Saturday, August 19, 2017

Beach Bum(mer): Petplan Ranks the Top 5 Health Hazards at the Shore

(C) GraphicStock, Used by Permission

Pet Insurance Provider Says Sun, Sand and Salt Water Can All Cause Pet Health Wipeouts

WOOF!!! BARK!!! It’s no secret that pets love the beach—but the beach doesn’t always love them back. According to Petplan pet insurance, claims soar from summer days at the shore, with everything from dehydration to blocked bowels dogging our pets.

To help pet parents put safety first while seaside, Petplan ranked the top five most dangerous pet health threats:

5. Sunburn
Believe it or not, dogs can get sunburned—and white or light-colored pets are most at risk. To keep pups safe, apply sunscreen to the bridge of the nose, ear tips, abdomen and inner legs, and always provide plenty of shade. Use pet-formulated sunscreens only: many human sunblocks contain zinc oxide, which is toxic to pets if ingested.

4. Snacking on sand
Lots of dogs like to dig in the sand, but some wind up eating the fruit of their labor. A little sand will do no harm, but large quantities can collect in the intestines or bowels and cause a blockage. Signs of trouble include straining to defecate with no result, lack of appetite, repeated vomiting or abdominal discomfort (look for heavy panting, pacing, whining or a distended belly). Keep a close eye during play to prevent accidental snacking.

3. Sipping salt water
Petplan’s vets warn never to let a dog drink seawater. The most common side effect is diarrhea, but if they sip enough of it, salt toxicity becomes an issue. Too much salt causes a major electrolyte imbalance in dogs, which can lead to dehydration, brain damage, kidney failure and even death. Always pack fresh drinking water and a portable pet bowl.

(C) GraphicStock, Used by Permission
2. Dry drowning
Dogs who enjoy swimming should never do so unattended. A dog can be pulled under by strong tides and currents—or even just exhaustion—and may aspirate water while struggling. This inhaled water can cause pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs that can lead to respiratory distress or cardiac arrest). Dry drowning can happen hours or even days after a near-drowning accident, and it can be deadly. Protect your pup with a pet lifejacket to help keep his head above water.

1. Heat sickness
Heat stroke takes the top spot for being one of the most common—and most dangerous—threats to beach-going pets. Not only is the condition expensive to treat (the average cost is $2,606*), but more than just your wallet can get burned: heat stroke is often fatal, and can affect a pet in as little as 15 minutes. Avoid bringing dogs to the beach during the hottest part of the day, and be sure they’ve got access to both water and shade.

“Bringing a pet on vacation is a great way to make new memories, but it’s absolutely crucial to take safety precautions before hitting the beach,” says Petplan Staff Veterinarian Rebecca Jackson. “Know the dangers of sun, sand and salt water and how to minimize your pet’s risk of getting hurt or sick. Summer sun should be fun for everyone—especially the four-legged among us!”

For more seasonal tips and pet health tricks, point your paws to

Interested in learning more about the Petplan Policy's available for your dog or cat? Pawlease visit Save 10% on Petplan policy and Get a Free PetHub digital ID tag using Code: TAGME10.

WOOF!! BARK!! If you should purchase from Petplan, I might receive a commission.

(C) GraphicStock, Used by Permission

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday's Friend! Dog Adoption, Lab Rescue of L.R.C.P., Inc.

(C) Lab Rescue of L.R.C.P.,Inc.

WOOF!!  My pawsome friend "Lab Lady" came by this week with a fantastic friend for you to meet! He's is almost as cute and handsomely adorable as I am! Meet Bama!
(C) Lab Rescue of L.R.C.P.,Inc.

Bama is a 12-year-old Black Labrador Retriever who is looking for his "Forever Home" in a single-family house or townhouse located in a rural or suburban area. He has no fence requirement!

Bama is one sweet guy who makes a pawsome snuggle buddy who will hang out with his humans all the time! He loves being their companion - is a pawsome "Velcro-Lab!" He is house and crate trained.

Bama enjoys chasing balls or simply exploring and enjoying the backyard. He is a dream on walks- he loves them and does well on a leash.

Bama has made a few friends with dogs in the neighborhood and gets along well with the foster's resident dog! He is a pawsome pup to be around.

Bama is a sweet and pawsome guy who is looking for his "Forever Home" to spend his golden years. He has enjoyed visiting a nursing home where everyone could pet him!

Bama is recommended for mini-humans ages 10 and older. He has no cat history. He is good with other dogs.

If you would like to meet or apply to adopt Bama, pawlease complete the Lab Rescue Dog Adoption Application.

(C) Lab Rescue of L.R.C.P.,Inc.

Friday's Friend! Cat Adoption, PetConnect Rescue

My pawsome friend "Cat Lady" from PetConnect Rescue came by this week to bring by a friend for you to meet!  This friend looks like he came all the way from France to meet you!  Meet Pierre!

(C) PetConnect Rescue
See the distinguished goatee? WOOF! Love it! Pierre says, “Bonjour!”

A sleek, handsome, sweet, and exotic-looking boy, Pierre is a gentle and quiet kitty! He likes cuddling with his humans too! He loves snuggling in their bed too!

Pierre does great with other cats and dogs in his foster home!
(C) PetConnect Rescue

Pierre is super fun and loves playing and chasing his wand toy.

Pierre has excellent litter box manners and is one very healthy guy!

A Paw from PetConnect Rescue: The adoption fee for this Pierre is $135, which helps with the cost of routine vet care.  The fee DOES NOT INCLUDE spay/neuter if the kitten is not already spayed/neutered. If the animal you are adopting is not already spayed/neutered, you will be required to sign a contract legally obligating you to have the animal altered. A $100 spay/neuter deposit is collected to help ensure that the procedure gets done in a timely manner.

Purringly, cats adopted through PetConnect Rescue must be indoor only, and may not be declawed (unless already declawed at the time of rescue).

If you would like to learn more about cat adoption, please visit PetConnect Rescue's Cat Adoption Guide.

If you would like to apply to adopt Pierre, please complete the PetConnect Rescue Cat Adoption Application.

Friday's Friend! Cat Adoption, Homeless Animals Rescue Team (HART)

"Charlie the Fluffinator"
(C) Homeless Animals Rescue Team
WOOF!! What a beautiful girl my friends from Homeless Animals Rescue Team (HART) brought by for you to meet this week! WOOF, er, Meow! Meet Charlie the Fluffinator!

Charlie the Fluffinator is not declawed, is dog-friendly and is friendly with some cats! She is recommended for older mini-humans.

Charlie the Fluffinator is a very sweet, cuddly cat who enjoys playing and treats!

Charlie the Fluffinator's self will do best in a home as your one and only- cat that is and with no small children. She would purringly love being your forever friend!

If you have questions about Charlie the Fluffinator, please contact Kim.

Interested in applying to adopt Charlie the Fluffinator, please complete the Homeless Animals Rescue Team Cat Adoption Application.

Friday's Friend! Dog Adoption, Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League

Great Dane Adoption
(C) Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League
My friend the "Great Dane Dame" of Virginia and probably other places too, has had her hands full taking care of a few of those pawsomely large Great Dane guys! When I first met one, my first thought was... "Oh. What. A. Big. Dog. There are other dogs bigger than me. arf." I thought I'd met all the dog breeds, but that a great first experience meeting him.

This week the "Great Dane Dame" brought by a huge handsome fella named "Titan" who is looking for humans to love and his "Forever Home!"

Titan is a young man full of energy to burn and lovin's to share!  Though he may take a few minutes to warm up to you, if he doesn't know you, barkingly, when he does, it's "game on" and you'll get tons of "doggie kisses!"  The bestest kind of slobber!  WOOF! He has fallen in love with humans he sees often including a mini-human! Barkingly, she gives him a lot of treats- which he takes quickly!  Paws, no signs of Titan being too rough, anxious or guarded with mini-humans.

Barks, he does have manners, but he is still a puppy at heart!  He knows a few basic commands, "sit," "shake a paw," and "down." Barkingly, he is very food motivated! He may guard his food when eating!

(C) Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League
Titan passed the dog test with flying colors! He is a fast and fun, maybe a little rough, player. Barkingly, he was pawfect when playing with a Labrador, a Golden, and even larger dogs. Bark- there are dogs larger than a Great Dane? arf? 

Titan's previous owners say he is an escape artist who knows what door handles are for! While his foster hasn't seen this, he will require a sturdy 6 foot fence!

As Titan is still a puppy a training requirement will be part of his adoption to ensure he continues to learn good manners.

Titan would do best going home with another dog his size who is able to play fairly rough like he
does will a good choice for him.  With his energy levels, he needs a good-sized yard to run some of it off.  A townhouse, condo or apartment are not an option for him.

Titan likes to chase cats, so he is not recommended with cats.  He's good with mini-humans ages 12 and older.

Interested in applying to adopt Titan? Please contact Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League.

Friday's Friend! Dog Adoption, Operation Paws for Homes

(C) Operation Paws for Homes
WOOF! HAPPY FRIDAY! Hope you had a pawsitively pawsome week! My friend at Operation Paws for Homes brought by a friend for you to meet- Yoyoma!

Yoyoma is about 2-years-old and an American Bulldog mix! He is looking for humans to provide her some bellyrubs! She is a low to medium energy gal!

Not only does Yoyoma enjoy belly rubs, she LOVES bacon, enjoys going for car rides, playing with chew toys, humans and being a surrogate mom.  Yups, you read right. When she was dropped off at the shelter, she was full of milk but no pups! Wouldn't you know it, a litter of pups were brought in with no mom and she was pawsomely happy to raise them.

(C) Operation Paws for Homes
Yoyoma has met her foster mom's grand mini-humans! They are great and respectful.

Yoyoma enjoys getting some exercise and walks well on a leash with a martingale collar!  She is pawsome in a crate!

Barkingly, she does have a prey drive! Paws, no small animals like birds or cats in her new "Forever Home!"  WOOF!!

Yoyoma has been friendly with all the dogs she's met, except for the snarky, growly ones. The best thing to do for her is re-direct her attention!  BARK! She prefers slow introductions to dogs.

Here is a video of Yoyoma Entertaining Herself!

Yoyoma does pawsome when her human makes the rules and sets boundaries for her! Arf!

Barkingly, if you are looking for a dog has had some basic training, want someone to hang out with you, a pawsome love bug, then Yoyoma may be the dog for you!

YoYoMa is current on vaccinations, spayed, microchipped, and looking for lovin's.

A paw from Operation Paws for Homes! COMPLETED TREATMENT!! Yoyoma tested positive for heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is transmitted to a dog through a bite from an infected mosquito producing a positive test in six months. Operation Paws for Homes will treat the dog and provide two weeks’ recovery time prior to adoption. Potential adopters will receive detailed information on the disease and their role in completing the recovery process from Operation Paws for Homes Heartworm Coordinator. With monthly preventatives, the disease is completely preventable. Read about heartworm disease here: Heartworm Society: Pet Owner Resources, Heartworm Basics

Interested in learning more about dog adoption? Please visit Operation Paws for Homes Adoption Guide.

Interested in applying to adopt Yoyoma?

(C) Operation Paws for Homes

(C) Operation Paws for Homes

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thinking About Dog Adoption?

(C) Used by Written Permission of Mighty Dog Graphics

I paw and bark my thanks to Mighty Dog Graphics for sharing their pawsome artistic talents with us.

Monday, August 14, 2017

How to Use Motivators to Train and Support Your Rescued Dog

"Dog Reward"
(C) Wiley Pup

Rescuing an animal from a shelter or foster situation is a good way to make a new friend for life. Having rescued all of the dogs that I have had the pleasure of welcoming into my pack, I can say that I have no regrets about any of the pups that have found their way into my heart and home.

When a dog enters an unfamiliar environment, they tend to be very open to trying to learn the rules and routines of their new family. You can help them along during this transitional period by using positive training methods to give them both guidance and confidence that they have arrived at a safe place.

Hopefully you have considered some classes or are researching positive training methods so you can best serve the needs of your new pet. Motivation is an idea that is central to positive training methods. This article will be exploring that concept in more detail.

What is a “motivator”?
A motivator is any object or action that your dog enjoys. If you really want to make the most of positive training methods, observe your pal and make a mental note of the things that they really like.

Most people are aware that high-value treats are motivators, and they are popular to use in training sessions because you can dispense them quickly without disturbing the flow of training. But food is not the only motivator for your dog.

Observe your dog to see if there are non-food motivators that you might use to train them:
  • A toss of a tennis ball.
  • An affectionate pet on the ears.
  • A tug with a rope bone.
  • Going outside.
  • Hopping on the couch next to you.
Basically, anything that your dog really enjoys can be used as a motivator!

"Dog Tug"
(C) Wiley Pup

How to use a motivator effectively:
In a formal training session, it is probably pretty obvious how a motivator works. Your dog gives you a behavior you are looking for, you mark it with a clicker or a sound, and then you dispense a small food “reward.” The food is the motivator in that case.

However, just because you are not in a formal training session does not mean that other motivators are not working to shape your dog’s behavior. In fact, motivators are ALWAYS shaping your dog’s behavior, even if you are not conscious of it.

Here is an example: You go to the door and your dog is right there with tail wagging and his nose ready to push through the open door.

What is the motivator here? Your dog wants to go outside. Did you open the door when they were carrying on in this way? If so, then you just rewarded that behavior, expect more of it in the future.

However, if you harness the power of your dog’s motivation to go outside, you have a lot of leverage to help them learn a better behavior without using any punishment.

Ask your dog to “sit” a few paces away from the door and move to the doorknob. As soon as your dog breaks the sit, step away from the door, start over. For most dogs, one or two sessions of this motivator game will have your dog sitting with the door open waiting to be released with an “Okay!”

Congratulations! You just used the power of understanding motivators to train your dog!

  "Dog Training"
(C) Wiley Pup

Motivators are everywhere:
Once you start looking for motivators, you will notice them everywhere. Every motivator is an opportunity for you to reinforce desired behaviors. This means that guiding your dog to the kinds of behavior that you like is not just for formal training sessions, it can be an ongoing part of the way you interact with your dog.

The other nice thing about using motivators in this way is that you don’t have to use punishment, and this is so important, especially for a dog that is coming into a brand-new environment! Help them feel confident, safe and loved by using motivators effectively to encourage the kinds of behavior that you like.

About the Author:

Sharon Elber writes for She has been a lifelong lover of dogs, and has worked as a professional dog trainer for over a decade. Got an eldery dog? Check out orthopedic dog beds.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dog Adoption, Cat Adoption- Every Friday!

(C) Allen Pearson
Meet my friends in the Northern Virginia - Maryland area who are looking for humans to love and their "Forever Homes!"  See you Fridays!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Friday's Friend! Dog Adoption, Lab Rescue of L.R.C.P., Inc.

My pawsome friend "Lab Lady" from Lab Rescue of L.R.C.P., Inc., stopped by this week with several of her senior friends who are looking for a "Forever Home!"

Senior dogs make pawsome adoptable dogs for many reasons. One of them is many of them have already been trained, so you have to do very little, and they do not require nearly as much exercise as a young puppy.  These dogs make pawsome friends for senior humans who need companionship and lovin's that Labradors are so great at giving!

Meet Abby and Banks!

"Banks and Abby"
(C) Lab Rescue of L.R.C.P., Inc.
Abby and Banks were turned over to a rural shelter when their human passed away when they conveyed with the house and the relatives couldn't take them!

These two pawsome Labradors are looking for a "Forever Home" located in a single-family home in a rural or suburban area.  They do not have a fencing requirement.

Chocolate Labrador Retriever
(C) Lab Rescue of L.R.C.P., Inc.
Banks is a 6-year-old Chocolate Labrador Retriever who loves to give doggie kisses all day long. Abby is a 9-year-old Black Labrador Retriever who seems to always be looking for a quiet spot to hang out and get some lovin's!

The two are food-motivated, will ignore shoes, laundry, paper, mail, boxes, and the trash.

Barkingly, though they haven't quite figured out what a dog bed is about, they don't tear them up either!

Abby and Banks enjoy going for walks. They rarely pull on a leash.  When they do, it's never hard.  The foster mom walks them together.  Paws, they aren't fast walkers either.

Black Labrador Retriever Adoption
(C) Lab Rescue of L.R.C.P,, Inc.
The two have met other dogs at a local park and have been friendly with other dogs and humans they met. Barkingly, they enjoy going for rides too!

Abby and Banks do not seem to know any commands but they are eager to please their humans.  The two are laid back country dogs looking for a little love!  Neither of them knows what stairs are for, so a house with first-floor living would be best.

Abby and Banks do have any cat history but they basically ignored the vet cats! They are recommended for mini-humans ages 5 and older!

If you would like to learn about other seniors dog at Lab Rescue, please visit Lab Rescue's Senior Labs!

If you would like to apply to meet or adopt Banks and Abby, please complete the Lab Rescue Dog Adoption Application!

Friday's Friend! Cat Adoption, Homeless Animals Rescue Team

 (C) Homeless Animal Rescue Team
My friends at the Homeless Animals Rescue Team brought by the coolest cat for you to meet.  This is Willow!

Willow is 10-months-old is not declawed, has no history with dogs, is friendly with some cats. She is friendly with mini-humans. She comes when called and will be a pawsome companion for someone who is happy to let her be herself.

Willow is sweet, friendly and a loving kitten! She is a total lap kitty.

Willow was rescued from a woodpile but is making strides in adjusting to living in a home with mini-humans.  She is looking for a home with mini-humans ages 9 and older.

Do you have questions about Willow? Pawlease contact Kelly!

Interested in applying to adopt Willow?  Please complete the Homeless Animals Rescue Team Cat Adoption Application.

Learn my thoughts about cat adoption by reading my recent articles with the Fairfax County Times, Cat Adoption, First Paw and Cat Adoption, Second Paw.

Friday's Friend! Dog Adoption, Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League

WOOF!! BARK! It is so pawsome to catch up with myf riend "Great Dane Dame" from Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League. She brought by a most cool dude for you to meet! Rocco!
(C) Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League
A 9-month-old puppy, who has tons of doggie kisses to share with every human he meets, Rocco just loves everyone! 

Rocco came to Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League from a family who's living situation changed and they could no longer keep him.

Rocco is very skittish! He doesn't like the vacuum cleaner, the door, sudden moves and the like. Barkingly, he is a pawsome sweet pups! 

Rocco is good with large dogs, like 50 lbs. and over, but is scared of the small one-  can't say I blame him- WOOF! - but he may alright with the proper introduction.  He hasn't had any reactions to cats but may play with them a little rough!  He hasn't had a prey drive in the yard or while on walks. 

Rocco has a bit of nervous behavior which will reduce in time with humans taking it slow and allowing him to adjust and integrate at his own pace!

Rocco will be a BIG guy!  He is very tall and weighs around 105 lbs. He will fill in a bit as he gets older!  

A playful, energetic and pawsomely active fella, he will do best in an active home!  He is pawcellent with mini-humans ages 6 and older! He has never been around mini-humans younger than that. 

Since Rocco is such a young fella, he will have a training requirement as part of his adoption contact.

If you would like to apply to adopt Rocco, please read guidelines and complete the Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League Dog Adoption Application

(C) Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League

Friday's Friend! Dog Adoption, PetConnect Rescue

(C) PetConnect Rescue
WOOF!!! BARK!! My friend "Miss Cathy" from PetConnect Rescue came by this week with her friend, "Darby!"

Are you looking for a most pawsome dog who has it all? WOOF! Well, I'm not available for adoption but my friend Darby is!  

A sweet, loyal, gentle, resilient, beautiful, smart, and genuine is how my friends at PetConnect Rescue describes this pawsome girl!  
(C) PetConnect Rescue

She enjoys hiking in the woods or relaxing for an afternoon with her human! Darby makes a pawsome companion for any type of day! 

Darby, a 2 1/2 -year-old beautiful chocolate brown lady, can be reserved when she first meets humans, but her warmth is quickly reflected in her pawsome eyes!  

Darby is always winning over the hearts of everyone she meets! She is one pawsomely incredible pup who shines inside and out!  She is a pawsome well-behaved girl. 

Darby does well with other dogs and would like to have a dog companion in her future home! She will make a pawsome addition to a calm home. She is crate trained and very quiet! 

As a young lady, Darby has a full life ahead of her with only sunshine ahead! Want to be a part of that sunshine?  Please complete the PetConnect Rescue Dog Adoption Application.  Once completed, email Tammy at, a PetConnect Rescue Adoption Coordinator will contact you. 

If you would like to know more about dog adoption, please visit the PetConnect Rescue Dog Adoption Guide.

(C) PetConnect Rescue

Friday's Friend! Dog Adoption, Operation Paws for Homes

(C) Operation Paws for Homes
WOOF!! HAPPY FRIDAY!!!!! My friend Mireille from Operation Paws for Homes stopped by to meet you!  She is a 2-year-old, pawsibly Shepherd/Shar Pei mix.

Mireille is a bit shy when meeting new humans so she will take a little time to settle into her new "Forever Home!"  She does well having another dog to show her life as a dog! She is eligible for a "trial adoption" in order to give her and her new humans time to get to know each other!  WOOF!

Mireille is crate trained.  She loves playing with other dogs and is doing great with her potty training!  Once a routine is established, she hasn't had accidents in the house.

Mireille loves playing with toys and shares them nicely with other dogs! WOOF! BARK!  She pulls while on a leash when she gets scared but otherwise does well on walks!

BARKS! if you would like to learn more about dog adoption, please visit Operation Paws for Homes Dog Adoption Guide.

Interested in meeting Mireille or applying to adopt her?  Please complete the Operation Paws for Homes Dog Adoption Application.

(C) Operation Paws for Homes