Ignoring this eye condition could lead to blindness by Dr. Becker

Ignoring This Canine Eye Condition Could Lead to Blindness

As alarming as it is to first notice this condition in your pet’s eyes, not acting swiftly could be a big mistake. Find out why cherry eye, or prolapse of the lacrimal gland inside the third eyelid, requires prompt professional attention for the sake of your pet’s eyesight.


The inhumane procedure done to dogs

The Inhumane Procedure That Silences Dogs

It’s done solely for the convenience of pet owners and breeders, and while it provides no benefit to the animal, it can create health problems. Restricted in six US states and no longer taught in many veterinary schools, here’s why this procedure should be avoided.


My dog gets car sick what do I give him or her?

Dogs and Dramamine

Dosage for dogs is 2-4ml per pound , three times daily. It usually comes in

50mg tablets so a 50-60lb dog could have two tablets. Next time you

are at the vet, they should ask about a new drug called Cerenia for motion

sickness for dogs. It works even better than Dramamine and is relatively


This came from a person  who works part time in a vet office



Your dog is loooking at more then your face

What Speaks to Your Dog More Than Your Facial Expressions

While humans tend to look at another person’s face when they communicate, your dog isn’t necessarily focusing on your face when she’s communicating with you. There are many other things she cares more about than your facial expressions when she’s trying to figure you out.


Natural approaches to managing epilepsy


By Dr.  Becker


Natural Approaches for Managing Epilepsy in Pets

Standard anti-seizure medications don’t effectively control seizures in about a third of dogs with epilepsy, and these medications can come with adverse side effects and long-term health consequences. Learn more about exciting alternative natural therapies for seizure disorders.


The down & Dirty about service dogs

With permision from the author: The Down and Dirty of Getting a Guide Dog
By Ann Chiappetta

If I were asked by a potential guide dog handler what it is like to train and share life with a guide dog, focused on the grittier aspect’s, this is what I would tell them. This document states my thoughts and does not support or endorse a particular guide dog program.

1. Training is Physically demanding. Over time it could put stress on your left arm, shoulder and hand
2. You may not wish to wear sandals anymore, open toe shoes and dog feet don’t mix well. You may choose to wear slippers or house shoes instead of being bare foot in the home — Nyla bones, when chewed become marked with sharp edges and hurt just as much as stepping on Lego pieces.
3. Dogs, like people, are messy, from drool to pee, puke, and at least once-daily poop pick-up, it is not for the squeamish.
4. Dogs shed, a lint brush and good vacuum are all essential for guide dog handlers. Dogs smell when wet. Conversely, dogs tolerate rain gear and booties, be ready for people to comment on the raincoat and booties when out in public. Did I mention that dogs shed?
5. Most dogs, while trained for good indoor house manners, will revert to being a dog. Don’t be surprised, on occasion, to find a shredded paper towel or tissue or even a can or yogurt container licked clean. My second dog chewed a paper napkin to shreds while laying down under the table in a fancy restaurant.
6. Cover all waste cans or it could become a canine snack bin — Same goes for the cat litter box.
Remember dog proofing is like toddler proofing.
7. A crate in your home is like a piece of furniture and most training programs recommend it. The top of our crate has turned out to be a great place to put the empty food bowls, toy bin and the top of the crate can become a safe place for just about anything.
8. You will need a larger bag or pouch. You are now caring things for two.
9. Did I mention dog hair?
10. Then there is other husbandry, ear cleaning, bathing, brushing, and learning how to give a pill to a reluctant dog. Pill pockets work only about 50% of the time.
11. There are times when you will need to leave your dog home because it may not be safe or significantly stressful. A loud rock concert is one example. Also, if it’s too hot or cold for you, it will be just as intolerable for a dog, so keep up those cane skills.

12. Finally, there is the Financial cost of food, equipment like grooming supplies, and supplements like fish oil and taking care of an occasional ailment or injury. Should you choose to keep your dog after retirement, it will require a handler to administer care and joint and/or other health supplements or medications to an Elderly dog. It also means you will be making the decision to euthanize the dog when it’s time.

13. The emotional journey you will take with your new guide dog will be blessed with twists and turns. Training will challenge and build confidence. The bonding is powerful. Some handlers say it took time to bond with the dog or to become used to the extra attention from the public, others said it was getting family, friends, and/or employers to adjust to the dog. Some handlers did not apply for a successor dog until the current dog died, sharing that it felt disloyal. Many guide dog handlers cannot keep more than a single dog due to restrictions depending on where they live. Other folks transition to a canine successor with a more practical attitude. It’s a team effort and investment in time and energy.

There will be times when your patience is put to the test; being denied entrance to a store or transportation because of your guide dog come to mind. At these times, being prepared and knowing your rights, keeping in touch with other handlers and/or guide dog user groups and staying in control are all tools to help with instances of access denial.

I hope this document has been helpful and has accomplished what it was meant to achieve: sharing your life with a guide dog takes a good amount of hard work and dedication but it is fulfilling and worth it.
For more information:
Follow Your Dog a Story of Love and Trust by Ann Chiappetta

The Handbook for the prospective Guide Dog Handler by Guide Dog Users, Inc;
https://www.amazon.com/Handbook-Prospective-Guide-Dog-Handler/dp/1721990275Ann Chiappetta,

The latest post by Dr. Becker

The Deadly Autoimmune Disease – Caused by Vaccines?

Meningoencephalitis can be a pet parent’s worst nightmare. Depending on the type, the onset of this tragic disease can be as little as two months. After diagnosis, your pet may only have days to live. Most veterinarians don’t know the cause, but many integrative vets, myself included, suspect vaccines may be to blame.



Do You Worry That Your Pet Could Outlive You?

Should advancing age stop you from adopting a new pet? What if you became ill and could no longer care for your beloved companion? An estimated half a million dogs and cats are euthanized each year after their owners pass away, but it doesn’t have to be that way.



Weekly update

FDA-Approved Treatment Causes Reactions in 2 out of 3 Dogs

Even veterinarians routinely prescribe these based on an animal’s history. But that could be a tragic mistake with this dangerous chemical. Seizures, tremors, lack of muscle control or death could occur, even if your dog has never had an adverse reaction in the past.



Never Do This to Protect Your Dog From COVID-19

Concerned about viral transmission, people are making a greater effort to clean and sanitize their homes. Unfortunately, some pet owners have taken precautionary measures a little too far with their pets. Please, if you believe you need to protect your dog, do this instead.



The Surprising Link Between Dog Size and Behavior

Do dogs really know how big they are? How does a dog’s size influence his behavior? Discover the link between 90% of unwanted behaviors, such as separation anxiety, begging for food, urine marking, mounting, aggression and fear of other dogs, and a dog’s height, size and skull shape.



How to Enjoy Walking Your Dog

The most important thing you can do to make dog walks joyful for you both is to establish good leash manners as early as possible. While that may sound challenging if your puppy or grown dog is an overly enthusiastic leash-puller, following these tips can help you get the most out of your walks.



How Does Your Pet Really Feel About E-Collars?

If your cat or dog has ever been forced to wear an Elizabethan collar, aka the ‘cone of shame,’ post-surgery or to protect a hot spot, you might have wondered how she perceives the experience. A study of 434 pets wearing E-collars reveals how they can affect both the animal and the owner.



How can you work with a dog with just 2 legs?

Yesterday we went on our second visit to a client who had a 2 legged dog, no front legs.  A device was made for the dog but, according to the client it was poorly constructed and the firs time it was used it toppled over which terrified the dog.  Now when she sees the new and improved device she hops away and hides.  Last week I got her used to me, letting her get close, sniffing her and then ignoring her so she would not be afraid of me.  The second visit after suggesting Rescue remedy by Dr. Bach, we gave it to her and after some preliminary work, we put her gently in the device. She was a little nervous but, not that bad.  The only problem was she was trying to climb up on my lap.  Which could be likened to trying to roller skate up hill.  The device was left on for 5 minutes so she would not be too stressed.  If my directions are followed she will be leading a happy life, motoring around as if she had 4 legs.  All it takes is some patients, not hurrying things.

What food is good for your dog?

One of the Most Healing Foods You Can Feed Your Pet

Inexpensive and easy to prepare, you can use this as a nutrient-dense meal supplement or treat for any pet. It’s especially good for cats and dogs with tummy troubles, picky eaters or older pets with declining appetites. Here’s my method for making your own at home.



6 Things to Do if Your Dog Is 7 Years or Older

Once your dog reaches seven years of age, she’s officially a senior, even if she still acts like a puppy most days. You now have the unique opportunity to give your pet a healthy and happy second half of life. Make sure you’re doing your part by checking off these six essentials.



Howls, Growls and Whines – What Do They All Mean?

Dogs use a variety of vocalizations to communicate, but how do you interpret them? Anytime your dog communicates with you, there’s a purpose behind it and she’s counting on you to figure it out. Here’s why some dogs howl, whine, growl, groan and grunt.



Your dog and the smoke

The Diamond Touch dog rehabilitation centre does not endorse the training methods used by the school mentioned.  However, the advice given in this article is still prudent.

Recently, GDB has been contacted by a number of constituents requesting our advice about working or exercising dogs in areas with poor air quality related to the wildfires occurring all along the West Coast. We are reaching out today to provide feedback on this important question.


In situations where air quality is considered unhealthy, meaning the air quality index  (AQI) is above 150, or in the “red zone”, on reputable internet sites such as AirNow (click the following link to access this site: www.airnow.gov ), GDB’s Director of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Kate Kuzminski recommends the following:


  • Keep dogs indoors as much as possible and keep the windows shut. Use an air conditioner, or air purifier, to filter the air if possible.
  • Shorten the time your dog is outdoors.  Dogs should go out for regular relieving opportunities but walks should be kept to a minimum. Puppies and senior dogs may be more sensitive to poor air quality.  These dogs may be adversely impacted by AQI’s that are in the 100-150 range (‘orange zone’) as well.
  • ​Avoid intense outdoor exercise during periods of poor air quality. Regular walks and strenuous outdoor activities can resume once the air quality improves.
  • Monitor your dog for signs of respiratory distress and eye inflammation.  If your dog is having difficulty breathing, is coughing/sneezing excessively, is weak/lethargic or has swelling or inflammation of the mouth, eyes, or upper airway, please see a veterinarian.


For those living in close proximity to fire activity, including your animals in your disaster preparedness planning and having an animal evacuation kit ready is advisable.



Dog Philosophy

Dog  Philosophy


There is more truth than poetry in some of the sayings



The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.



Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive  evidence that you are wonderful.

-Ann   Landers





There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

-Ben Williams



A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.

-Josh  Billings


The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.

-Andy Rooney


We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and


love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all.


It’s the best deal man has ever made.

-M.. Acklam



Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people,

who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and




-Sigmund  Freud


I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult.

-Rita  Rudner


A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three

times before lying down.

-Robert Benchley


Anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like never washed a dog.

-Franklin P. Jones




If your dog is fat, you aren’t getting enough exercise



My dog is worried about the economy because Alpo is up to $4.00 a can.

That’s almost $28.00  in dog money!

-Joe  Weinstein


Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come from

a grocery with the most amazing haul, chicken, pork, half a cow. They

must think

we’re the greatest  hunters on earth!

-Anne Tyler


Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and

get used to the idea.

-Robert  A.  Heinlein




If  you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite

you; that is the principal difference  between a dog and a man.

-Mark  Twain


You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look

that says,

‘Wow, you’re right! I never would’ve thought of that!’

– Dave  Barry


Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.

-Roger Caras


If you think dogs can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your

pocket and then give him only two of them.

-Phil  Pastoret


My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog thinks I am.

Good nutrition from B-natural

Regardless of the diet choice you make for your dog – kibble, raw or home cooked – the vast amount of supplements on the market today, including vitamins, minerals, digestion aids, and anti-inflammatories can make choosing the right supplements for your dog very confusing.

It seems just when we might be getting comfortable with our choices, new products pop up or we read an article that warns us to avoid the supplements we have already been giving to our dogs!

We want to feed our dogs the best we can and we want to make sure what we are giving them enhances their health and gives us the best value for our dollar.


Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How?

Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets!

Click for Video




Click to View



First, let’s talk about minerals. I do not ever recommend adding minerals to a commercial diet (kibble or canned). These foods already contain the recommended minerals and you never want to give MORE than the recommended amount. Additionally, some minerals balance each other, such as zinc and copper, so you do not want to risk unbalancing those minerals. So, do not add minerals to any fixed commercial food diets!

Calcium and Commercial Diets and Raw Meaty Bone Diets

In a raw diet with bones, you do NOT need to add minerals because the raw meaty bones contain the needed minerals, including the correct ratio of calcium and phosphorus. When feeding a raw diet with bones, you want to avoid supplements that contain minerals. NEVER ADD CALCIUM to a raw meaty bone diet or a commercial dog food diet because too much calcium can harm your dog, especially growing puppies and pregnant dogs!

Calcium and Home Cooked Diets

If you feed a home-cooked diet however, you DO need to add calcium because you cannot feed cooked bones safely. Calcium is added to the diet based on the amount of food fed and NOT the body weight of the dog. Dogs need about 900 mg of calcium per pound of food served, which is about 2 cups of food. The best source of calcium for a dog, when given as a supplement, is either calcium carbonate or calcium citrate with vitamin D3. These are both economical and can be found at any supermarket or drug store. You can also feed ground eggshells (use a coffee bean grinder to grind the shells). 1/2 teaspoon of crushed eggshells equal about 900 mg of calcium. Vitamin D3 is very important as it helps with the uptake of the calcium. Please note it is important that the Vitamin D offered to your dog is Vitamin D3, which is animal sourced. Dogs cannot utilize plant-based sources of Vitamin D. (More on this later).

Again, do NOT supplement with calcium if you are feeding a commercial diet or a raw meaty bone diet because these diets already contain enough calcium.

Below is a list of important Vitamins and supplements to add to your dog’s diet:

Water Soluble Vitamins

Two good water-soluble vitamins to add to your dog’s diet are B complex and vitamin C. Water soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, so any excess is flushed out in the urine.

B complex vitamins off support to many bodily functions, however the B vitamins can be more fragile so they do not keep well in commercial foods.  B complex vitamins are good for the nervous system, brain function, cell division, help prevent anemia and support memory. Additionally, they are very important during pregnancy! They are helpful during pregnancy and for puppies and seniors. Turkey and liver are high in B vitamins.

Vitamin C was first found to prevent scurvy. However, more recently, it is considered an anti-oxidant and helps support the immune system. Too much vitamin C can result in diarrhea. If this occurs, just reduce the amount of vitamin C by one dose. I give dogs about 100 mg of vitamin C per 10 pounds of body weight daily. For dogs, the food highest in vitamin C is liver.

Fat Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins do not flush out of the body easily. Instead, they are stored in fat. The first fat-soluble vitamin I will discuss is vitamin E. This is also considered an anti-oxidant and helps the immune system. It also works with omega 3 fatty acids, as these two nutrients need each other to work effectively. Vitamin E also helps with neurological functions and protects against lipid oxidation. I generally give dogs vitamin E at 50 IU per 10 pounds of body weight daily.

Vitamin A, Specifically Retinol

Dogs, because they are carnivores, do best with animal-sourced vitamin A, or retinol. This vitamin supports eye health, the immune system and thyroid health. It is rich in liver and organ meats and is also found in eggs and yogurt. Dose is about 25-50 mg per 10 pounds of body weight.

Vitamin D3

As mentioned earlier, it is important that the vitamin D given is D3 (animal-based), such as calcium carbonate (made from eggshells) or calcium citrate. Avoid all plant-based forms, which are often known as D2. Dogs need about 400 IU per 100 pounds, but more can be given – up to double this dose – for immunity. It is also thought to protect against cancer. Vitamin D3 is necessary for the uptake of calcium and it is needed for healthy bones and teeth. It is also helpful to protect against diabetes. Foods containing vitamin D3 included fortified milk products, eggs, salmon and sardines.

Digestion Aids

Digestion aids help support the digestive system and are very useful for puppies, pregnant mothers, through changes in your dog’s diet, for that travel and dogs that suffer from digestive issues.


These beneficial bacteria help maintain the good flora and fauna in the digestive tract. These help promote well-formed stools, support the immune system and help control excess gas. I find these especially helpful for diet changes, while traveling with my dogs and for puppies. These ‘good’ bacteria also help keep bad bacteria at bay and in check.

Animal-Based Digestive Enzymes

These include pancreatin, pancrealipase and ox bile. These animal-based enzymes help pre-digest fats in the dog’s stomach, ease the digestion of fats in the liver and pancreas, increase assimilation of nutrients, and help promote better formed stools.


This amino acid is used to help heal the digestive tract lining. It has also been used in infants and starvation cases to help with weight gain. Once the digestive tract lining is healed, it continues to help by assisting with proper digestion. Dogs with IBD, IBS or colitis have an inflamed digestive tract, which can result in diarrhea, mucus covered stool and loss of the ability to absorb all the nutrients. Over several weeks, L-glutamine helps heal the lining and works to restore health back to the stomach and intestinal lining.

Essential Fatty Acids

There are several types of essential fatty acids. Two of the more common ones are omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 6 is found in most foods and is therefore more abundant in the diet. Because of this, there is NO reason to add more omega 6 to your dog’s diet. Avoid any plant-based oils such as corn, safflower, coconut, and olive or canola oil. The essential fatty acid your dog DOES need to balance the omega 6 already in the diet, is Omega 3 fatty acids. It is important to use animal-based sources of omega 3 because dogs are unable to convert the omega 3 oil found in plant oils (ALA) to a usable form. Animal-based sources include fish body oils like salmon, menhaden, sardine or mixed fish oil. Omega 3 oils are fragile and heat, air and light can destroy their properties, so use fish oil CAPSULES rather than bottled oil. Omega 3 fish oil is a natural anti-inflammatory and it helps with the immune system, supports liver, kidney, heart, eye and brain health, and it is very good for the coat and skin. Use fish oil capsules at one capsule per 20 pounds of body weight (generally a capsule is 1,000 mg with 180 EPA and 120 DHA).

Arthritis and Inflammation

It is always important to get a diagnosis if your dog is limping, acts sore, has rear end weakness or shows discomfort. While it may be arthritis, it could also be something else. Just a few of the diseases that may resemble the symptoms of arthritis are Addison’s Disease, cancer, Lyme’s or tick disease, or leptospirosis, and more. If the problem IS inflammation, then some following supplements to try include:

Fish Oil Capsules: Omega 3 fish oil helps fight inflammation.

Yucca Intensive: Yucca contains natural steroidal saponins which are powerful anti-inflammatory agents to help reduce pain. DO NOT use yucca with other prescription NSAIDs such as steroids, rimadyl, metacam, etc. Give one drop per 10 pounds of body weight, WITH FOOD, once or twice a day.

Glucosamine/Chondroitin Blends

These are thought to help lubricate the joints and repair cartilage.

Willow Bark Tincture:  Willow Bark is a natural form of aspirin, only give with food! NEVER feed on empty stomach.

There are numerous remedies for arthritis on the market. Therefore, always check the ingredients and their safety for dogs! The best diet for a dog with arthritis is a carbohydrate-free raw diet. Carbohydrates are sugars which help promote and increase inflammation in dogs.

I know trying to put together all these supplements can seem daunting. To make it easier, I would recommend B-Naturals Berte’s Daily Blend, which contains all the vitamins I have listed, as well as kelp and alfalfa. This is a powder supplement that is easy to mix with your dog’s food.

Another choice is Berte’s Immune Blend. This mixture has all the vitamins I have listed with vitamin C and E in double doses. While it does not contain kelp and alfalfa, it does have added probiotics and some digestive enzymes. The Immune Blend is ideal for dogs with health issues but it can also be given to healthy dogs at half dose.

For those with dogs with digestive issues, B-Naturals carries Berte’s Digestion Blend. This blend contains the animal-based enzymes, as well as l-glutamine and probiotics. It comes is a palatable powder form that can easily be mixed with your dog’s food or you can mix it with some yogurt.

I hope you have found this information helpful. If you have any questions, please email us at B-Naturals and we will answer any of your questions: lewolson@earthlink.net

Happy Labor Day to all the hard workers out there.

All of us at B-Naturals hope you are staying safe and healthy during this crazy time.

We hope you and your dogs are getting enough good food and good exercise!

Inflammatory bowel disease

Promising New Test for Elusive Bowel Disease

Digestive problems in dogs have reached epidemic proportions, and this inflammatory disease is one of the most difficult, costly and time-consuming to diagnose accurately. Find out why the condition is so perplexing to owners and veterinarians, and why that may soon change.


When is a good time for spaying or neutering your dog?

Ideal Timing for Spaying or Neutering of These Breeds

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to health risks and the age at which a dog is neutered or spayed. Risks are highly dependent on breed, and for some, age at desexing doesn’t matter. This study puts the brakes on automatic early-age desexing and suggests a better alternative.



5 Subtle Signs Your Dog Dislikes Children

If your dog feels uncomfortable with newcomers, especially children, don’t expect to see the obvious signs right away, like growling, snarling or snapping. To head off an unfortunate encounter, watch for these subtle signs indicating stress may be building in your pet.



Live Near Water? Be Aware of This Deadly Fungus

Most dogs who become infected with this soil and rotting wood fungus live within a quarter mile of a river bank, lake or swamp. This unfortunate yellow Lab went swimming just once before becoming ill, only to die eight days later from the fungus. Know what to watch if symptoms appear.



The Only Sure Way to Know if Your Pet Is Immune to Disease

Did you know that vaccinations don’t always provide adequate protection against disease? There’s only one way to know for sure if your pet has the immunity he needs, but many conventional veterinarians push back vehemently against the practice. Fortunately, this may be changing.



‘Green’ up Your Indoor Space With Pet-Friendly Plants

As the days grow shorter and cooler, it’s not too soon to start planning and creating your own indoor oasis of lush greenery. Just be sure to choose wisely – many popular houseplants aren’t safe for cats and dogs. Check out these seven pet-friendly tropical plants that thrive indoors.



Raising a puppy for a guide dog school

I do not endorse any of the schools mentioned below, however, the information is good regardless of my opinion of their acceptance of applicants.

Raise a puppy to be a guide dog. By LAUREN KATIMS.

Imagine blindfolding yourself and letting your dog lead you down the stairs, out of your house or apartment, around the block and back home. Sounds risky, right? My Chiweenie and I would never make it past my front door without an injury.

Guide dogs get extensive training for five to nine months, depending on the organization, to succeed with these tasks. Their guidance helps visually impaired or blind people go to work, navigate busy airports, avoid traffic and many other unexpected obstacles. How do these dogs get accustomed to so many different scenarios?

Most of this work is done before the official guide dog training even starts.

At 7 to 8 weeks old, the puppy lives with a foster family, just like yours or mine, called a puppy raiser, which has the job of raising the dog to be socially adaptable, well-mannered and calm in various situations.

“We rely pretty heavily on our puppy raisers to get the dogs off to a strong start,” says Kerry Lemerise, program manager of puppy raising at Guiding Eyes for the Blind, based in New York, which has 39 regional centers along the East Coast.

Once the puppy turns 14 to 16 months, he graduates and goes into the guide dog training program before being paired with his new life partner. No experience is required to be a puppy raiser-the guide dog organizations provide all the guidance and training necessary. All you need is the time, patience and understanding that you’ll eventually say goodbye when your dog graduates.

Here, two organizations that train guide dogs for people with vision loss, talk about the puppy raisers’ responsibilities and how they help change lives for hundreds of visually impaired people each year.

Socializing the puppy.

Each organization wants a wide range of puppy raisers, from singles to large families to homes with other pets, because that represents the diversity of the clients who will be matched with the service dogs after graduation. “We want every type of home imaginable,” says Eric Gardell, supervisor of the puppy raiser department at Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Fidelco breeds their own German Shepherd Dogs, which are known for loyalty and intelligence.

Families are encouraged to expose the dog to as many situations as possible -the very same experiences the dog will be required to handle as a guide dog. This includes taking them through airport security, up and down stairs, to busy restaurants, work and through grocery stores. The goal is to raise a dog who is unfazed by cats, children, traffic or tempting buffet tables. “The puppy raisers are invaluable,” Eric says. “They are making a dog that someone else can live with.

Training weekly.

As dog owners, we want our dogs to have good manners: no excited jumping on neighbors or barking at passing dogs, no digging holes in the backyard and no chewing on shoes. But for service dogs, obedience skills are necessary for a successful partnership. “Our clients have higher needs for good house manners,” says Kerry, from Guiding Eyes. “You might think it’s OK if your dog picks up a shoe and moves it, but for our clients, that could mean being late to work.

Each family is required to bring their puppies to a weekly training class, and eventually every other week, where obedience skills like nice leash manners, proper vet and groomer etiquette, walking under different leveled underpasses, distraction avoidance and basic commands are taught.

Guiding Eyes breeds Labrador Retrievers because of their trainability, flexibility in different situations, and comfortability around people, Kerry says.


Ken Bernhard, a lawyer in Connecticut, is currently fostering his seventh German Shepherd Dog puppy, Gypsy, through Fidelco. He became so inspired by his experience raising his first puppy in 1989, he succeeded in getting a law passed to allow dogs in training to go into public places, and also now serves as the organization’s chairman of the board.

The hardest part is saying goodbye, he admits, but even so, “there isn’t a person who would say it wasn’t the most rewarding and interesting experience. For this reason, many puppy raisers come back time and time again. Both organizations have families on their 20th puppy.

“Initially (people) come to us because they love dogs,” says Kerry, who estimates about 70 percent of puppy raisers return at least a second time. “Then they meet our graduates, and it becomes this really powerful experience.


More people walking dogs, not as happy

People are walking their dogs more during coronavirus but enjoying it less – The Washington Post

By  Karin Brulliard August 13, 2020 at 4:16 p.m. EDT

Sir Drew, an 8-year-old Airedale, passes dozens of other dogs on his daily walks near the shores of Lake Michigan. Normally the pets might exchange a friendly

sniff, but these days, his owner says, “we just pull back and he gets a firm ‘no.’ ”

Jasper, a 3-year-old goldendoodle, doesn’t hit the beach in Portland, Maine, as often as he used to and hardly ever visits dog parks, his owner explains,

“because they aren’t sanitized, and there’s no way to control who comes.”

Just as the novel


pandemic has upended our daily lives, it has also changed those of our pets, many of which are getting a lot more attention and a lot more walks. But

for many dogs and their owners, those walks have also changed: They are imbued with new anxieties, altered routines and carefully modified routes.

Where once there might have been sociable butt-sniffs between canines, now there are sometimes awkward interactions between strangers who don’t share the

same protocols on social distancing for dogs. Passersby are offering fewer caresses, and dog owners are more often turning down other people’s requests

to pet for fear of unfamiliar hands depositing the virus on fur. Leashes are helping keep people six feet apart, but more of them on the sidewalks present

new entangling hazards.

And then there are the masks obscuring humans’ faces, which some dogs aren’t huge fans of. Jasper doesn’t seem to mind them much, but he “feels defensive,”

said his owner, Jennifer Baldwin, 46, a recruiter for a consulting firm in Portland. “But I think he just senses people are on guard.”

Questions about how to navigate dog-walking in a pandemic have become familiar to veterinarians, who are advising clients based on science that is still

evolving, said Douglas Kratt, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association.


small number of pet dogs

living with coronavirus patients, including

one German shepherd

in the United States, have had confirmed infections. That has led scientists to conclude that human-to-dog transmission is possible, but there is an “extremely

low likelihood of that happening,” Kratt said. Research on those dogs and

others intentionally infected

in laboratory experiments suggests dogs are not very susceptible to the virus, show mild to no symptoms and don’t transmit it to other dogs. There’s also

no evidence of dogs spreading it to humans.


relatively little research

has been done on infections and transmission in animals, experts say pet owners should stay cautious — including while walking the dog. The big idea: Dogs

should socially distance, too. If you’re not having contact with others outside your household, neither should your dog.

“My dog doesn’t see other people and doesn’t see other animals,” said J. Scott Weese, a veterinarian who studies infectious disease at the University of

Guelph in Ontario. “If I don’t let him go interact with someone, he doesn’t become a vector.”

An empty bench at the off-leash dog park at Kiwanis Park in St. Joseph, Mich. (Evan Cobb for The Washington Post) figure

An empty bench at the off-leash dog park at Kiwanis Park in St. Joseph, Mich. (Evan Cobb for The Washington Post)

An empty bench at the off-leash dog park at Kiwanis Park in St. Joseph, Mich. (Evan Cobb for The Washington Post) figure end

A small number of pet dogs living with coronavirus patients, including one German shepherd in the United States, have had confirmed infections. (Evan Cobb

for The Washington Post) figure

A small number of pet dogs living with coronavirus patients, including one German shepherd in the United States, have had confirmed infections. (Evan Cobb

for The Washington Post)

A small number of pet dogs living with coronavirus patients, including one German shepherd in the United States, have had confirmed infections. (Evan Cobb

for The Washington Post) figure end

That means crowded dog parks aren’t a good idea, Kratt said. It also means dog owners who have covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, or are

quarantining after exposure should isolate from their pooch to prevent potential transmission. If that’s impossible, he said, owners should be vigilant

about hand-washing, wear a mask around the pet and “don’t sit and nuzzle with the dog.”

Even with this guidance in mind, real-world walks can get tricky. Narrow sidewalks and trails can force those adhering to the six-foot rule onto the streets

or into thickets. And some dog-walkers are warier than others.

Baldwin said she has had “several” uncomfortable encounters while walking Jasper on the wooded trails she now favors for outings, especially in the less-crowded

early morning and dinnertime hours. In one instance, a woman walking her own dog “panicked” at more than 15 feet away, anxiously telling Baldwin that her

husband at home was immunocompromised.

“This woman asked if we would be sure to not let my dog touch her dog,” said Baldwin, who felt the reaction was a bit extreme, but understandable — her

own father is high-risk.

At the same time, Baldwin said she thinks Portland, where temporary virus-prevention measures include a ban on off-leash walking between 10 a.m. and 5

p.m., has overcorrected when it comes to dogs.

“There isn’t scientific evidence to suggest that dogs are spreading the virus, and dog owners probably have a stronger immune system when they’re able

to exercise their dogs freely without restrictions,” Baldwin said.

Dogs are known to researchers as “

social lubricants

” — animals that make it easier for strangers to strike up conversations — and all the staying home and increased neighborhood walking has led to new friendships,

some dog owners say. Yet worries about the virus have also stunted a key element of those interactions: petting.

Normally, Hoyt said, he might let Sir Drew visit with other pups, but these days, “we just pull back and he gets a firm ‘no.’ ” (Evan Cobb for The Washington

Post) figure

Normally, Hoyt said, he might let Sir Drew visit with other pups, but these days, “we just pull back and he gets a firm ‘no.’ ” (Evan Cobb for The Washington


Normally, Hoyt said, he might let Sir Drew visit with other pups, but these days, “we just pull back and he gets a firm ‘no.’ ” (Evan Cobb for The Washington

Post) figure end

Although the virus that causes covid-19 in humans

can live for hours to days

on surfaces, including cardboard and stainless steel, no one has tested its viability on the lush fur of a golden retriever, the smooth coat of a pit bull

mix or any other animal hair. Experts say it’s certainly possible that someone’s hand could deposit or pick up the virus via petting, though. More important,

they say, is that allowing caresses can bring people dangerously close together.

“Until we have a better handle on the disease itself and everything about it, I think that potentially opens up a risk factor that I’m not sure at this

point is warranted,” Kratt said.

That’s disappointing to Jamie Damato Migdal of Chicago, who was walking her chihuahua mix recently when she passed a mother with two small daughters.

“They looked at each other, and they looked back at their mom. I slowed down and I said, ‘Do you guys want to pet her?’ And both turned around and said

‘Mom, is it okay?’ And the mom said, ‘No, I’m sorry, we’re not petting dogs right now,’” Damato Migdal said. “It’s sad when that sort of basic interaction

is not safe or welcome.”

But Damato Migdal, the CEO of a company that provides online education for people who work in pet services, said she knows the mother was sticking to best

practices. Her firm, FetchFind, offers a course for

professional dog-walkers

on handling a job that now involves what it calls “a very complicated dance” of masks, hand-scrubbing and distance.

It may be tempting to smooch the doggy client, but “stick with rubs and butt scratches,” the course advises. When crossing paths with another dog-walker,

step off and turn around, to avoid engaging and sharing airspace. Keep a short leash in crowded areas, it says, “so that your dog is effectively part of

your own mobile quarantine bubble.”

Coronavirus-era dog walks, of course, are not all about stress. For J.B. Hoyt, they’re a way to cope with pandemic worries. He’s logged at least 10,000

steps daily for more than 140 days straight with Sir Drew, the Airedale, by his side.

For several weeks, the pair did it alone. Then Hoyt, 67, discussed quarantine protocols with a friend who has a puppy. Both were comfortable with the other’s

standards, and they began walking together.

“We figured if we’re outdoors and six feet apart, then we’re fine,” said Hoyt, a retired executive who lives in St. Joseph, Mich.

After hitting 100 days, Hoyt said, he lost a bit of motivation. But Sir Drew kept him going. One recent day, with the temperature in the high 80s and the

air dripping with humidity, Hoyt wasn’t so sure about the walk. Then Sir Drew began skittering back and forth near the door, brimming with enthusiasm,

Hoyt said.

They took an extra-long walk that day.

“Despite the fact that he’s 8 years old, he can act like he’s 8 weeks old,” Hoyt said. “He just loves to go, and that just motivates me.”


Can dogs smell COVID 19

Dogs with a few days of training are capable of identifying people infected with the coronavirus, according to a study by a German veterinary university.

Eight dogs from Germany’s armed forces were trained for only a week and were able to accurately identify the virus with a 94% success rate, according to a pilot project led by the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover. Researchers challenged the dogs to sniff out COVID-19 in the saliva of more than 1,000 healthy and infected people.

“We think that this works because the metabolic processes in the body of a diseased patient are completely changed,” Maren von Koeckritz-Blickwede, a professor at the university, said in a YouTube video about the project. “We think that the dogs are able to detect a specific smell.”

Dogs, which have a sense of smell around 1,000 times more sensitive than humans, could be deployed to detect infections at places such as airports, border crossings and sporting events with the proper training, according to the researchers. The study was conducted jointly with the German armed forces, the Hannover Medical School and the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

Von Koeckritz-Blickwede said that the next step will be to train dogs to differentiate Covid samples from other diseases like influenza.



Someone is not practicing social distancing

The other day as the dogs were running on the mountain trail my spotter mentioned that the dog that did not get along with other dogs especially Golden retrievers was not practicing social distancing as she played with him chasing him up and down the trail.  They would take turns chasing each other through the bush.  She was a blue healer who was very affectionate.  Also because she lives in an area 50 Kms south of here she it appears does not get many off leash runs where she can run full out.  Our Golden retriever who is in charge of exercising the day care dogs or borders was easily out running the blue healer on the trail.

Dog overheating?

12 Signs Your Dog Is Becoming Overheated

It doesn’t take much to trigger heatstroke, especially when temperatures rise quickly and your dog isn’t yet adapted to the heat. Simply a lack of drinking water, humid conditions, over

12 Signs Your Dog Is Becoming Overheated

It doesn’t take much to trigger heatstroke, especially when temperatures rise quickly and your dog isn’t yet adapted to the heat. Simply a lack of drinking water, humid conditions, overexertion and obesity can all play a role. Know the symptoms of overheating and the immediate actions to take.

Read More >>exertion and obesity can all play a role. Know the symptoms of overheating and the immediate actions to take.


Don’t get angry at a guide dog user

Should someone draw near with a guide dog, speak up and presume good intent — especially during the pandemic, according to some experts.


The dogs have never been taught the 6-foot social-distancing rule required during these difficult times. Nor have they been trained to wait in line outside stores, let alone stand on marks, or only walk in one direction in the aisles.


Instead, they have been taught to bring their partner right to the door — and go in.


And they are expected to bring their handler to the nearest empty seat on a train or bus, though that might be right next to someone.


Right now, “It’s a little stressful for our clients to go out,” said Cameron McLendon, 28, of Kings Park, a mobility instructor at the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. “One of the biggest problems is that the dogs don’t understand social distancing.”


Diplomacy, patience helps


Like so much else, battling the coronavirus has exposed divisions between people.


Misunderstandings that might have been brushed off now can flare into conflicts as they grapple with a multitude of fears and anxieties, from succumbing to the virus to waiting outside grocery stores only to find empty shelves when you get inside.


As is often the case in any situation, a little bit of diplomacy and patience can make all the difference. “I think it’s a great thing for people to do all the time — to let people know you are approaching” a guide dog and their handler, said Lauren Berglund, 23, of Kings Park.


Berglund, a coordinator for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and America’s VetDogs in Smithtown, has had a guide dog since she was 18.


“If someone is getting too close, simply remarking ‘Hey, I’m off to your left,’” is a help, she said.


And it’s likely far easier for the person who can see to avoid the team than vice versa.


Some of the nonprofit’s graduates said they have been yelled at for passing too near other people, Berglund said.


Guide dogs are taught to skirt other people by adding their own width to that of their handlers, explained Heidi Vandewinckel, a total almost certainly less than 6 feet.


“Please just ask me and let me know — and perhaps anticipate” a problem, said Vandewinckel, 62, of East Northport, and a foundation board member who has relied on a guide dog since she was 14.


“It can be kind of daunting for a guide dog to maneuver . . . it’s kind of a give-and-take,” said Cristina Mirabile, 31, of Centereach, one of the foundation’s mobility instructors.


Unexpected problems have arisen, the experts said.


One client, for instance, found a physician’s clinic had nowhere for him and his dog to wait except the line outside. Yet not all dogs understand what to do when the line moves.


And some patients in line or in the office might be allergic or fearful of dogs.


Some tips and advice


So take the risk of a possibly awkward interchange and help a dog and its handler navigate social distancing rules, the experts said, especially in crowds, or lines, or on mass transit.


Realize people whose guide dogs give them the gifts of freedom and independence must go to stores if online services are overloaded or unwieldy, they said.


Aiding these teams — even during the stressful times of the outbreak — really just requires a little thoughtfulness.


Anyone walking their own dog should let the team know, because the guide dog is not allowed to meet-and-greet.


Never make eye contact with a guide dog while it’s working, offer a treat, ooh and ah, or try to pet it — those are all behaviors that could cause their partner a mishap, like a fall, Mirabile said.


And, the trainers said, ask if the team would like help, particularly if there are hazards, like figuring out if a traffic light has changed.


Let them know if there is a line outside a store — and perhaps help them find where it ends, when it moves — and where to wait to check out.


“It’s never wrong to ask a question,” McLendon said.


Remember, however, that these teams have earned their independence. Don’t be offended if they decline an offer of help.


But if they would like you to guide them around obstacles, offer your arm — though not the way one does in a wedding procession. Instead, the handler has been taught to hold your upper arm to follow you safely, the trainers said.


And never grab the guide dog’s harness, Vandewinckel said.


“Just be kind and patient with people, especially now — it’s a difficult time for everybody,” Berglund said.