearly endless range of fun and philanthropic things to do!

 Training has been shown to be the single most important thing that keeps a dog in his or her "forever" home.

 Training builds your mutual bond, enhances the partnership and enriches the relationship you share with your dog. Is there anything better?

 Having a trained dog is a joy for both you and your dog!
Pets benefiting emotional
and mental health

Numerous studies have shown that pets are good for the more nebulous areas of emotional and mental health, too. According to WebMD, interacting with a dog or cat elevates your levels of serotonin and dopamine, which increase pleasure and reduce stress.

In fact, even if your furry friend isn't around, your stress levels are likely to stay lower and more stable in the challenging situations.

Other studies have shown that people suffering from chronic diseases, including Alzheimer's and AIDS, are calmer and less stressed when they're with a dog or cat.

Pets can also help to ward off depression, a condition that's not uncommon for patients who deal with physical or mental disability on a daily basis.

The companionship that comes with pet ownership is another health benefit, according to numerous sources.

Caring for that animal provides a sense of purpose, and many owners develop a strong emotional bond.

While the love you feel for a canine or feline companion can't substitute for a human relationship, that bond has been shown to increase feelings of self-worth and self-esteem, according to Intelihealth.
Pets benefiting allergies

Lastly, though animal dander has been blamed for a great number of allergies, pet ownership may actually be one of the best ways to guard against initially developing those adverse reactions.

Researcher James E. Gern, who's a pediatrician at the University of Wisconsin-Madision, explained that children who grow up with a pet are at lowered risk for asthma and allergies. According to WebMD, Gern's research showed that infants with a dog in the home had a 14 percent smaller chance of demonstrating pet allergies.

Essentially, immediate exposure to a pet boosts an infant's or child's immune system, providing a health benefit you might not expect.

At the end of the day, medical research backs up what all of us with dogs and cats know intuitively: of course they're good for us! Our furry friends provide hours of entertainment, sloppy kisses, and a friend when we're in need.

Tips For Traveling With Your Dog

 Never leave your dog unattended in a closed vehicle.

 Never let your dog ride in the back of an open truck. This could lead to severe injury.

 Keep your car well-ventilated. Especially if the dog is in a crate.

 Dog should travel on an empty stomach if you are startin out on a long car trip.

 Make sure your dog has plenty of water. . Stop for potty breaks and exercise.

 Do not let your dog ride with its head out the window. This can lead to car injuries.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough can be caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria. It is very contagious and your dog can become infected if it comes into contact with an infected dog. Dogs with kennel cough may not seem ill in the early stages of the disease but they can still infect other dogs. Most commonly, dogs with kennel cough will have a snotty nose and a dry, hacking cough. Consult your veterinarian about whether or not the kennel cough (Bordetella) vaccine is right for your dog.

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is caused by a very contagious virus. Dogs usually become infected through virus particles in the air or in the respiratory secretions of infected dogs. Infected dogs typically develop runny eyes, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and paralysis. It is often fatal.

Fortunately, there is an effective vaccine to protect your dog from this deadly disease. The canine distemper vaccine is considered a "core" vaccine and is recommended for every dog.

Dog Flu

Canine influenza is caused by the canine influenza virus. It is a relatively new disease in dogs. Because most dogs have not been exposed to the virus, their immune systems are not able to fully respond to the virus and many of them will become infected when they are exposed. Canine influenza is spread through respiratory secretions, contaminated objects (including surfaces, bowls, collars and leashes). Dogs can be shedding the virus before they even show signs of illness, which means an apparently healthy dog can still infect other dogs. Dogs with canine influenza develop coughing, a fever and a snotty nose, which are the same signs observed when a dog has kennel cough. Consult your veterinarian to determine if the canine influenza vaccine is recommended for your dog.

Canine Parvovirus

Parvo is caused by the canine parvovirus type 2. The virus is very contagious and attacks the gastrointestinal system, causing fever, vomiting and severe, often bloody, diarrhea. It is spread by direct contact between dogs as well as by contaminated stool, surfaces, bowls, collars, leashes, equipment, and the hands and clothing of people. It can also survive in the soil for years, making the virus hard to kill. Fortunately, there is a vaccine for parvo. It is considered a "core" vaccine and is recommended for every dog.


Heatstroke is a big risk during warm and hot weather. Remember that your dog is always wearing a fur coat and they are usually warmer than you are. A temperature that seems only a little warm to a person can be too hot for a dog. Add to that the fact that dogs at dog gatherings are often active and playing, and the heat could become deadly for your dog. Never leave your pet in the car on warm days. Even a 70 degree day can be too hot in a car. Short-nosed breeds, such as pugs, Boston Terriers, boxers, bulldogs, etc. are more prone to heatstroke and breathing problems because they don't pant as effectively as breeds with normal-length noses. Signs of heatstroke include excessive panting and drooling, anxiousness, weakness, abnormal gum color (darker red or even purple), collapse and death.

Any dog showing signs of heatstroke should be immediately taken to a shaded area and cooled with cold, wet towels that are wrung out and rewetted every few minutes. Running cool water over the dog's body and quickly wiping it away (so the water absorbs the skin's heat and is immediately wiped away) can also help. Transport the dog to a veterinarian immediately, because heatstroke can rapidly become deadly.

External Parasites

External parasites, such as ticks, fleas and mange, are fairly common dog problems. Ticks from the environment, fleas from other dogs and the environment, and mange from other dogs pose risks at dog gatherings. Ticks can transmit diseases (see tick-borne diseases below). Fleas can transmit some types of tapeworms as well as some diseases, and they may end up infesting your home and yard if they hitchhike home on your dog(s).

Cheyletiella mites cause "walking dandruff" on dogs (itching and flaky skin on the dog's trunk). They are spread from dog to dog by direct contact, and may require more aggressive treatment than fleas.

Fertilizers and Pesticides

Some fertilizers and pesticides can be toxic to dogs. Avoid letting your pet walk, run, play or roam in areas that have recently been treated with fertilizers or pesticides.


Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes and can cause coughing, lethargy, difficulty breathing, heart disease and death. Fortunately, there are many approved products to prevent heartworm infection. Consult your veterinarian about the best product for your dog.

Intestinal Parasites

Coccidia and Giardia are single-celled parasites that damage the lining of the intestine. Dogs can become infected with coccidia by eating infected soil or licking contaminated paws or fur. Puppies are at the highest risk of infection and illness.


Proposed Microchip Would Track Lost Pet
Escape Alert is developing a postage stage-sized pet microchip that would recharge itself.
By Veterinary Practice News Editors

Pet owners could use a smartphone to find their microchip-carrying cat or dog. Escape Alert Lost pets and drained batteries will be a thing of the past if Escape Alert gets its way. Coming as soon as 2015, if the Los Angeles company raises enough money and perfects the technology, is a veterinarian-implanted microchip with GPS capability. Pet owners could set virtual boundaries, receive a text message or email if the cat or dog strays across the line, and follow and recover the animal. Unlike today's competition-battery-powered GPS collars that owners must remember to recharge-Escape Alert intends to use piezoelectrical nanogenerator technology. That means the microchip would be recharged through the pet's body movement alone. Compared with the common rice grain-sized implanted microchip, which reveals owner information only when scanned, the first-of-its-kind Escape Alert chip would be much larger - at least initially. "There is a lot of technology which needs to fit in that tiny space, including, but not limited to, the GPS, battery and antenna," spokeswoman Karen Zaxton said. "We know we can make it as small as a postage stamp and are now working to make that even smaller."

Escape Alert reported that patent applications have been filed, and in the meantime the company is looking to raise $50,000 to fund the development of a prototype. A fundraising campaign is scheduled to run on from Sept. 23 to Nov. 11. Wayne Norris, who co-founded Escape Alert in 2010, is confident his microchip will succeed. "We have been working on this GPS microchip for years, but the trick was how to power the battery of an implanted device," Norris said.

Veterinarians would act as intermediaries in the sale and implantation of the device. Escape Alert estimates a price of $99 to $129. What might raise the cost is the ability to track a pet both outdoors and indoors. "It adds cost to make the chip function indoors," Zaxton said. "I was soon made aware by our friends from the UK and Ireland that dog theft is a huge problem there. And so for that reason, it is important to make it work indoors." Escape Alert forecasts a large market. The company quotes national figures such as 1 in 3 pets will become lost during their lifetime and 32 percent of lost dogs are found more than 10 miles from home. "This is a game changer and could put an end to lost pets once and for all," Norris said.

A Little Habit That Can Sicken Your Pets

•  Many dogs and even some cats have a thing about licking their humans right after they apply lotion or a medicated cream to their skin.

•  This presumably harmless habit can actually cause big problems depending on what you've rubbed on, that your pet has licked off.

•   There are many types of lotions, ointments, creams, and topical medications that can make your pet sick, or even desperately ill, if ingested, including several you might not suspect.

•   To be on the safe side, it's best to consistently discourage this type of licking so that no matter the situation, your pet won't be tempted.

•   If you suspect your pet has ingested a potentially harmful topical product, call your veterinarian or an emergency animal hospital right away.

Dog Bite Prevention

Recognize the Signs

It is important to understand dog body language and know the warning signs that can lead to a bite. Rarely does a dog bite without warning; usually baring the teeth or growling occur directly before the bite.

Signs of a friendly dog include:
•  Happy, relaxed face
•  Relaxed body posture
•  Tail wagging happily
•  Play bow (dog's elbows on ground and hind-end raised up)
•  Mouth closed or tongue hanging out
•  Roll over on the back for belly rubs

Signs of an unfriendly dog that does not want to be petted include:
•  Backing away with tail tucked
•  Lunging forward, barking, then backing away
•  Ears flat back or high on alert
•  Head turned away from you
•  Lip licking or heavy panting
•  Stiff posture
•  Tail wagging on a low and slow fashion
•  Growling
•  Air snap (snapping in your direction without making contact)

Preventative Measures

Always ask the owner before you pet a dog. Then allow the dog to approach you and sniff your closed hand. If the dog is friendly, you may pet the dog lightly (not heavy patting or thumping) on the back and/or shoulders. Most dogs do not like to be patted on top of the head. Don't stare directly into a dog's eyes and do not hover over the top of them. Stand slightly to the side and bend down so you are more on their level.

Never approach an unattended dog. Do not reach over a fence or through a car window to pet a dog.

If an unattended dog approaches you, whether he seems friendly or not, immediately "Be a Tree." Do not run! Stop, fold your arms, and look at your feet. The dog will think you are uninteresting and move on. Stay in position until the dog moves on or someone comes to help. Do not yell, strike at, or make sudden movements toward a dog that has approached. This may cause the dog to react fearfully or aggressively in return.

Never leave young children unattended with a dog, no matter how nice the dog seems or how well you know the dog. It is very important to teach children polite behavior around dogs.

Can a dog that bites someone with HIV get infected?

If a dog bites someone with HIV then bites someone else right after, can it spread the virus? The answers are no, no and it's very, very unlikely. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) does not infect dogs.