By Linda Cole
Earthdog trials are geared for go to ground Terriers that have been bred to root out small prey from underground dens. Dogs in the Terrier Group are hardworking canines bred to hunt vermin, but breeds that don’t go to ground aren’t eligible for Earthdog trials. A challenging new dog sport called Barn Hunt works off the basic concept of Earthdog trials, with a twist, and is open to all canines.
Dogs have an innate desire to hunt, regardless of what they were bred to do. Even companion breeds from the Toy Group have a healthy prey drive, and some breeds are good ratters. Miniature Pinschers were originally bred to hunt rats and small prey, and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a true hunting dog that has retained his Spaniel traits.
The Standard Schnauzer, German Pinscher and Brussels Griffon have a history of hunting vermin, but they don’t go to ground to flush out prey. Barn hunt is designed to give dogs that have traditionally been used to hunt vermin above ground a sport where they can show off their rat hunting skills.
By Rocky Williams, Feline Guest Blogger
We interrupt our regularly scheduled catnap to bring you this impawtent bulletin: new CANIDAE foodables have arrived!
It was an exciting day here when the man in the blue shorts delivered that big package, which the Warden said was all for me. Well, technically she said I had to share the noms with the other two furry inmates, but I was busy salivating so I wasn’t really paying any attention to that part. All I heard was that I would get to be a guinea pig and taste test some new grain free Pure formulas to give you my honest opinion of them. Catzowey! Life is good.
Now, being the foodie that I am, I may not be the best feline for the job of Cat Food Taste Tester but hey… you’ll never find anyone who throws themselves into their “work” with more enthusiasm than I do. Yep. Uh huh. I do love my noms. But even foodie cats like a little variety once in awhile, and since we only eat premium quality food at this five-star establishment, we ate the same two CANIDAE formulas all the time. Not any more!
With six new grain free flavors added to the CANIDAE line-up, mealtime just became the highlight of my day. Oh wait…it already was. The point is, now my furry inmates and I will get to mix it up a little. Even better, there are some interesting meats in these new foodables that we haven’t tried before – like duck, herring, rabbit, trout and lobster.
By Linda Cole
We don’t normally think about tonsil health in canines, but like us, dogs do have tonsils. Sometimes they become inflamed, which makes a dog feel very uncomfortable. Knowing the symptoms of tonsillitis can help you get your pet medical attention to ease his discomfort.
Two tonsils, one on each side of the mouth, are located at the back of the throat. Their primary function is to provide protection from bacteria and viruses. The tonsils are similar to lymph glands, and you normally can’t see them because when the tonsils are healthy they are hidden inside a pouch known as a crypt. Since their job is to fight infections, the tonsils can become infected. When that happens, it’s easier for us to see them because they become red, swollen, and are no longer contained in their pouch.
One of the more common ways dogs can get tonsillitis is from a buildup of tartar on the teeth due to poor dental hygiene, or a gum infection. Tonsillitis can also be caused by an irritation of the mouth or throat. Sometimes an infection from somewhere else gets into the mouth, and bacteria is able to get into the throat area. Most of the time, the cause is from bacteria normally found in the mouth that multiplies.
By Langley Cornwell
Many years ago I rescued a dog that looked like a mix between a yellow Labrador retriever and a Samoyed. Her coat was longer than a Lab and she had a dense undercoat, especially around her neck and chest. In fact, she looked (and acted!) like she had a lovely mane. Her ears were perky and triangular shaped and her tail was long and luscious, and curved over her back.
She was knock-down gorgeous. Out of all the dogs I’ve lived with, there’s never been another one that literally stopped traffic like this sweet pooch. Everyone we passed commented on her beauty and asked what type of dog she was. Upon learning that she came from an animal shelter, I was often told that she “had a lot of Spitz in her” or that she was a “Spitz type” dog.
At the time, I wasn’t clear on whether the term Spitz was an officially recognized dog breed, or if the designation was an umbrella term that referred to specific types of dogs. Turns out, Spitz is not an official dog breed. It’s more of an identifying term for a certain type of dog.
By Laurie Darroch
Dogs do not sweat the way humans do. They sweat through the pads of their feet and cool off by inhaling and exhaling air while panting to keep internal heat down. Because their body cooling systems are less efficient, it is important to be aware of where your dog is on very hot days and to help your dog deal with the extreme temperatures.
You may be able to handle a run in the middle of the day in the blazing sun with no problem, but your dog cannot cool off as easily as you can. With limited sweat glands, high energy exercise in the hottest part of the day can be stressful and dangerous for your dog, even if they seem eager to join in the activities. Walk or run in the morning or evening instead of during the highest temperatures of the day.
If you are away from home and out in the hottest weather with your dog, be sure to bring a container of water for your dog. Allow your dog a rest period and find shaded areas to help your dog cool down.
By Linda Cole
Like cats and other animals, dogs have whiskers that stick out from the sides of their muzzle. Technically, they aren’t whiskers – they’re called vibrissae, which comes from a Latin word “vibrio” that means to vibrate. A dog’s whiskers are actually highly tuned, multi-functional, sensitive sensory hairs they need and use every day to perform specific functions that help them move around in their world.
Dog whiskers are found on both sides of their muzzle, as well as on the forehead above the eyes, on their chin and above the upper lip. As puppies grow, the whiskers are among the first hairs to develop. Unlike the neatly arranged 12 whiskers in four rows on each side of a cat’s face, dog whiskers are more varied in their pattern depending on their breed and genetics.
Whiskers are twice as thick and coarser than regular dog hair. Their roots are set three times deeper and packed with nerves and blood vessels that make each individual whisker a super sensitive receptor to movement. Air moving it or objects brushing against it causes the whisker to vibrate and stimulates the nerves. Dog whiskers are as sensitive as our fingertips. Whiskers play an important role in helping dogs understand and move through their environment.