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Three Super-Easy Ways to Make Your Dog Happier

Dogs put up with a lot to accommodate themselves to our world. Yet in many ways we dont consider a world in which theyd feel more comfortable. Its not because we dont care. Its because we dont automatically consider how their senses influence their experiences. With our dogs senses in mind, here are three ways to make living with us better.

Theres More to Volunteering at a Shelter Than Petting Dogs

Most shelters are happy to have volunteers come and give resident dogs attention by playing with them and grooming them. Dogs warehoused in shelters need extra attention and socializing so that they will look good to potential adopters and also will adapt better to life with people once they make it to a loving home. But theres more to helping shelter dogs than interacting with them directly, and you may have just the talent required. Consider asking a local shelter if it needs help in any of these areas.

Illuminating Your Dog for Better Nighttime Walking, Playing

If late-night and perhaps pre-dawn walks with your dog are part of your routine, you might consider using LED collars, leashes, and toys to brighten things up. Colorfully lit dog-walking gear will make you and your pet more visible to passing motorists and to each other. At the same time, theyll help illuminate your path as well as make waste clean-up easier in the dark.

Animal Cruelty Now a Federal Felony

In the present climate of divided party politics, one thing agreed upon by every single member of both the Senate and the House of Representatives is that animal cruelty is unacceptable. A unanimous vote by both legislative bodies has passed a bill called the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or PACT. Violators convicted of an animal cruelty felony will face up to 7 years in prison.

Date Night Goes to the Dogs

What could be better than going to the movies and enjoying a glass of wine while snuggling with a loved one who adores you? In Plano, Texas, you can do just that at a theater that allows dogs. Fifteen dollars will get you and your furry companion seats, wine (or whiskey), and the screening of such movies as A Dogs Journey. All you have to do is show proof on the first visit that your pet has had all the necessary vaccinations, be prepared to take your dog for potty breaks, and, if you dont make it outside in time, clean up.

Dear Doctor: Guide Dog Versus Seeing Eye Dog

What is the difference between a guide dog and a seeing eye dog? Ive seen both terms used for dogs who help people who cant see, but does a guide dog also help people who use wheelchairs, for instance?

Your Dog May Very Well Need a Winter Coat

Some dogs seem happiest in cold weather, thrilling to a drop in the temperature and enjoying rolling on their backs in the snow to make canine snow angels. But even though most dogs are covered in fur from head to toe, not all are built for winter. The American Kennel Club says the following dogs need a coat in cold weather.

How Safe For Your Dog Are Essential Oils In Household Products?

Your new diffuser emits the calming scent of lavender, your counters and floors gleam from a cleanser suffused with the uplifting odor of peppermint, and youre thinking of placing clove potpourri in the bedroom. But did you know that products like these, all made pleasing with the aromas of essential oils that have taken off in consumer use, could be toxic to your dog, and in some cases even lead to life-threatening reactions?

The Most Earth-Friendly Ways to Dispose of Your Dogs Poop

The unfortunate truth is that even if you use truly biodegradable poop bags proven to break down and return to nature in a relatively short period of time, they will not degrade well in a landfill, where compression and lack of oxygen get in the way of the degradation process. So instead of throwing your poop bags in the regular trash, what can you do to go the extra ecological mile?

Their Stress Levels Mirror Ours

Its no secret that dogs are intensely aware of our moods. Now its clear that our stress levels literally course through their veins. Investigators reporting in Scientific Reports found the connection upon examining hair from more than 50 people and their dogs. Hair follicles absorb cortisol, a stress hormone released into the bloodstream.

Dog Walking Injuries On the Rise, Especially Among Older People

In the August issue of Your Dog, we discussed that youre never too old to enjoy sharing your life with a canine companion. But even good things can go awry if proper care is not taken to prevent falls, as was made evident in a report by University of Pennsylvania researchers drawn from nationwide data on dog-walking injuries among the 65-plus set. Injuries sending older dog walkers to emergency rooms rose more than 250 percent in the last 15 years or so, from nearly 1,700 in 2004 to just under 4,400 in 2017. Most of the injuries were said to have been caused by a loss of balance that ensued when a dog pulled too hard or suddenly on the leash.

Treats for Tricks

To train your dog to follow cues and perform various tricks, youre going to need food treats - and lots of them, especially when the trick is new or when your dog is a puppy and is getting the hang of learning in general. You might need to give four or five treats in quick succession in order to solidify the follow-through in your pets mind as she repeats the move youre trying to teach. But how does that square with the standard advice not to give your pet more than 10 percent of her calories as treats, since treats are not part of a dogs healthful diet and can lead to nutrient imbalances?