How to Choose a Good Dog Shampoo

By Laurie Darroch

Dogs do need to be bathed on occasion, and you need to choose the right shampoo to get your canine friend clean. Their skin and fur attracts dirt, debris and pests which can cause health problems. A stinky dog can also smell up a house quickly, and get furniture and bedding filthy.

Don’t use products designed for humans for bathing your dog, no matter how much you like the smell of them. They’re not meant to be used on dogs. Don’t use dish detergent either, as it can be caustic and can burn their skin. The added chemicals and perfumes from these types of products may also cause allergic reactions or make your dog’s skin worse. The strong scents can be agitating to a dog’s super sensitive nose as well.

Look for a shampoo designed specifically for canine care with healthy ingredients such as aloe or oatmeal for moisturizing and cleaning. When buying dog shampoo, keep in mind that an adult dog may have different sensitivities and needs than a puppy does, so be sure to buy age appropriate products. Getting the right dog shampoo will help to keep his fur and skin healthy.

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How Closely Related are Dogs and Wolves?

By Linda Cole

Scientists have believed for many years that dogs evolved from wolves, and most likely became domesticated when humans settled down and turned to agriculture. However, a study in early 2014 contradicts this belief with evidence that points to a common ancestor of dogs and wolves, and a domestication process that took place earlier than once thought.

The one thing scientists know for certain is that new evidence continues to be uncovered about when, where, how and why dogs became man’s best friend. Fossilized dog skulls and bones help peel back the hands of time to give researchers more insight into the domestication of dogs.

In the field of biology, evolution is a generation-to-generation change in the gene pool through natural selection, mutation, migration or genetic drift – which is random change in a population’s gene pool based on chance and usually occurs only in small isolated populations. The consensus was that dogs started to evolve from the gray wolf around 10,000 years ago. New research has found dogs and wolves split off from a now extinct common ancestor somewhere between 9,000 and 34,000 years ago. What caused the ancestor to die off is a mystery.

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10 Purrfect Jobs for Cats

cat jobs katieBy Rocky Williams, feline guest blogger

I’ve heard that term “working dog” an awful lot in my 12 years. It seems you humans are highly impressed with dogs who have jobs. Moreover, those perpetually eager-to-please canines are apparently contributing to society and their “master’s” household in a multitude of ways. The same cannot be said of cats. We aim to please only one – ourselves – and we have no masters, only “staff.”

Still, I’m not convinced that those mangy canines are the only ones who can hold down a job. If I wanted to, I could quit catnapping all day and get a job. That’s a big IF, though. Historically, the term working cats is more of an oxymoron than a reality. But I don’t think it’s because cats aren’t perfectly capable of doing certain jobs. We just don’t see the point. I mean… the stinky goodness makes it into our food bowls whether we work or not. Why should we? Looking unbearably cute is “contribution” enough, am I right?

I said as much to my Warden, and she had the audacity to laugh! I pretended to be mad at her, but she’s my cat food supplier, so that didn’t last long. In the end, I thought purrhaps I could just pretend to look for a job and it might mollify her. So I put my paws together and came up with 10 jobs I’d excel at, IF I were so inclined to actually work (which I’m not).

Massage Therapist – Cats are a natural at kneading, and most of us do this on our human’s body already, no oil needed! Just get me a massage table, and I’m all set.

Household “Snoopervisor” – Whether the Warden is cooking, reading, writing, bathing or paying bills, I need to be right there, making sure she is doing it right.

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Can Dogs and Cats be Allergic to Penicillin?

By Linda Cole

In 1928, a Scottish bacteriologist named Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin while tidying up his lab. He was about to toss a moldy petri dish into the trash when he noticed something strange about the bacteria – it wasn’t growing as well as it should have been. However, it would be another twelve years before penicillin would become a lifesaving drug; two Oxford scientists – Howard Florey and Ernst Chain – produced a brown powder capable of retaining the antibacterial properties in 1940.

The new drug was rushed into mass production and sent to the war front during the early years of WWII. Today, penicillin is used to treat anything from minor wounds to tonsillitis and pneumonia. Unfortunately, some people are allergic to penicillin. Is it possible for dogs and cats to have an allergic reaction too?

Penicillin works by inhibiting bacteria from building a sustainable cell wall. Fleming noticed that mold on the petri dish was attacking bacteria surrounding it to get more space and nutrients it needed to grow, by releasing a bacteria killing compound that prevented some bacteria from forming new cell walls. This process is called antibiosis, which is where the word antibiotic comes from. Once Fleming isolated and identified the antibacterial compound, he named it penicillin. The discovery of penicillin was hailed as the first miracle drug, and has saved countless number of human and animal lives over the years.

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How to Curb Puppy Barking

By Langley Cornwell

We went to the animal shelter last weekend to visit with the shelter pets and give them some one-on-one attention. We do this fairly often and it always pulls on my heart strings; I want to bring carloads of the sweet, homeless animals home with us, but I know it’s not feasible so I stay strong and do what we’re there to do.

On this visit, however, my heart strings were nearly ripped out of my chest. The puppies! Our local shelters are bursting with loveable little puppies. When I got over the initial cuteness-overload response, this made perfect sense. One of the most common reasons dogs are taken to animal shelters is because of excessive barking. This time of year, many puppies that were given as gifts over the holidays are now being relinquished to shelters for things like barking and biting and generally being a puppy. It’s reported that one-fifth of all the dogs adopted from shelters are returned within a few months. What a sad statistic.

Our recent shelter visit compelled me to review my previous article on Tips to Curb Puppy Biting and Aggression and expand the subject to include excessive puppy barking. My goal is to educate new puppy owners on what to expect from young, precocious pups and offer suggestions to curb or even prevent these unwanted behaviors.

Why does my puppy bark so much?

Dogs bark for a variety of reasons, but it usually boils down to some form of communication, boredom, a request for attention, or a response to a perceived threat. Your dog wants to be a contributing member of the family and they often assign themselves the role of the protector. Everything is new to a puppy, so his barking may be a warning that a garbage truck is nearby or a neighbor is walking past the house or your hat is on crooked.

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Sharing Playtime with Your Dog (Poem)

By Laurie Darroch

Playtime with your dog is not just playing. Playtime is an ideal time to bond with your canine companion, a chance to continue or reinforce training and a good way to give your dog exercise. Last but not least, playtime is simply a fun way to show your dog you care.

You are, after all, the one they look up to. Your dog trusts you implicitly, and you are who they want to spend time with more than anyone. Take some time each day to play with your dog. Like children, our dogs flourish with positive attention and one-on-one time.

Here’s a poem about playtime, written from a dog’s point of view:

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