Ask The Trainers: Thinking About Adopting Another Dog?

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Kate R. asks “I’m thinking about adopting another dog so my current one year old Terrier has company. Any suggestions on breed? Should I get the same type of dog and same sex? How about age?”

K9s Only Trainer Brent guides you through the process of determining which breed, age, sex and temperament would make the best companion for your existing fur baby. If you are thinking of adding another dog to your home, watch this video for great tips on choosing the right dog!

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTIONS! Email kelly@K9sOnly.com and SUBSCRIBE. New Ask The Trainers Videos monthly.

Is Rawhide Bad For My Dog?

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Many Clients ask “Is rawhide bad for my dog?” Rawhide chews are a popular treat for dogs. You might have heard that rawhide is good for your dog’s teeth and helps with his natural instinct to chew. But are there any MANY drawbacks to giving your dog rawhide treats and there are fantastic alternatives that work just as well, and are a lot safer for your dog. Here’s what you need to know.

say no to Rawhide -K9s Only

1. What are rawhide dog treats made of?

Rawhide treats come from the inner layer of cow or horse hides. During manufacturing, the hides are cleaned and cut or ground. Then they’re pressed into chewable dog treats of different shapes and sizes. To make them more appealing for dogs, some rawhide treats contain beef, chicken, or liver flavorings.

2. What are the benefits of chew treats?

All dogs need to chew. It’s a natural instinct. Some even spend hours chewing every day. Chewing can provide your dog stimulation and help relieve anxiety. Especially with puppies, chew treats are a great substitute for your leather shoes and the legs of the dining room table! But, there are other options. Read on.

Chewing also keeps dogs’ jaws strong, teeth clean, and breath a bit fresher. Dogs that chew regularly on rawhides and other bones or toys have less plaque and tartar build-up on teeth.

3. Are there risks associated with rawhide dog treats?

Risks can be serious, so don’t ignore them. These are the most common rawhide risks:

  • Contamination. As with pet toys, rawhide chews can contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals. And, as with other pet (or human) foods, Salmonella or E. coli contamination is possible. Even humans can be at risk when coming into contact with these bacteria on rawhide treats.
  • Digestive irritation. Some dogs are simply sensitive or allergic to rawhide or other substances used in their manufacture. This can cause problems, including diarrhea.
  • Choking or blockages. Rawhide bones and other edible chews can pose a choking and blockage risk. In fact, this is a much bigger risk than contamination or digestive irritation. If your dog swallows large pieces of rawhide, the rawhide can get stuck in the esophagus or other parts of the digestive tract. Depending on its size and where it is located, a vet may be able to remove these pieces fairly easily through the throat. But sometimes, abdominal surgery is needed to remove them from the stomach or intestines. If it isn’t resolved, a blockage can lead to death.

Watch for signs of bacterial contamination, gastric irritation, or a blockage. Contact your veterinarian if your dog has signs such as:

  • Gagging
  • Regurgitation
  • Repeated swallowing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea, with or without blood
  • Fever
  • Lack of energy
  • Signs of pain
  • Refusal to eat or weight loss

At K9s Only, we believe the con’s outweigh the pros on rawhide and in fact, we don’t allow them in our store or even when clients bring them for their dogs staying at our hotel. Here is a better chew option that have the benefits of rawhide but without the risk, as well as being dishwasher safe and reusable! A win win!

White bone filled with peanut butter and frozen. 

The white bones are available at K9s Only Tarzana and West LA locations!

Source: pets.webmd.com

Canine Influenza Out Break in San Gabriel Valley

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K9s Only takes the highest precautions to prevent the spread of disease in our facilities. All guests are required to be up to date on DHLPP, Bordetella and Rabies vaccines. While the Department of LA Animal Services requires only a yearly Bordetella vaccine, we recommend that K9s Only clients receive the vaccine every six months. Clients that are not current on vaccines are not allowed entry until their vaccines are up to date. Additionally, all bowls and water buckets are sanitized after each meal and water buckets daily. Our dog rooms and suites, hallways, play yards and toys are scrubbed and sanitized daily. Though this canine influenza outbreak is currently located in the San Gabriel Valley, we highly recommend that dogs get vaccinated against H3N2. Here is a LINK for Low Cost Vaccine Clinics in your area. Vaccinating does not guarantee that your dog will not get kennel cough or influenza, but it does help prevent the disease and if contracted, vaccinated dogs symptoms are less severe than those not vaccinated. See LA Animal Service press release below.

Canine Influenza

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Sara Ebrahimi, (213) 482-9551 or sara.ebrahimi@lacity.org
Canine Influenza Alert
Local dog in San Gabriel Valley infected
Los Angeles, August 15, 2017 – LA County Veterinary Public Health reported that a dog living in the San Gabriel Valley tested positive for canine influenza H3N2. The dog developed a cough on July 29 after boarding at a kennel in the San Gabriel Valley. Efforts to contain the disease are underway after learning from the boarding facility that at least 11 other dogs developed coughs after being at the facility during the last half of July.
The source of this outbreak is currently unknown. Considering the spread of infection elsewhere in the nation and the continued import of dogs from Asia, there is a risk that this virus will be repeatedly introduced into the area.
Veterinary Public Health recommends that dogs that interact with other dogs should be vaccinated against canine influenza.
“If owners suspect their dog is infected, they should immediately seek veterinary medical attention and keep their pups away from other dogs,” said Dr. Jeremy Prupas, LA Animal Services Chief Veterinarian. “This virus has the potential to spread quickly and could reach our shelter population. At this time, we are not seeing any indication that the virus has entered any of our shelters.”
LA Animal Services is vaccinating dogs against canine influenza as part of our protocol upon admission. We are doing this to decrease the severity should an outbreak occur in our community.
The keys to preventing the spread of canine influenza H3N2 virus include:
  • Vaccination against canine influenza (requires two vaccinations, two to four weeks apart).
  • Isolation of sick animals for at least 30 days.
  • Frequent cleaning and disinfection in pet boarding facilities, grooming salons and veterinary practices, with written protocols and policies for maintaining infection control.
  • Frequent hand washing by animal owners and handlers.
  • Not sharing equipment or toys between healthy and sick animals.
Canine influenza H3N2 is a highly contagious upper respiratory viral disease in dogs. The majority of infected dogs exhibit a cough that persists for 10 to 21 days despite treatment with antibiotics and cough suppressants. Affected dogs may have a soft, moist cough or a dry cough similar to that induced by kennel cough. Nasal and/or ocular discharge, sneezing, lethargy and anorexia may also be observed. Many dogs develop a purulent nasal discharge and fever (104 – 105 degrees Fahrenheit). A small percentage of infected dogs may develop a severe pneumonia and require extensive hospitalization.
The virus is spread via coughing, barking and sneezing, as well as contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes). The virus can remain alive and able to infect other animals on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on hands for 12 hours.
Information about Los Angeles County cases of canine influenza H3N2 are available on LA Veterinary Public Health website and will be updated as reports are received: publichealth.lacounty.gov/vet/InfluenzaCanineH3N2.htm.

Questions? Email us at info@k9sonly.com or call West LA: 310-479-5600 Tarzana 818-344-9663

Dogs Getting Board Can Lead To Anxiety, Depression, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders

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We found this following article written by Barbara J. King with NPR and felt it important to share. Though we are very familiar with the dog boredom problem that faces many K9s, many people don’t think about what their dog is doing while they are at work. K9s Only clients have come to us searching for solutions, and often times, a couple days of daycare per week provides the needed stimulus to keep their dog from depression, anxiety and destruction of property. Check out Barbara’s article below and tell us what you think!

Dogs And Pigs Get Bored, Too

August 10, 2017

Think about the last time you were bored — seriously and persistently bored.

Dog Boredom
K9s Only Doggy Daycare Is Your Solution.

Maybe you had to carry out some mind-numbing repetitive task for hours on end, or maybe you were just trapped at the airport or train station, waiting out a lengthy delay without a good conversational partner, book, or movie. You look at a clock and it seems to move at a surreal, glacial pace.

Charlotte C. Burn, a biologist at The Royal Veterinary College of the University of London, captures that feeling in her definition of boredom:

“Boredom is an unpleasant emotion including suboptimal arousal levels and a thwarted motivation to experience almost anything different or more arousing than the behaviors and sensations currently possible. It arises when we perceive that there is ‘nothing to do’ or are ‘tired of doing the same thing’, and is accompanied by a sense of time dragging.”

This definition comes from Burn’s essay in the August issue of Animal Behaviour, where she explains that far from being a uniquely human emotion, boredom is felt by many animals ranging from farmed pigs to companion dogs that may be left alone at home for long periods.

In an email to me, Burn describes how her own observations helped her start to develop this argument:

“I was personally struck by it when I did some work with lab rats at the same time as having pet rats and observing wild rats near my home. The huge contrast in stimulation, cognitive requirement and behavioral possibilities between them was impossible to ignore.

Even though my lab rats had as much enrichment as I could fit in their cage, they just had almost nothing to do, every day was the same, they had no ‘life story’ and nothing to learn or decide about.”

Animals, of course, can’t tell us in words about their inner states. One thing I especially like about Burn’s perspective is her way of distinguishing between animal boredom, on the one hand, and apathy or depression on the other. “Boredom occurs when arousal inputs are low, but arousal motivation is high,” she writes in Animal Behaviour. Bored animals seek out ways to become unbored, whereas animals who are depressed often can’t summon the will to seek out alternatives.

To some degree and in some situations, boredom may be adaptive. Boredom might motivate young animals to seek out stimulation that helps them learn about their world.

It might, too, “spark creativity and innovation in animals,” a statement that reminded me of reading about the fantastically creative orangutan Wattana, who tied knots and created weavings through the use of strings, laces, satin ribbons, rubber bands, wool and other materials at the Ménagerie of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris.

It may not, then, be the species thought to be more intelligent that we should worry about most when it comes to boredom. Burns says:

“More intelligent species may be able to come up with ‘creative’ solutions to their relatively limited environments, such as the playfulness and tool use we sometimes see only in captivity. Also, perhaps almost any animal can get bored if it has nothing relevant to do and all its other needs are fulfilled. I’m thinking here of, say, grazing animals who are fed concentrated food — they’d be happy grazing all day, but now they are not hungry, what else can they fill their time with?”

If animals — no matter their smartness quotient — are forced to endure boredom for a long time, seriously negative consequences may accrue. Marymount University psychologist Stacy Lopresti-Goodman, who has carried out research on trauma in chimpanzees rescued from biomedical laboratories, put it this way, via email:

“Boredom in captivity can absolutely lead to depression. Many animals in captivity engage in abnormal, repetitive behaviors, like pacing and self-biting, in an attempt to self-stimulate in the absence of social, cognitive, or environmental stimulation.

These behaviors are seen in a variety of species, including primates, elephants, dogs, and large cats, in different captive environments, suggesting they are generalized coping mechanisms for stress and boredom.”

When environments are extremely restrictive, even sterile, as in some laboratories, Lopresti-Goodman says, the harm may be the greatest. Animals may pull their own hair or bang their heads against their cages: “In nonhuman primates, for example,” she says, “these behaviors have been equated with symptoms of psychopathology, including generalized anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.”

dog boredom
Photo: Tracy Rosen

Burn’s comment that environmental enrichment for her lab rats just wasn’t enough is significant. For some animals in some captive contexts, it’s extremely challenging, if at all possible, to give them mental stimulation even remotely approaching what they would experience if allowed their freedom. As the work of Canadian photographer and activist Jo-Anne McArthur powerfully conveys, I think, the notion that enrichment for zoo animals is either ubiquitous or adequate is naïve.

We need to look inward, too — at our own homes. “As for the pets we live with,” Burn says, “this is all a reminder that even if animals are healthy and loved, they can still suffer — and perhaps REALLY suffer — from sameness and lack of stimulation.” Taking measures to combat boredom in our animal companions may range from giving them extra time, attention and toys to offering them food puzzles on a regular basis.

As Burn writes in Animal Behaviour, boredom “is potentially a severe and highly prevalent animal welfare issue neglected too long.”


Barbara J. King is an anthropology professor emerita at the College of William and Mary. She often writes about the cognition, emotion and welfare of animals, and about biological anthropology, human evolution and gender issues. Barbara’s new book is Personalities on the Plate: The Lives and Minds of Animals We EatYou can keep up with what she is thinking on Twitter: @bjkingape

National Book Lovers Day

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August 9th is National Book Lovers Day. What are your reading?

Observed each year on August 9, (and sometimes on the first Saturday in November) bibliophiles get to celebrate on National Book Lovers Day!

national book lovers day k9s only
Photo: Philip Bum

 

A day for all those who love to read, National Book Lovers Day encourages you to find your favorite reading place, a good book (whether it be fiction or non-fiction) and read the day away.

For the dogs lovers amongst us, here a list of some great books about dogs that you should stick on your reading list!

WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS: Wilson Rawls

National Book Lovers Day

EDGAR SAWTELLE: David Wroblewski

National Book Lovers Day

CALL OF THE WILD: Jack London

National Book Lovers Day

FOR THE LOVE OF A DOG: Patricia McConnell

National Book Lovers Day

LASSIE: Eric Knight

National Book Lovers Day

A DOG’S PURPOSE: W. Bruce Cameron

National Book Lovers Day

OLD YELLER: Fred Gipson

National Book Lovers Day

HARRY THE DIRTY DOG: Gene Zion

National Book Lovers Day

Hope some of these titles peak your interest! Our favorites are all listed! Hope you enjoy! Have a dog themed book you’d like to add to our list? Email K9s Only at info@k9sonly.com or post on our FaceBook page! #NationalBookLoversDay

Canines Helping Out In The Courtroom

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A growing number of courts across the U.S. are allowing specially trained dogs to accompany child abuse victims and other vulnerable people on the witness stand.

Original article: By Jenni Bergal

Child abuse victims often are frightened and intimidated if they have to testify about their experience in a courtroom. So a growing number of courts across the country are allowing specially trained dogs to accompany them — and other vulnerable people — on the witness stand to help calm them and ease the process.

Sometimes dubbed “courthouse facility dogs,” these canines lie quietly in the witness box, offering a supportive presence that helps victims and witnesses compose themselves and tell a jury what happened.

A boy and his dog

“Sometimes they need the leash in their hand. Sometimes they need the dog touching their feet. Sometimes they just need to see the dog,” said Superior Court Judge Jeanette Dalton of Kitsap County, Washington. In her courtroom, a yellow Labrador named Kerris has been deployed numerous times to help witnesses, often children who have been sexually or physically abused and would have a tough time testifying.

Supporters say the dogs, often Labradors, golden retrievers, or a mix of both, have made a huge difference in helping children and vulnerable adult victims and witnesses open up on the stand.

But some defense attorneys say having a friendly, sweet-looking canine in the witness box can prejudice a jury against a defendant by making the witness appear more believable and sympathetic.

Courthouse facility dogs are placed with handlers who are usually prosecutors, investigators or victim advocates. In some jurisdictions, the dogs aren’t used during trials but provide support when victims or witnesses are interviewed or deposed. Some also help out offenders in juvenile, drug and veterans courts.

A courtroom dog was used to help Mississippi child abuse victims as far back as the mid-1990s, but in recent years the practice has taken off across the country. Today, at least 144 courthouse facility dogs work in about three dozen states, from Hawaii to Massachusetts. At least a third of the dogs have assisted in the courtroom, said Ellen O’Neill-Stephens, founder of the Courthouse Dogs Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes the use of professionally trained facility dogs during legal proceedings.

In many states, judges decide on a case-by-case basis whether the dogs can be used in court. But at least seven states — Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois and Oklahoma — have some type of law allowing courtroom canines to help people on the witness stand, according to Deborah Smith, a senior analyst for the National Center for State Courts. (Maryland lawmakers have approved pilot programs in two counties, but they have not started yet.)

In many states, judges decide on a case-by-case basis whether the dogs can be used in court.

State laws vary as to who can be helped by a canine in a courtroom and under what circumstances. Some laws apply only to children; others include crime victims or vulnerable adults such as those who are intellectually or developmentally disabled. Most specify that the dogs must be graduates of certified assistance dog organizations.

In Idaho, Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter signed a bill into law in March that will allow facility dogs to remain with children on the witness stand in criminal matters and noncriminal cases involving child abuse or neglect, unless a judge finds it would prejudice a defendant’s constitutional rights.

“It’s not an easy situation for a child to testify against someone that might be their parent or family member,” said Idaho Republican state Sen. Shawn Keough, who sponsored the measure, which goes into effect in July. “To allow a facility dog at the witness stand seemed like a humane thing to do.”

Training Facility Dogs

O’Neill-Stephens, a former prosecutor in King County in Seattle, got the first trained facility dogs into courtrooms there almost by accident more than a decade ago.

Her oldest child, who was born with cerebral palsy, had a service dog, Jeeter, who O’Neill-Stephens started taking to juvenile drug court to help teens who came from dysfunctional families and had emotional problems. Then she began getting requests for the dog to help sexually abused children who had to testify in court.

As the demand grew, she created a more formal program, and in 2004, Ellie, a Labrador mix, became the first professionally trained facility dog in the country to work in a prosecutor’s office. The idea was for the canines to be graduates of assistance dog programs and for the handlers to be prosecutors, victim advocates or police officers.

Similar to police dogs, facility dogs live with their handlers, who undergo up to two weeks of training. While the canine has already been trained and is certified not to be disruptive in a public setting, the handler needs to learn how to get the dog to perform as needed.

O’Neill-Stephens said most of the nonprofit assistance dog organizations that train the dogs and their handlers do it for free. The others charge fees ranging from $3,000 to $10,000, she said.

Prejudicing the Jury?

While the number of courtrooms that allow facility dogs in the witness box has grown, the practice is causing concern among some defense attorneys, said Smith, of the state courts center.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers declined to comment about the use of dogs in the courtroom.

But Smith said some defense attorneys worry that the dog’s presence might make a victim or witness seem more credible to the jury, and hurt the defendant’s case. “The dog gives a sense that the child is now comfortable enough to tell the truth,” she said. “It gives a leg up to the witness as far as veracity.”

But Smith said that defendants who have appealed a guilty conviction and argued that the dog’s presence prejudiced the jury have not won any of those cases.

John Ensminger, an attorney who has written about legal issues involving working dogs, said defense lawyers have reason to be worried about allowing facility dogs in witness boxes — and he doesn’t think they object enough to the practice.

“Nobody knows how juries will be influenced by this,” he said. “It may be that if you get enough ‘dog people’ on a jury, you’re going to increase your chances of conviction.”

Ensminger said independent research is needed to determine whether having a canine in the witness box can alter a jury’s perceptions.

Dalton, the Washington state judge, said she doubts facility dogs have a prejudicial impact. Instead, she said, a dog’s calming effect on child witnesses sometimes can end up helping a defendant.

“I’ve seen jurors visibly impacted by kids so stressed on the witness stand that they start crying or shut down. Jurors look like they want to leap over the jury box and cuddle that kid,” Dalton said. “So having the dog there helps everybody on both sides.”

Courtroom Dog Rules

In the legal world of courts and dogs, the terms used to describe different categories of canines can be confusing.

In general, facility dogs are working animals that help people in the legal system and other institutional settings. They often receive training similar to service dogs, which are trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability such as blindness. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, a disabled person has the right to be accompanied by a service dog in most public places, including courthouses.

Therapy dogs, which have received less training and often are brought to hospitals and nursing homes, also have been used to provide support to victims and witnesses during interviews and testimony in some courtrooms. Occasionally, so have comfort animals, untrained companion dogs that provide emotional support to owners who may have anxiety or other mental disorders.

Judges who agree to allow a dog in the witness box can place limitations on its use. Some don’t want the jury to be able to see the dog, so they may send jurors out, have the dog enter the witness box and lie down, and then have the jury return. Some put up a shield so the jurors can’t see the dog. Some announce the dog’s presence; some don’t.

O’Neill-Stephens said her group thinks it’s important for judges to let jurors know there’s a dog present whether they can see it or not.

“The dogs often fall asleep and can start snoring. Some start dreaming and whimpering,” she said. “Jurors won’t know where it’s coming from.”

While facility dogs often are used to help victims testify, sometimes they assist witnesses to crimes.

That’s what happened in Anderson County, South Carolina, where a 38-year-old developmentally disabled woman saw a man breaking into a house across the street. Inside, he murdered his stepfather and stabbed his mother. He was sentenced last August to life in prison.

The woman was called to testify but was uncomfortable speaking in public and terrified of the defendant, who was representing himself and would be personally cross-examining her, said Assistant Solicitor Chelsey Moore. So Roma, a facility dog assigned to the 10th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, accompanied her on the stand, relaxing her and allowing her to testify, Moore said.

“The dog helped this woman very much,” said Moore, who is the canine’s handler. “In fact, she still comes back to visit Roma.”


Interested in having your dog learn to be a therapy or support dog? K9s Only offer Therapy dog training which includes the Canine Good Citizen test. For more info, call 310-479-5600 (West LA) or 818-344-9663 (Tarzana) or CLICK HERE to have a trainer contact you.

Dog Walking Could Be Key to Ensuring Activity in Later Life

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A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the study used data from the EPIC Norfolk cohort study, which is tracking the health and wellbeing of thousands of residents of the English county of Norfolk.

The researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR) at the University of Cambridge found that owning or walking a dog was one of the most effective ways to beat the usual decline in later-life activity, even combatting the effects of bad weather.

Dog Walking is good for you at K9s Only
Photo:Kevin Burkett

Dog owners were sedentary for 30 minutes less per day, on average.

More than 3000 older-adults participating in the study were asked if they owned a dog and if they walked one. They also wore an accelerometer, a small electronic device that constantly measured their physical activity level over a seven-day period.

As bad weather and short days are known to be one of the biggest barriers to staying active outdoors, the researchers linked this data to the weather conditions experienced and sunrise and sunset times on each day of the study.

Lead author of the paper, Dr Yu-Tzu Wu, said “We know that physical activity levels decline as we age, but we’re less sure about the most effective things we can do to help people maintain their activity as they get older.

“We found that dog walkers were much more physically active and spent less time sitting overall. We expected this, but when we looked at how the amount of physical activity participants undertook each day varied by weather conditions, we were really surprised at the size of the differences between those who walked dogs and the rest of the study participants.”

Photo: MarkScottAustinTX

The team found that on shorter days and those that were colder and wetter, all participants tended to be less physically active and spent more time sitting. Yet dog walkers were much less impacted by these poor conditions.

Project lead Prof Andy Jones said: “We were amazed to find that dog walkers were on average more physically active and spent less time sitting on the coldest, wettest, and darkest days than non-dog owners were on long, sunny, and warm summer days. The size of the difference we observed between these groups was much larger than we typically find for interventions such as group physical activity sessions that are often used to help people remain active.”

The researchers caution against recommending everyone owns a dog, as not everyone is able to look after a pet, but they suggest these findings point to new directions for programmes to support activity.

Prof Jones said: “Physical activity interventions typically try and support people to be active by focussing on the benefits to themselves, but dog walking is also driven by the needs of the animal. Being driven by something other than our own needs might be a really potent motivator and we need to find ways of tapping into it when designing exercise interventions in the future.”

‘Dog ownership supports the maintenance of physical activity during poor weather in older English adults: cross-sectional results from the EPIC Norfolk cohort’ is published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Story Source:

University of East Anglia. “Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 July 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170724211648.htm>.

Journal Reference:

  1. Yu-Tzu Wu, Robert Luben, Andy Jones. Dog ownership supports the maintenance of physical activity during poor weather in older English adults: cross-sectional results from the EPIC Norfolk cohortJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health, July 2017 DOI: 10.1136/jech-2017-208987

Ask The Trainers: “Should I Train My Perfect Puppy?”

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In this episode of Ask The Trainers, K9s Only Trainer Brent LaBrada answers Kelly S. question about whether or not she should train her “perfect” puppy. Brent discusses why setting a good foundation is important to give your puppy a good “Childhood” in addition to the dog training preventative approach VS. reparative approach. Have a question you’d like our trainers to answer? Email your question to: Kelly@K9sOnly.com

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Bone Broth For Dogs – What’s The Big Deal?

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You may have heard of the benefits of bone broth for humans but did you know that providing bone broth for dogs can make a positive impact on your pup’s health as well?

Slowly simmering bones in water makes for a nutritious brew for both humans and dogs. Bone broth has been a go-to medicinal food for the sick and weak for generations in various cultures. Chicken noodle soup has its roots in bone broth. The comfort food has been shown to help those with upper respiratory infections recover faster.

K9s Only Dog Ready for Bone Broth
Photo: Fred Rockwood

Bone broth is now widely accepted as a superfood for humans. It is quickly becoming a popular food to give to dogs, and with good reason.

Simmering leftover bones in water for many hours breaks down the attached tendon, cartilage, meat and bone marrow into the liquid, forming a nutrient-rich broth. Although bone broth is very nutritious, it is not a food replacement. It should be considered a supplement and incorporated into your dog’s feeding routine. Your dog still needs the calories and fiber found in her regular dog food.

Common Misconceptions

There is a lot of buzz surrounding bone broth for dogs as well as humans. Some of that buzz can create confusion. We clear up some of the common misconceptions associated with bone broth, below.

Regular Stock is Just As Good

Bone broth and chicken or beef stock are two very different types of food when it comes to your dog. Both can be consumed by humans safely, but stock is not a safe food for your pup. Stock has ingredients that are poisonous foods for your dog, such as onions and garlic.

Stock typically has added sodium. Dogs get plenty of salt from their meat-rich diets. Therefore added salt should always be avoided. Packaged stock is often made from bouillon or soup and sauce mixes, which can contain artificial meat flavoring and monosodium glutamate (MSG). Neither of those things are good for Fido!

The quality of the bones and meat matters. Some stock is made with meat and bone from animals treated with hormones or antibiotics that should not be present in your dog’s diet. You can’t be sure unless you know the source of the bones in a product, which is easiest done by verifying with the manufacturer or by buying the ingredients and making the broth yourself.

In addition, stock is cooked at high temperatures for a shorter amount of time and therefore does not provide the same nutrition as slow-cooked bone broth. A longer cook time at a lower temperature makes for a healthier broth.

Giving a Dog a Bone is the Same Thing

There are mixed reports on whether or not you should give your dog a raw bone as a treat. Never give your dog a cooked bone as it can easily break apart into splinters that are very dangerous if ingested! Giving a dog a raw bone creates risk of exposure to dangerous bacteria.

K9s Only does not feed raw bones to dogs.
Photo: Ingo Di Bella

Dogs’ wolf ancestors enjoyed raw meat and gnawing on uncooked bones as the main components in their diet. The nutrients in bones, from the cartilage, tendon and marrow, can take a long time to get to and consume by chewing on a bone.

We can be sure that wolves are better equipped to get to those nutrients than our domesticated pups. Being that our dogs are not wolves and may not be able to get to all the nutrients in a single bone on their own, bone broth is a good alternative.

Raw is Better, Nutrients Get Boiled Away

A commonly held belief about foods is that raw is always better for maximizing nutrition. We won’t argue with this one, vitamins B and C are vulnerable during cooking, but thinking about bone broth in this way is illogical from the start.

Consider the amount of time it would take your pup to gnaw away at a safe bone and consume all the nutrients therein. It would take a while, right? Then consider the amount of time it would take your dog to consume a portion of bone broth. Bone broth provides more nutrients in much less time – more bang for your buck!

Key Benefits

Bone broth really is a superfood. The coveted liquid contains many nutrients that provide some impressive health benefits for your pup.

Bone Broth Nutrients

The variety of vitamins and minerals in bone broth is impressive to say the least. The superfood boasts provides some amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, including arginine, glutamine, glycine and proline.

Bone broth boasts a variety vitamins and minerals such as chondroitin, gelatin, glucosamine, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin K, vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, iron, thiamine, potassium, calcium, silicon, sulfur, hyaluronic acid, magnesium, phosphorus potassium, niacin, riboflavin, zinc, copper and trace minerals, to name a few.

These nutrients help your pup’s body support key functions and improve Fido’s longevity and day to day health. Bone broth aids in digestion, joint health, immune system support, appetite encouragement and skin and coat.

Digestive Health

Bone broth keeps things moving and that’s a big positive for your dog’s digestive system. Metabolic function is negatively impacted in humans due to lack of amino acid glycine in our diet. The same may be true for our dogs. Fortunately, bone broth is rich in glycine from gelatin and therefore helps support a healthy metabolism.

Dog Training and obedience leads to treats at K9s Only
Photo: Benson Kua

Bone broth can be the best thing for a dog that has had a stomach ailment. If your pup has been sick to her stomach with vomiting or diarrhea, try fasting her for 24 to 48 hours to let her body recover then give her some bone broth to quickly replenish the vitamins and minerals in her body.

For more information on helping your sick dog recover with the help of bone broth, read this article.

Joint Health

The collagen from cartilage breaks down into gelatin through the cooking process. Glucosamine is a key nutrient in bone broth, and in combination with gelatin, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid, vital for your pup’s joints. Fido’s body uses the gelatin to rebuild collagen between bones allowing them to “glide” with minimal friction.

Gelatin also helps form and maintain strong bones, which takes the pressure off of aging joints. These nutrients help your dog’s body repair and improve the collagen in his ligaments, joints, tendons and arteries.

Immune System Support

Your pup’s immune system requires nutrients to keep it functioning well. The vitamins and minerals in bone broth bolster the immune system. For example, vitamin C is an important nutrient used by your immune system to help fight infections. Bone broth just so happens to be rich in the stuff.

The small and large intestines are one of the largest organs involved in the immune system, being that they provide an important barrier to ingested pathogens. A healthy digestive tract means that the immune system doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your pup healthy.

Appetite Encouragement

Fact: your dog finds bone broth delicious. It’s tasty! Bone broth is a perfect meal for pets that have had digestive trouble, have trouble eating, are picky eaters, or simply don’t have an appetite. Veterinarian Dr. Becker provides bone broth for animals in hospice care when they will no longer eat solid food. She finds that they will usually lap up broth. Always consult a veterinarian if your pet is experiencing a loss of appetite or trouble eating.

For encouraging your dog’s appetite, try offering some bone broth as is or soak your pup’s kibble in the liquid before giving it to him. Chances are your furry family member will happily and immediately start lapping the broth up.

Bone Broth will encourage your K9s appetite.
Photo: Djun Kim

Skin & Coat

Bone broth is great for your pup’s skin and coat due to the gelatin from collagen in the broth. In humans collagen supplements have been found to support and improve skin elasticity and moisture.

Vitamin C and the various B vitamins in bone broth are all beneficial to skin and fur. Vitamin C helps your pup’s body produce collagen, which is a vital protein for healthy skin, claws and fur. Vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, riboflavin (B-2) and thiamine (B-1) found in bone broth are one half of the B vitamin complex that promote cell growth and division, which promotes a healthy coat.

How to Make Your Own Bone Broth for Dogs

Bone broth is very simple in preparation but does take hours to cook. Set aside all day if you can. To make the broth you’ll need 1-2 pounds high quality meat bones, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and pure filtered water.

Bone Broth in the Crock Pot for your K9s Only
Photo: _e.t

You can use beef, chicken, duck, goose, turkey or even fish bones. Seek out high quality, preferably organic and free range or wild caught where applicable. Fish should always be wild caught to reduce the risk of mercury poisoning. Beef thighbones or “soup bones” are perfect for this if you can find them at the store.

Put all the ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and leave for a minimum of 16 hours and up to 24 hours.

You can also cook bone broth in a slow cooker. Place all the same ingredients in the vessel and cook on low for 18 to 72 hours.

What If I Just Don’t Have The Time?

Project Paws™ Premium Grade Bone Broth Powder is a great alternative to time consuming process of making your own broth. The easy to apply powder is tasty and nutrient-packed. Its concentrated form makes it an ideal supplement to mix in with your dog’s food or sprinkled over it as a tantalizing food topper.

Bone Broth Powder for those without time available at K9s Only

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified healthcare professional.

Original post: https://iheartdogs.com/bone-broth-for-dogs-whats-the-big-deal/ By: Sarah Lee

Carrot Muffin Dog Treats!

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Does your dog like carrots? Then he’ll love these carrot cake dog cupcakes for your next dog celebration or just because!

To top it off, how about cream cheese and applesauce dog treat icing! Decorate the top of the muffin with extra shredded carrots for a fun twist. So you probably know that carrots are high in vitamin A, but did you also know they are rich in dietary fiber, antioxidants and minerals?

Ingredients:

Muffins:

  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour

Frosting:

  • 8 oz. low fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup applesauce, unsweetened

Instructions:

Muffins:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Lightly spray cups of muffin tin.
  3. In a large bowl stir together the carrots, eggs and applesauce. Set aside.
  4. In another medium bowl whisk together the cinnamon, oats and flour.
  5. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients. Stir until well blended.
  6. Spoon mixture into muffin tin. The dough will be thick, so you may wet your fingers to press the dough into place.
  7. The dog cupcake will not rise very much, so do not worry about over filling the muffin tin.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes.
  9. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting or serving.

Frosting:

  1. Blend both ingredients with a hand mixer until well blended.
  2. Spoon into a pastry bag for easy decorating.

Storing: These dog cupcakes will keep fresh in your refrigerator for 2 weeks. You can freeze them for up to 2 months. If you are going to freeze them, do not decorate with the frosting until they have thawed. Thanks to DogTreatKitchen.com for this great recipe.

Not the baking type? Make sure to pick up some yummy treats in the K9s Only Boutique during your next visit!