Removing Ticks From Dogs

Removing ticks from your dog should be a priority as soon as you notice even one tick appearing on your dog’s skin. Many ticks can carry serious diseases like Lyme’s Disease.

The types of environments where ticks are usually found are places with thick vegetation, in tall grasses, bushes, and heavy brush in the woods where ticks have a lot …
Dog’ Blog

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It might be a good idea just to go back to bed today

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Christmas in Miami

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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Year in Review: Reality Stars to the Rescue 2017

As we get ready for the start of a new year, let’s take a look back at a few of the many reality personalities who helped to create a new reality for dogs in need in 2017: Since 2016 Lisa…

[[ This is a summary only. Click the title for the full post, photos, videos, giveaways, and more! ]]


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Puerto Rico Pup Leads Officials to Her Trapped Owner

Agua the Puerto Rican Dog

Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Many people and pets in Puerto Rico are still recovering from the devastation Hurricane Maria caused almost two months ago. However, heroes of both the human and animal variety are showing their true colors in the aftermath. One little dog, named Agua, was named “a four-legged hero” by the U.S. Department of the Interior on Twitter.

According to KKTV, James Casey, an employee with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was working in Puerto Rico on a mission for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. James was assessing the security of a closed hospital in Humaco with about 30 others when they spotted a small dog wearing a sweater.

“We were curious as to why a dog would be wearing a sweater alone in this area,” James told reporters. He added that their attention was also piqued because “the dog kept going up and down the hill.”

Intrigued, James and the others decided to follow the dog. At the bottom of the hill, they found a woman trapped under a scooter. She was Agua’s owner and had been attempting to reach the hospital. Due to the terrain, there was an accident and the scooter rolled on top of the woman. The woman was trapped and had prior medical issues that meant she desperately needed the team’s help.

James described where they found the woman as “abandoned” and “littered with debris.” He continued, “if it wasn’t for this little dog, it would have been likely she would not have been found and possibly perished.”

Because Agua not only caught the team’s attention, but led them to her owner, they were able to assist before it was too late. According to the Department of the Interior, the team radioed another official who was able to coordinate with hospital doctors so the team could immediately respond to the woman’s needs. Another member of the team was able to grab an ambulance to transport the woman to an emergency department. That evening, after the owner had been treated, Agua was able to be reunited with the woman she had saved.

James told reporters that the team was impressed by the dog’s devotion and quick actions. He said, “We all voted Agua the dog the hero of our mission.” Maybe soon Agua will have a cape to go with her sweater!

Halo Pets

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Pork Bone Treats Are No Treat for Pups

Dog with rawhide

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning on “bone treats” for dogs, having recently received more than 70 reports of illnesses in dogs who ingested the “bone treats” derived from pigs.

“A variety of commercially – available bone treats for dogs — including treats described as ‘Ham Bones,’ ‘Pork Femur Bones,’ ‘Rib Bones,’ and ‘Smokey Knuckle Bones’ — were listed in the reports,” FDA said in a statement. “The products may be dried through a smoking process or by baking, and may contain other ingredients such as preservatives, seasonings, and smoke flavorings.”

Illnesses reported to FDA by owners and veterinarians in dogs that have eaten bone treats have included:

  • Gastrointestinal obstruction (blockage in the digestive tract)
  • Choking
  • Cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils.
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bleeding from the rectum.
  • Death: Approximately 15 dogs reportedly died after eating a bone treat, according to the agency.

The reports, sent in by pet owners and veterinarians, involved about 90 dogs. (Some reports included more than one dog).

In addition, FDA received seven reports of product problems, such as moldy-appearing bones, or bone treats splintering when chewed by the pet.

“Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet,” said Carmela Stamper, a veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary Medicine at the FDA.

My book THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know” covers the topic of what sort of bones can be safely given to dogs, who, in any case should always be watched by a human when chewing on any sort of bone or rawhide. This recent spate of highly worrisome reactions to a category of dog bone is a good reminder of how a good intention by a pet parent can go horribly wrong.

If you want to tire your dog out and at the same time stimulate her mentally and make a deeper connection with her, instead of giving her a bone I recommend a daily 5 minute fun tricks and training session, using a high value treat (like Halo Liv-a-Little proteins) for positive reinforcement. The mental challenge and bonding your dog will have with you has a lot more value to her than gnawing on some old bone!

Tracie HotchnerTracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

Halo Pets

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Did a dog really drop a deuce at 10 Downing Street?

The Poodle (and Dog) Blog

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My first photos of a black vulture

Black vultures (Coragyps atratus) are not that common in West Virginia. The turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) is much more common.  The way you tell them apart is that turkey vultures have a longer wingspan and all the flight feathers are light-colored. Only the flight feathers towards the tip are light-colored on black vultures.

I came across a flock of four black vultures that were cruising in the sky with a single turkey vulture, and then I realized I hadn’t photographed this species before. So took a few photographs.

So here are my first photos of a black vulture. They aren’t the best photos, but they are pretty cool to me.




Natural History

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Mysterious Hero Saves Two Dogs from Scottish River

Sammy Rescues from Scottish River

We might think that anonymous heroes only exist in movies, but one man in Scotland proved otherwise this fall. Not only did this mystery man go into a fast-moving river to save one dog – he then proceeded to save another dog and her owner!

According to the Daily Record, Nicola McCrory was walking her dog, Stitch, as well as her parents’ dog, Sammy around 9:30 a.m. on Monday, October 2. As the three walked beside the River Clyde near Bothwell Castle, Sammy stumbled and slid down a steep ten-foot drop to land in the river.

Nicola told reporters that she “panicked” but that someone else came to Sammy’s rescue: “the most amazing guy was there to help.” She described how the man used Nicola’s leashes to carefully descend toward the river and fish out Sammy.

Sammy’s fall and rescue gathered attention and a bit of a crowd gathered on the river’s edge. Nicola described what happened next, “as if one rescue wasn’t enough, someone else’s dog fell in and the owner jumped in after their dog!” Any pet lover can understand the instinct that drove that pet owner to dive into the water. Unfortunately, the water was moving fast and the owner wasn’t able to save the dog alone. The mystery man came to the rescue again.

“The same guy… came to the rescue yet again, pulling first the dog then the owner from the water,” according to Nicola. She said that she thanked him profusely, but the man didn’t seem to speak much English and left the area quickly. Nicola hopes to learn his identity though, and has described him as a man, over the age of 50, who walks along the river “doing exercises as he goes.” Nicola told reporters why she wants to discover the man’s identity, saying “I’d love to find out who he is so I could thank him properly.” We bet the satisfaction of knowing he saved that owner and three lives is all the mystery hero needs – although he certainly has our gratitude as well.

Halo Pets

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What is Gobi?

This little dog was discovered in the Gobi desert in China on 155-mile race.

The thinking that this dog is a “chihuahua cross” is a bit wrong, I think. I think she’s something a bit more special than that.

I think she is a landrace East Asian toy dog, the ancestral form that leads to the Pekingese, the original pug, the Japanese chin, and other dogs of this type.

I don’t there are many chihuahuas in the Gobi Desert, and she certainly should have her DNA tested.

Natural History

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