Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Adopting Older Dogs: "Love Has No Age Limit"

Just listened to a great program on the Diane Rehm show about adopting older dogs. Her guest was Patricia McConnell, a well-known author and animal behaviorist, who believes in the powers of positive reinforcement.

McConnell's newest book is "Love Has No Age Limit," and is all about the joys of adopting an older dog.

I know several people who happily adopted older dogs. One was my neighbor who adopted a 7-year-old mixed breed, her first dog. Chance led a happy, healthy life for 11 more years! Another adopted two Swedish Valhunds at 9 years of age. The two walk miles each day and still compete in agility trials.

My two Havanese are now 7 and 11 years old. I never really actively trained them very much beyond "sit", and was curious about "teaching old dogs new tricks." So I decided to try out some sit-stay-come stuff and was amazed how quickly they caught on and how well they retain it. Even Riley, the 11-year-old. I'm thinking of enrolling them in a class--just for fun.

McConnell is also the author of a number of other books, including "The Other End of the Leash," which I own, read and love.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pooches Pool Party

Once again, the Roger Carter Center is opening up its pool for the doggy swim event of the year! This has been a tradition for several years now. It's held only once a year, on the weekend after Labor Day, just before the pools close for the season.The cost is $10 per dog, and there are 2 sessions to choose from:

Session 1: 10am-11:30am
Session 2: 1pm-2:30pm
    Rain date is Sunday, September 11, same times.
Humans are are welcome to swim along with their dogs. There will be a door prize basket raffle and all pooches will receive a doggy gift bag, courtesy of Howard County Recreation and Parks.

You must register in advance in order to attend. Here's how:
Call: 410-313-7275

Click:, You will need to make an account, then click on the "View Activities" button. Search term: 3003.501 for first session or 3003.502 for second session to quickly find by activity name.
Walk in: Howard County Recreation and Parks, 7120 Oakland Mills Rd, Columbia

Here are the rules:
  • No person under 12 admitted.
  • No charge for people/ handlers, but must be 18 & up.
  • No more than one dog per handler.
  • Fee: $10 (includes for one dog accompanied by a maximum of two handlers.
  • Dog must be licensed. (Call 410-313-2455 for licensing info.)
  • Limit 75 dogs per session.
  • Pets must remain on leash until they arrive inside pool gates.
  • Human participants may be asked to pass a brief swimming test to swim in the deep end of the pool.
  • Come dressed to swim if you plan to enter the pool with your dog.
  • Kiddie pool available for small dogs.
  • Changing rooms available.
  • Lifeguards will be on duty.
  • Pool safety and health rules will be enforced.
  • Please curb your canine before entering the pool; "accidents" may result in pool closure.
  • Pool will be cleared and cleaned between sessions.
  • All off-leash dogpark rules apply. Visit the website for rules and dog park information.  
Roger Carter Recreation Center
3676 Fels Lane
Ellicott City, MD

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Dog Day on the Bay

    Saturday, August 20
    10 am - 2 pm

    Friends of Downs Park is sponsoring its 2nd annual Dog Day on the Bay event, featuring games, demonstrations, contests, raffles, a Hawaiian doggie costume contest, and tables and booths set up by dog- friendly exhibitors.

    Tickets at the door are $5 for each dog. Proceeds will benefit Downs Park, Downs Park Dog Beach and a Dog Rescue Organization (will be chosen by raffle from registered Rescue Organizations).

    Visit the event's website page for more details, a registration form, and a list of participating exhibitors.

    Thanks, Nicole, for sharing this!

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Ask the Vet: Is a Raw Meat Diet a Good Idea?

    Guest post by Dr. Scott Sanderson

    Q. Do you think that feeding raw is the best way to feed our pets? Thanks. - Brit

    A.  What a great question! The answer is not so simple. I feed my pets raw meat only, and I have done so for years. Many of my clients also feed their pets raw food. I believe animals are healthiest when they eat the ancestral wolf diet as fresh and moist as possible. Many people think there are inherent health risks in handling and feeding raw meaty bones, but I have not found this to be true.

    That being said, not all dogs can eat a raw diet! This is where it gets complicated. For a great internet resource, go to the Yahoo group for of RawPaws. 

    Here are a few tips:
    • You must properly balance Phosphorous (P) and Calcium (Ca) when feeding raw. P comes from proteins and Ca comes from bones.
    • NEVER feed your pet cooked bones. Never.
    • Transition your pet from a dry/canned food diet to a raw diet. It may take the use of supplements and time.
    • Do your research first.
    • Grassfed meat is far healthier than grain fed meat.
    • If you cant feed raw and want to cook for you pet, I have a great recipe for that too!
    • You are what you eat, and your dog is what you feed it!

    Got a pet-related health question? Use this form to Ask the Vet. Scott Sanderson DVM runs the Animal Wellness Center in Columbia, MD and is a sponsor of Columbia Dogs on the Go. He is a certified Veterinary Acupuncturist and has completed training in the Nambudripad Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET). Dr. Sanderson is a member of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncturists, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Animal Hospital Association. He is a local resident of Howard County, and a past president of the Howard County Veterinary Medical Association.