General Interest

Successful Working Dogs

posted March 5th, 2019 by
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Successful Working Dogs

Select, Train and Use Service and Therapy Dogs

 

Noted OkSelect Train and Uselahoma dog trainer Barbara Lewis has authored a new book to provide guidance on the selection, training and use of service and therapy dogs. Lewis, the chief executive officer of Norman-based non-profit A New Leash on Life, combines her extensive background in dog training with her practical experience placing service and therapy dogs to develop this fully illustrated guidebook.

Entitled Successful Working Dogs, the book provides positive-motivation training techniques for basic manners and specific tasks expected of working dogs. In addition to training techniques for these animals, the work provides information on how to evaluate both the suitability of a working dog and the suitability of the dog’s client.

“With her usual kind tactfulness and yet real-world experience, Barbara discusses subjects with the business of producing an excellent service dog,” says nationally-renowned trainer and author Brenda Aloff, who operates Heaven on Arf Training Center in Midland, Michigan. “Whether you are training service dogs or interested in getting a dog, this book will educate you about the ins and outs of starting on this journey.”

Beyond training and selection of service dogs, the book intends to provide working dog owners, clients and trainers a better understanding of the capabilities, needs and limitations of these animals.

The last twenty years have seen an explosion of uses for working dogs. Service dogs are now asked to perform a variety of tasks for people with disabilities. And therapy dogs—once largely seen only at nursing homes—are now used for emotional support and motivation in schools, libraries, courts, universities, hospitals, churches and employee lounges.

The book is planned for release on April 1. For more information about this book or its author, contact Barbara Lewis by email at: [email protected], or by phone at: (405) 224-7715.

Your Pet’s Golden Years

posted February 22nd, 2019 by
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Golden Years

How to Take Care of Your Pet 
in Their Golden Years

by Nick Burton 

Golden Years

Pets can now enjoy longer lives than ever before. Much of their longevity is because of better diets, modern medicine, and improved veterinary care. However, this doesn’t mean that your pet will live a long and happy life all on their own; it takes special care and attention on part of the owner to give them a chance at long-lasting health and well-being. This is particularly true when your pet has reached their golden years. If you have a senior pet, here are some important tips for taking care of them and, possibly, extending their life.

 

Dietary Habits

 

The food and nutrition your pet needs in their later years will change. Healthier snacks (such as apple slices, mini carrots, and other fruits and veggies), lower calorie food, and an increase in omega-3s are common adjustments for senior pets. Also, many pets need antioxidants and joint supplements added to their diet as they age. Each pet is unique, so be sure to consult your veterinarian before radically changing your pet’s diet.

 

Another supplement that can be beneficial for your older pet is CBD oil. This oil can help ease joint inflammation and pain, skin problems, and mental health issues. If you want your pet to thrive in their golden years, check out Remedy Review’s guide to see the top 10 CBD oils of 2019. As with their diet, don’t give your pet a new treatment without consulting your veterinarian.

 

Veterinary Care

 

You’re probably used to annual visits to the vet, but you’ll need to bump that up to twice a year for your senior pet. Medical issues come more often for older pets, and going to the vet every six months will help you stay on top of their health. You can expect appointments to be similar to when your pet was younger, except there will probably be more bloodwork and other tests.

 

Physical Activity

 

Exercise is also vital for your pet’s health, as it helps them to maintain their mobility and keep their weight under control. You still want to get your pet physical activity when they’re older, but you will need to watch them more closely and modify when necessary. For instance, instead of playing fetch in the backyard for 45 minutes, it may be safer to take your aging pet on a walk in the neighborhood for 30 minutes. However, it’s important to not overexert your pet.

 

Managing Parasites

 

Parasites tend to affect senior pets more frequently than younger animals. This is because their immune system becomes weaker over time, which opens them up to health concerns from fleas, ticks, and worms. Fortunately, there are numerous options to prevent parasitic diseases, so ask your vet what the best path is for your pet.

 

Home Modifications

 

Just like with people, home modifications are often necessary for aging pets. For instance, since mobility and joint issues are common among senior pets, it’s sometimes best to keep their living space (bed, food, and water, etc.) downstairs; that way they won’t have to move up and down stairs every day. Here are some other modifications to consider for your senior pet.

 

  • Purchasing a portable ramp (for arthritic pets)
  • Purchasing an orthopedic bed
  • Putting in slip-resistant mats throughout the home
  • Installing a doggy door for easy access to potty outside

 

You can make changes to your pet’s life that will help them thrive in their golden years. Remember to ask your veterinarian for any dietary improvements that can be made, and look into whether CBD oil would be beneficial. Start taking your pet to the vet twice a year, and be sure to monitor their exercise. Finally, take preventative measures for parasitic health issues, and make the necessary home modifications for your pet to live comfortably and happy.

 

Photo Credit: Pexels

Therapy Dog Encourages Learning

posted May 23rd, 2017 by
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Therapy Dog

Therapy Dog Encourages Learning

at Oklahoma School for the Deaf

SULPHUR, Okla. – When Jasmine, the therapy dog, arrived at the Oklahoma School for the Deaf, the students naturally knew what to do. 

They loved her.

Therapy Dog


Jasmine, Oklahoma School for the Deaf’s new therapy dog, is surrounded by fourth grade admirers.

Jasmine and her adult humans, however, still had a few things to learn.

A Labrador-mix breed, Jasmine had been adopted and returned twice to P.A.W.S. animal shelter in Ada, through no fault of her own.

A New Leash on Life, Inc. in Norman selected her to attend 10-weeks of obedience training through their Pen Pals Prison Program at CCA-Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville. 

“We look for dogs that are easy-going, laid back and not bothered by a lot of things for placement as therapy dogs,” Barbara Lewis, A New Leash on Life executive director, explained. “They are homeless dogs, so we try very hard to match them with a working opportunity when they graduate.” 

Oklahoma School for the Deaf Counselor Gayla Jackson and Librarian Lesa Price were approved for a therapy dog in time for the prison trainer to teach basic sign language hand signals for the commands sit, stay and come. 

When Jasmine first arrived, the students gave her a sign name. But she did not want to go upstairs at the school. A New Leash on Life trainers came to OSD to help their therapy dog adjust. After coaxing by a favorite student and a few cheeseburgers, her phobia came to an end. 

“She’s a good therapy dog and a good home dog,” Jackson explained. “Once she got here, I was determined to keep her, whether she worked out as a therapy dog or not.”

Jasmine lives with Jackson after work, on the weekends and vacation breaks. The dog keeps a watchful eye on Jackson most of the time. 

Price, who shares handling responsibilities, takes care of Jasmine in the school library when Jackson is not available during school hours.

“Jasmine calms students down and opens them up – makes them feel comfortable – and she loves coming to work,” she said. “Once she goes past the guard shack, she knows she’s here.”

During the interview, Jasmine happily cuddles with students and then lies down with sigh after the lunch light flashes.

“It’s a great idea to have a therapy dog at the School for the Deaf,” Lewis agreed. “Children and even adults feel more comfortable with dogs as a companion than they do with other people. I think it’s because they are not judgmental and seem to relate to people emotionally.”   

At first, Jackson worried that her two Boston Terriers, who lack formal training, might be a bad influence. 

“The trainer said that it doesn’t work like that,” Jackson explained. “Thank goodness.”

Training continues for Jasmine and Jackson. They are currently enrolled in an obedience class at Canine Sports Academy in Norman soon to be followed with a class to prepare them to take the Canine Good Citizen test. After that, it’s more testing so Jasmine can become certified by Therapy Dog International. 

“I want the kids and adults to know that she actually passed her certification test, and there is nothing to worry about,” Jackson said. “Plus, the trainer is going to work on tricks with her, so the kids can be more engaged with what she does and she can become less attached to me.”

“This summer, I plan to bring her to summer camp, and I’ll probably take her to nursing homes to keep her working until school starts up in the fall,” Jackson said. “She loves working. She loves people. We’ve got this.” 

As the statewide resource center on deafness, OSD offers the ultimate learning environment for deaf and hard of hearing students who meet the same graduation requirements as students in other public schools. In 2016, 240 students lived at the school during the week, commuted from home or attended summer school classes. OSD operates two satellite preschools at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond and the University of Arts and Sciences of Oklahoma in Chickasha. As the statewide resource center for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, OSD provides thousands of free evaluations and direct services each year for students attending local public schools, their families and educators. The school is a division of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

For more information, phone (580) 622-4900 or (888) 685-3333 toll free or visit the website at www.osd.k12.ok.us/.

Shoes & Boots for Dogs…Really!

posted December 12th, 2016 by
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Will Tottle

Fashion Tips for Your Trusted Friend

– Shoes & Boots for Dogs…Really!

 By Will Tottle

We love our dogs, and there is nothing more important than their happiness and well-being. So when we take them out in the rain, many of them end up with cold paws – especially if they have short coats. Some even suffer from allergies to grass and other irritants that are found on the ground, making walking an uncomfortable time for them.

Whether your dog needs something between them and the ground, or you just want them walking in style, there are a pair of shoes or rain boots waiting for your canine companion. Here are the five we consider to be the best.Boots

Mosunx Dog Boots

These adorable booties for dogs are cheap and come in five different sizes, so practically every dog can benefit from a pair of these. They feature a sweet design with a soft inside for your pooch’s comfort.

They are waterproof as well as anti-slip so that even in wet weather your dog will come home with dry paws. The rubber sole offers protection from broken glass, sharp stones, and nails, so walking in urban areas doesn’t need to cause stress. Plus, they are incredibly fashionable.

BootsWaterproof and Reflective Dog Shoes

Perfect for medium and large dogs who suffer from allergies, these boots will ensure their paws stay dry in wet weather, but also have reflective Velcro for safe night time walking. They are ideal for protecting the pads of their paws from hot road surfaces or snow.

The soles are made from thick rubber and are anti-slip so they won’t be falling over everywhere in wet or icy conditions. Plus, it helps protect their paws from broken glass and other sharp debris that might be lying around.

BootsPesp Rain Boots

These adorable rain boots come in a variety of colors and in five sizes that are sure to have your dog looking spectacularly stylish in no time at all. They have a Velcro fastening and are really easy to get on as well as off again.

Ideal for rain and snow, they are also waterproof and anti-slip, which is perfect for winter walks. They are really comfortable for your pet to wear and allow free movement for them while walking. Plus, all the colors will have them looking fab.

BootsDenim Dog Shoes

Want your dog’s style to match yours? What better way than these stylish denim dog shoes. These casual booties fasten with a small shoe lace, so they really will be the most fashionable dog in town. They are made from denim and have a thick rubber sole.

This means they are non-slip, so in wet conditions, they won’t be falling over. They act to keep your dog’s paws clean, comfortable, and protected from sharp debris such as glass or sharp stones. A truly stylish look that comes in two sizes.

BootsPetacc Waterproof Dog Boots

These cute boots from Petacc are made from a tough and durable material that is also waterproof and will prevent your dog from slipping over. They help to keep their paws clean, and the rubber soles protect them from debris and sharp objects.

It has reflective Velcro straps so that your dog is safe at night and passing vehicles can see them. They also feature adorable embroidery that is sure to make an impression on other pet owners. People will be asking you where they can get a pair!

Of course, your dog’s style is important when it comes to walking, but so is yours. It’s important that you, like your canine companion, are wearing the right footwear for the task. When walking out in the winter, spring, or after rain/snow has fallen, a pair of rain boots is ideal. They keep your feet warm, dry, and free from mud so that you can enjoy your walk.

There are some great rain boots out there for you, many of which will have you looking as stylish as your dog. So when you go out walking together, you can do so with pride.

To Conclude

Giving your canine companion a pair of rain boots or shoes can be really beneficial, both in terms of their health (if they suffer from allergies and such) as well as their safety when walking in urban or littered areas. Plus, they leave them looking really stylish and fashionable. So when you’re thinking about what to get your dog, why not a pair of boots?

 

About the Author

Will is a freelance writer, his blog can be seen here . If you are interested in more information on outdoor clothing, footwear and accessories, then check out his ultimate welly boot guides for more details

Follow Will on Facebook or Google+

Will Tottle

Will Tottle

Dog Smells

posted November 13th, 2016 by
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Dog Smells

5 Tips for Getting Rid of Dog Smells

without Expensive Products

5 Tips for Getting Rid of Dog Smells without Expensive Products There are plenty of great things about owning a dog. Companionship, exercise and love toThere are plenty of great things about owning a dog. Companionship, exercise and love to name a few. But one of the downsides is that “doggy” smell that seems to be impossible to remove.

Considering the benefits of owning a dog, most owners are happy to just accept the smell as part of the deal. Dogs don’t hold themselves to the same hygiene standards as humans, so it’s not a surprise they smell a bit! But the good news is that a dog smell doesn’t need to be an unavoidable side-effect of owning a dog, as we’ll see in this article.

What Causes the Dog Smell?

All animals have a natural smell, but the dog version seems to be particularly strong and distinctive. This is mainly because dogs are larger than other indoor domestic animals, which is why cat owners don’t have a similar problem.

The doggy smell is often caused by paw sweat which is carried around the home. The continuous build-up of sweat and bacteria leads to sofas and other furniture starting to smell.

Smells may also be caused by unconscious scent-marking. Don’t worry – this doesn’t involve urinating on the carpet! Dogs naturally produce a smell to mark their territory, and this is often the main culprit when it comes to a lingering smell in your home. Other causes for a dog smell include skin oil, which is why dogs with oily skin often smell more strongly, and ear wax.

In many cases, the smell is simply because your pet is dirty. Dirt provides the perfect environment for odor-releasing bacteria (just like humans).

Tip #1 – Freshen Up Your Upholstery

Furniture is one of the most commonly overlooked sources of a dog smell. Most people don’t vacuum upholstery as often as carpets, which is why the fabric can harbor odors – especially if your pet loves to sleep on the sofa.

 The first step is to remove and wash any covers that can be machine washed. Use a high heat (check the label first though) to quickly get rid of odor-releasing particles.

For parts of the sofa that can’t be machine washed, baking soda can be useful for getting rid of smells. Just sprinkle it over areas you think are particularly smelly and leave for 2-3 hours, before vacuuming up the powder.

Tip #2 – Wash (And Dry) Your Dog More Regularly

The cleaner your dog, the less he is going to smell. When giving your pet a bath, make sure you check the feet and fur for anything he might have stepped or rolled in. Then use a dog shampoo (don’t use regular shampoo) on his entire body.

Once washed, it’s also important to dry your dog thoroughly. Dog hair is a perfect location for bacteria, which also thrives on moist conditions. This is why “wet dog” is such a distinctive smell!

Unfortunately, most dogs hate having baths. You can often make the process more fun for them by providing the occasional treat throughout the process.

Tip #3 – Get Rid of Carpet Smells

Carpets, wood floors and even vinyl can start to smell if not cleaned regularly. In fact, flooring is probably the most common cause of a dog smell that never seems to go away. This is because your dog’s feet picks up all sorts of bacteria on walks, which are then carried into the home.

For this reason, hard floors should be regularly cleaned with an anti-bacterial floor cleaner that’s suitable for the type of material. The goal isn’t to make the floor look clean, although this is a bonus, but to kill bacteria living on the floor.

You can also use the baking soda trick on carpets to clean areas that smell noticeably bad. Sprinkle the powder on the worst areas and leave it overnight.

Note: if your carpets are heavily soiled, you may need to hire a professional carpet cleaner. This can be expensive, but provides a much cleaner starting point to maintain a smell-free home.

Tip #4 – Vacuum Three Times Each Week

Dog hair isn’t the only thing that drops off your pet. Skin particles, bacteria and dirt are all released from your dog – especially when he shakes after a walk.

That’s why it’s a good idea to vacuum at least three times per week. This sounds like a lot, but you’ll be amazed at how much dirt and hair a vacuum with strong suction will remove from your home even when cleaning regularly.

If you own a steam cleaner, the high pressure output can kill bacteria in carpets and on hard floors. Some steam cleaners also come with an upholstery tool, which can be useful for removing stubborn odors from sofas and other furniture.

Tip #5 – Brush Your Pooch’s Teeth

Finally, bad dog breath is another common source of unwanted odors. The best way to solve this is to regularly clean your dog’s teeth.

Admittedly, many dogs hate having their teeth cleaned. If your pet won’t let you clean his teeth, you can try treats that clean while the dog chews them. These aren’t as effective as a proper toothbrush though.

Summary

An unpleasant smell doesn’t need to be an unavoidable consequence of owning a dog. By following the tips in this post, you can get rid of the dog smell and make your home smell fresh and inviting.

While it’s a good idea to follow all the tips in this post, the most important is keeping your upholstery and carpets as clean as possible. These are reservoirs of bacteria that cause your home to smell, so cleaning them can have a big effect on odors.

- Andrew Webster

Pets and Kids

posted October 16th, 2016 by
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Grooming

Pets and Kids

Pets and kids can be an amazing combination.  They can also be a disastrous combination when safety measures aren’t taken.  Here are some tips to ensure your kids and pets are the perfect pair:

~Teach your children from an early age not to pull on the ears or tails of animals.  They should also never pinch or squeeze them, or make loud noises.  Teach them to never disturb a dog while it is sleeping, eating or playing with its favorite toy.  

~Teach your child to never approach strange dogs or animals.  Always ask the owner if they can pet the animal first. 

~Never allow your child to reach through a fence to pet a dog or to tease a dog through a fence. 

~Don’t allow pets to lick your child’s face and do your best to keep animals out of a child’s face all together.

~Teach your child to be polite and kind to animals.  Don’t let them do anything to an animal you wouldn’t allow them to do to another child. 

Teaching your child to respect animals allows them the opportunity to have some amazing experiences and possibly even develop a best friend for life!