dogs at rest

Does Your Dog Sleep Like This?

If you’re a dog parent, I’m sure you’ve noticed that your furry family member sleeps. A lot. Which is normal, by the way. Healthy adult dogs spend an average of 12 to 14 hours a day sacked out. Pups, seniors and dogs with health problems often need even more rest.

Since our dogs spend so much time sleeping, we’re familiar with the wide assortment of positions they take, and this goes double if your pet sleeps on your bed, lap or chest. What you might not realize is there’s sometimes an evolutionary force behind your dog’s body language while snoozing. The following is a cheat sheet for interpreting the meaning behind your pet’s sleep positions.

6 Dog Sleeping Positions and What They Mean

  1. Curled up in a ball (aka the donut or fuzzy bagel position) —Dogs often sleep curled up in a tight ball, with their nose touching their tail. Dr. Katherine Houpt, a behavioral medicine professor at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, has observed that this is the preferred position for dogs in shelters. “They almost all sleep that way when they’re undisturbed — in balls, curled up,” Houpt told PetMD.1

This sleeping position conserves body heat (which is why we tend to see it more often during the cooler months of the year) and also protects internal organs from predators, which is why dogs in the wild tend to dig nests and curl up in them for both warmth and protection.

  1. On the back (aka crazy legs) —This is probably among the weirdest, yet cutest sleeping position dogs assume. If you find your pup stretched out on his back, with one or both front legs stretched out, he’s exposing his belly, which is a sign of submissiveness and vulnerability.

His willingness to fall asleep in this position means he’s feeling very secure and relaxed in his environment. On the other hand, he could also just be feeling a bit overheated, and exposing his tummy helps cool his body down. Dogs who sleep in this position regularly are typically independent and calm.

  1. The cuddler —Dogs who cuddle up with their humans, or sleep back-to-back with other pets in the household, are remembering their puppy pasts when they napped with their littermates to conserve body heat. If your dog likes to maintain contact with you while she sleeps, she’s showing she trusts you, and the feeling is probably mutual, since surveys indicate that 56% of dog parents sleep next to their dogs.
  2. The belly flop (aka the superman) —This sleep position is adorably funny, because what’s not to love about a dog lying flat on his tummy with his front and back legs extended straight out? Looking down at him, it’s easy to imagine he’s about to belly flop into a pool or fly away to save the day! Dog behavior expert Dr. Stanley Coren believes this position also relates to temperature.

“The fur on the dog’s underside is not as deep and insulating as the fur on the rest of his body,” he tells PetMD. “What you call the ‘Superman position’ — with limbs outstretched and belly against the floor — is also a response to a warm environment, but usually occurs in situations where the surface that the dog is lying on is relatively cooler than the air around him.”

Since it’s easy for dogs to get to their feet in this position, they tend only to use it for catnaps and not for serious snoozing.

  1. Side sleeping —This is the most common position dogs take for sleeping, according to Coren. And that’s a good thing, because when your dog naps lying on her side, it means she’s relaxed and comfortable in her environment. Side sleeping pups also tend to be affectionate and share a close bond with their humans.
  2. The lion pose —The lion pose is similar to the belly flop, with two important distinctions: the back legs are under the haunches instead of pushed out, and the muscles of the body are contracted, preventing deep sleep. Dogs generally get into this position to relieve stress and make themselves more comfortable. It’s often seen in dogs with lots of energy to burn, who don’t feel like sleeping and are waiting for an opportunity to leap into action.

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Other Ways Your Dog’s Sleep Differs From Yours

Beyond sleeping positions, the major difference between human and canine sleep patterns is the amount of time spent in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is the most restorative stage of sleep and plays a role in learning and memory. In REM sleep, the brain is active and there may be dreaming. Humans spend about 25% of their night in REM sleep, compared to about 10% for dogs. This means dogs need more total sleep to get adequate restorative sleep.2

While humans tend to do best with a set sleep-wake schedule, dogs are much more flexible, so you needn’t worry about getting your dog to bed on time or up by a certain hour. Generally speaking, dogs follow their natural impulses, including sleeping when they need it, which is why they don’t often sleep for eight-hour stretches.

If it seems your dog can go from deeply asleep to fully alert in the blink of an eye, and in response to even the slightest noise or disruption, it’s not in your head. One Australian study found that during an eight-hour nighttime period, dogs averaged 23 sleep-wake episodes, with the average sleep-wake cycle consisting of 16 minutes asleep followed by five minutes awake.3

This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be aware your dog is awake — he’ll likely lie quietly. It also doesn’t mean he’s not getting quality rest, but if he seems especially restless or is unable to find a comfortable position to sleep in, you should have him checked out by your veterinarian to rule out pain or other symptoms or health conditions that could be keeping him awake.

Something I recommend for all pet parents is a grounding mat, which can help balance your dog’s circadian rhythm, particularly if he doesn’t spend much time outdoors. Wild animals are naturally grounded to the earth, which provides numerous benefits due to the transfer of electrons from the ground to their body.

You can also unplug wireless routers at night to give your pet a break from electromagnetic fields (EMFs). For dogs who seem unable to settle down, a grounding mat can be very beneficial.

In addition, be sure to provide a comfortable, adequately sized bed, made from natural materials, in a quiet, cozy spot. Depending on your dog’s favorite sleeping position, you can choose a dog bed to match.

For instance, dogs who sleep curled up may like a round bed with deep sides, whereas side sleepers may prefer a cushioned, flatter surface to spread out on. For belly or back sleepers, an elevated bed may help keep them cool and supported.

Turn off all lights and loud sounds (TVs and radios) when going to bed; this can disrupt your dog’s ability to produce enough melatonin to sleep soundly, but don’t forget to open your blinds and shades in your home the next morning (dogs need access to direct sunlight to produce healthy daytime hormones, too!).

Dogs at rest

Does Your Dog Sleep Like This?

If you’re a dog parent, I’m sure you’ve noticed that your furry family member sleeps. A lot. Which is normal, by the way. Healthy adult dogs spend an average of 12 to 14 hours a day sacked out. Pups, seniors and dogs with health problems often need even more rest.

Since our dogs spend so much time sleeping, we’re familiar with the wide assortment of positions they take, and this goes double if your pet sleeps on your bed, lap or chest. What you might not realize is there’s sometimes an evolutionary force behind your dog’s body language while snoozing. The following is a cheat sheet for interpreting the meaning behind your pet’s sleep positions.

6 Dog Sleeping Positions and What They Mean

  1. Curled up in a ball (aka the donut or fuzzy bagel position) —Dogs often sleep curled up in a tight ball, with their nose touching their tail. Dr. Katherine Houpt, a behavioral medicine professor at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, has observed that this is the preferred position for dogs in shelters. “They almost all sleep that way when they’re undisturbed — in balls, curled up,” Houpt told PetMD.1

This sleeping position conserves body heat (which is why we tend to see it more often during the cooler months of the year) and also protects internal organs from predators, which is why dogs in the wild tend to dig nests and curl up in them for both warmth and protection.

  1. On the back (aka crazy legs) —This is probably among the weirdest, yet cutest sleeping position dogs assume. If you find your pup stretched out on his back, with one or both front legs stretched out, he’s exposing his belly, which is a sign of submissiveness and vulnerability.

His willingness to fall asleep in this position means he’s feeling very secure and relaxed in his environment. On the other hand, he could also just be feeling a bit overheated, and exposing his tummy helps cool his body down. Dogs who sleep in this position regularly are typically independent and calm.

  1. The cuddler —Dogs who cuddle up with their humans, or sleep back-to-back with other pets in the household, are remembering their puppy pasts when they napped with their littermates to conserve body heat. If your dog likes to maintain contact with you while she sleeps, she’s showing she trusts you, and the feeling is probably mutual, since surveys indicate that 56% of dog parents sleep next to their dogs.
  2. The belly flop (aka the superman) —This sleep position is adorably funny, because what’s not to love about a dog lying flat on his tummy with his front and back legs extended straight out? Looking down at him, it’s easy to imagine he’s about to belly flop into a pool or fly away to save the day! Dog behavior expert Dr. Stanley Coren believes this position also relates to temperature.

“The fur on the dog’s underside is not as deep and insulating as the fur on the rest of his body,” he tells PetMD. “What you call the ‘Superman position’ — with limbs outstretched and belly against the floor — is also a response to a warm environment, but usually occurs in situations where the surface that the dog is lying on is relatively cooler than the air around him.”

Since it’s easy for dogs to get to their feet in this position, they tend only to use it for catnaps and not for serious snoozing.

  1. Side sleeping —This is the most common position dogs take for sleeping, according to Coren. And that’s a good thing, because when your dog naps lying on her side, it means she’s relaxed and comfortable in her environment. Side sleeping pups also tend to be affectionate and share a close bond with their humans.
  2. The lion pose —The lion pose is similar to the belly flop, with two important distinctions: the back legs are under the haunches instead of pushed out, and the muscles of the body are contracted, preventing deep sleep. Dogs generally get into this position to relieve stress and make themselves more comfortable. It’s often seen in dogs with lots of energy to burn, who don’t feel like sleeping and are waiting for an opportunity to leap into action.

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Other Ways Your Dog’s Sleep Differs From Yours

Beyond sleeping positions, the major difference between human and canine sleep patterns is the amount of time spent in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is the most restorative stage of sleep and plays a role in learning and memory. In REM sleep, the brain is active and there may be dreaming. Humans spend about 25% of their night in REM sleep, compared to about 10% for dogs. This means dogs need more total sleep to get adequate restorative sleep.2

While humans tend to do best with a set sleep-wake schedule, dogs are much more flexible, so you needn’t worry about getting your dog to bed on time or up by a certain hour. Generally speaking, dogs follow their natural impulses, including sleeping when they need it, which is why they don’t often sleep for eight-hour stretches.

If it seems your dog can go from deeply asleep to fully alert in the blink of an eye, and in response to even the slightest noise or disruption, it’s not in your head. One Australian study found that during an eight-hour nighttime period, dogs averaged 23 sleep-wake episodes, with the average sleep-wake cycle consisting of 16 minutes asleep followed by five minutes awake.3

This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be aware your dog is awake — he’ll likely lie quietly. It also doesn’t mean he’s not getting quality rest, but if he seems especially restless or is unable to find a comfortable position to sleep in, you should have him checked out by your veterinarian to rule out pain or other symptoms or health conditions that could be keeping him awake.

Something I recommend for all pet parents is a grounding mat, which can help balance your dog’s circadian rhythm, particularly if he doesn’t spend much time outdoors. Wild animals are naturally grounded to the earth, which provides numerous benefits due to the transfer of electrons from the ground to their body.

You can also unplug wireless routers at night to give your pet a break from electromagnetic fields (EMFs). For dogs who seem unable to settle down, a grounding mat can be very beneficial.

In addition, be sure to provide a comfortable, adequately sized bed, made from natural materials, in a quiet, cozy spot. Depending on your dog’s favorite sleeping position, you can choose a dog bed to match.

For instance, dogs who sleep curled up may like a round bed with deep sides, whereas side sleepers may prefer a cushioned, flatter surface to spread out on. For belly or back sleepers, an elevated bed may help keep them cool and supported.

Turn off all lights and loud sounds (TVs and radios) when going to bed; this can disrupt your dog’s ability to produce enough melatonin to sleep soundly, but don’t forget to open your blinds and shades in your home the next morning (dogs need access to direct sunlight to produce healthy daytime hormones, too!).

Can I give my dog vegetables?

19 Vegetables dogs can eat

 

 

  1. Cabbage

 

Dogs can definitely eat cabbage, though it might cause a gassy reaction.

It contains vitamins B1, B6, C and K, not to mention tons of phytonutrients. These are antioxidants that improve the overall health of dogs-and humans-who consume them. Red cabbage is also a safe choice for down owners looking to boost their pet’s fiber, manganese, copper and potassium levels.

 

  1. Carrots

 

The ASPCA says carrots are an ideal snack for dogs because they can be eaten raw, are low in calories and don’t create much gas (which dog owners know can be a problem, especially with some veggies). Carrots provide vitamins B, C, D, E and K, not to mention lots of fiber.

 

  1. Cauliflower

 

Cauliflower is safe in small quantities. Like other cruciferous vegetables on our list, it can lead to uncomfortable gas. Best served lightly steamed, cauliflower provides vitamins B, C, and K, and omega-3 fatty acids-all great for the immune system.

 

  1. Celery

 

It feels like celery works overtime to bring good things to our dogs.

Full of vitamins A, B and C, it goes above and beyond to freshen your dog’s breath. Vitamin A helps boost your dog’s vision. (Pro tip: Crunchy veggies help remove tartar from a dog’s teeth!)

 

  1. Cucumbers

 

Ideal for dogs who need to maintain a healthier weight, cucumbers boost energy yet have a low caloric count. Dogs will get an infusion of vitamins B1, C and K when they eat cucumbers, not to mention potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin, according to the American Kennel Club.

 

  1. Beets

 

Many root vegetables are great for healthy coats and digestion in canines. Beets add vitamin C, fiber, folate, manganese and potassium to a meal. They can also help your dog better absorb other nutrients.

 

  1. Broccoli

 

Like cauliflower, broccoli can cause gas. This can be a smelly experience for you and an incredibly uncomfortable experience for your dog. That being said, broccoli delivers vitamins A, C, E and K, not to mention tons of fiber and almost no fat. Be sure to chop well-the stalks can get lodged in your dog’s throat if they’re too big.

 

  1. Brussels Sprouts

 

Brussels sprouts boost immunity (vitamin C) and bone health (vitamin K).

Plus, they provide antioxidants that fight against inflammation. Slowly introduce Brussels sprouts into your dog’s diet to see how they adjust since these can cause gas, too.

 

  1. Butternut Squash

 

If your dog needs foods rich in vitamins A, B6 and C to improve her immune or cardiovascular systems, go for some butternut squash. It’s low in calories, high in nutrients (an ideal combo) and typically gentle on the tummy.

 

  1. Green Beans

 

Another crunchy veggie (when served raw)! Green beans are also safe to serve steamed or canned, as long as they are plain and unsalted. Join your dog in a green bean snack, because you could both benefit from vitamins A, C and K, folic acid and fiber.

 

  1. Kale

 

Kale is a superfood for a reason. It’s known for its ability to boost bone health, vision and immunity. How? Vitamins A and K, the latter of which is a significant source of calcium. Kale also contains iron, the element responsible for healthy red blood cells and blood oxygen levels.

Both butternut squash and kale are included in Ollie’s <https://www.myollie.com/our-food/recipes/> lamb recipe.

 

  1. Parsnips

 

Parsnips aren’t typically the first vegetable we think of when we consider feeding our dog new treats. But, these veggies are full of folic acid (good for the nervous system), potassium and vitamins B6 and C. If your dog has kidney issues, consider adding parsnips into her diet after consulting with your vet.

 

  1. Peas

 

A few peas here and there will add a small dose of fiber and protein to your dog’s diet. These are essential if your dog cannot or will not eat meat products. Ollie includes peas (and sweet potatoes) in their <https://www.myollie.com/our-food/recipes/> beef recipe.

 

  1. Peppers

 

It’s surprising that bell peppers haven’t yet replaced the orange as the poster child for vitamin C. These veggies contain three times as much vitamin C as oranges and make great low-calorie snacks for dogs. Canine Journal suggests  <https://www.caninejournal.com/foods-not-to-feed-dog/>

steaming peppers to soften their exterior skin-and triple checking to make sure you’re not feeding spicy pepper varieties to your pup!

 

  1. Potatoes

 

Dogs can definitely eat potatoes, as long as they are cooked all the way through and served without toppings. (French fries don’t count here,

people.) Raw potatoes contain large quantities of solanine which can be toxic, so it’s recommended to steam and puree or bake a potato before serving it to a canine.

 

  1. Pumpkin

 

Canned pumpkin is often better to serve your dog than raw pumpkin, as it’s easier to digest. Be sure to buy the regular canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin has been known to <https://www.purewow.com/family/can-dogs-eat-pumpkin> help dogs dealing with constipation,and its beta-carotene can boost vision health. Pumpkin seeds are OK to feed to dogs, as long as they are not coated in oils, butter or salt.

 

  1. Sweet Potatoes/Yams

 

Another all-star when it comes to improving digestion! Sweet potatoes have tons of fiber, not to mention vitamins B6 (for brain health) and C.

Like carrots, sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene which improves vision and skin.

 

  1. Spinach

 

Rich in iron and magnesium, spinach can be a terrific addition to a canine diet. Vitamins A, C and E also make this leafy green veggie a winner (plus, it can fight against cancer, cardiovascular disease and inflammation).

 

  1. Zucchini

 

Zucchini fortifies your dog’s bones, heart and kidneys with calcium, vitamin A and potassium. As with peppers, try steaming to soften the skin (zucchini is known for retaining its nutrient density even after cooking, unlike some vegetables).

 

 

8 Vegetables Dogs Should Avoid

 

 

  1. Asparagus

 

The AKC says asparagus isn’t toxic to dogs, but it doesn’t offer enough nutrition value to make serving it to them worth it. They could also choke if it’s not chopped or cooked properly.

 

  1. Corn on the cob

 

While many dry dog food brands use corn in their recipes, corn itself doesn’t offer tons of nutritional value to dogs. It’s not toxic, it’s just not remarkable. Corn on the cob, however, is dangerous. It’s a big time choking hazard for canines and shouldn’t be given to them under any circumstances.

 

  1. Garlic

 

Garlic is part of the  <https://www.purewow.com/food/shallots-vs-onions>

allium plant family and contains thiosulfate, an inorganic compound that reacts negatively with dog systems. Eating garlic could lead to anemia, which causes lethargy, weakness and jaundice.

 

  1. Leeks

 

Another allium family member. These plants can cause immediate vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and an upset stomach. If a lot is ingested, a canine’s red blood cells may rupture.

 

  1. Mushrooms

 

While mushrooms we buy at the grocery store are safe for consumption, they aren’t typically appealing to dogs nor do they surpass other veggies in terms of nutritional value. Wild mushrooms should definitely be avoided, as many are poisonous and could cause internal damage and even death.

 

  1. Onions

 

As part of the allium plant family, onions (and chives!) are poisonous to dogs and should never be given to them. If you’re unsure if your dog has ingested leeks, onions, chives or garlic, look for dark yellow urine, a dramatic decline in energy levels, unusual bowel movements and vomiting.

Call your vet immediately!

 

  1. Rhubarb

 

Rhubarb contains oxalates, an organic compound that could lead to kidney stones or nervous system issues in canines. If eaten in large quantities, rhubarb can also decrease the amount of calcium present in your dog’s bones, which is no good.

 

  1. Tomatoes

 

A ripe tomato? Nothing to worry about-just watch your dog for signs of distress. An unripe tomato or the leaves and stem of the tomato plant?

Toxic. These parts of the tomato contain solanine which can cause lethargy, confusion and vomiting.

 

 

How to Prepare Vegetables for Dogs

 

 

Again, you can’t just plop down a salad in front of Luna and call it a day! “Dogs have a shorter digestive tract than their human counterparts, so they have less time to break down raw foods,” says Ollie’s Meadows. “Gently cooking the vegetables will make it easier for them to digest and absorb all the nutrients.”

 

Keep in mind, your dog may still reject a vegetable even if it’s cooked, pureed, chopped or mixed into their regular kibble. This is OK. Vegetables are meant to supplement a dog’s diet. If your dog turns their nose up at one veggie, try another! If it seems like your dog has lost interest in any food, or won’t eat a prescribed diet, consult your vet. There could be other issues going on.

 

Some breeds are more susceptible to upset stomachs and gastrointestinal issues than others. If you have a Great Dane, an Akita or a Doberman, you may run into more issues with digesting new foods. Plus, larger breeds are <https://www.purewow.com/family/whether-or-not-to-elevate-dog-food-bowl>

more likely to develop bloat, a condition that could be worsened by introducing cruciferous vegetables into their diets.

 

Follow these preparation guidelines when feeding your dog vegetables:

 

Introduce it slowly

 

“When adding new foods to your dog’s diet, it is recommended to do so slowly,” adds Meadows. “A small amount… might be a good place to start, while keeping an eye out for any adverse reactions like gas or diarrhea.

Over time, you can increase the amount, and variety, until you find the optimum level for your dog’s particular tastes and digestion.”

 

Cut, chop or mince

 

Be sure to serve bite-sized, easy-to-chew vegetable pieces to your dog.

Otherwise, you could be inadvertently serving your dog a choking hazard.

 

Serve plain

 

Do not slather vegetables in spices, oils, sauces or anything else you think will make it “taste better” to your dog. Humans might need seasoning to down a head of broccoli, but dogs do not. Even sauteeing veggies in butter or adding salt can ruin the nutritional value of a vegetable and even cause harm to your pup.

 

Steam

 

Steaming vegetables, without submerging them completely in water, softens them and makes them easier for your dog to chew, swallow and digest. It also preserves most of the nutrients, as long as you don’t overcook.

Steaming also makes it easier to mix vegetables into familiar foods.

 

Blanche

 

Not only does blanching clean vegetables, but it also enhances flavor and makes it easier for dogs to chew the food. Submerge vegetables in boiling water and then move them to ice water to stop them from cooking too much.

Voila!

 

Puree

 

A pureed vegetable is super easy on a dog’s digestive tract. Especially if softened with steaming before pureeing, tough veggies like pumpkin, carrot and cauliflower will be more palatable to your pup. This is also an excellent way to combine several veggies into one meal-especially if you want to trick your dog into eating bell peppers (for the vitamin C) but they prefer pumpkin. Combine the two in one smooth dish.

 

When in doubt, go through a premium, human-grade dog food service like Ollie or The Farmer’s Dog. These companies use science and veterinary expertise to determine the best diet for your dog. They take into account your pet’s breed, activity level, age and more to ensure she’s getting the best diet possible. Plus, they take the guesswork out of preparing the correct ratio of protein to plant.

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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

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

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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
www.annchiappetta.com

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,

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

-Anonymous

 

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

 

hate

 

-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

-Unknown

 

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

 

Minerals

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.

Probiotics

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.

L-Glutamine

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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‘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.

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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.

Graduating.

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

coronavirus

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.

A

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.

Because

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

Post)

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.”