We’ve been entertaining the idea of getting a third dog. Since our beloved Shepherd-Husky died, life in the house has a little hole in it. The hole is big enough for another dog, but I’m not sure how Willie and Suzie will handle the addition. They have been the kings of the house and are sometimes feisty when other dogs come to visit. I’ve researched some tips to getting that third dog.
How to Introduce a New Dog to the Pack
Dogs form their own society with you and with each other. Status within the group changes as dogs mature and age. This “dominance hierarchy” establishes order and promotes cooperation among members, who soon learn their place in the canine order.
Here are actions you can take to help a newcomer transition smoothly into its new pack.
Introduce the dogs one at a time, so that the pack doesn’t gang up on the newcomer.
Introduce the dogs on neutral territory that’s unfamiliar to all members of the pack, like a neighbor’s yard. That way, the dogs will be less likely to view each other as territorial intruders.
Keep each dog on a leash with a separate handler during introductions. If a ruckus erupts, handlers can separate the dogs, let them cool off, and try again.
Use a calm, happy voice when introducing dogs for the first time. Let them briefly sniff each other, then issue an easy command like sit, and reward their attentive compliance with a treat. Do that often during the first visit, so the dogs begin associating the new pack member with pleasant things.
Beware of aggressive body posture. If one of the dogs bares teeth, growls or stares for long time, then bad things are likely to happen. Interrupt the negative energy immediately by distracting the dogs with commands followed by treats. Then, try again, but for a shorter time.
It is generally recommended that cats remain indoors. Safety is the key issue, as cats are vulnerable to attacks from wildlife and may not be able to adequately defend themselves. Kittywalk Systems creates a wide variety of outdoor enclosures for cats and small dogs. They felt that cats deserve to experience the outdoors, but in a safe environment.
You can turn your deck, patio or yard into a funhouse. The Kittywalk pet enclosures have a variety of components that you mix and match to suit your needs. They fit together, sort of like a puzzle, and can be vast or just a small resting place with a good view.
Kittywalk uses durable materials to construct their pet enclosures, like rip-stop netting, solid steel poles and weather-resistant canvas. Their goal has been to make their products able to stand up to varied climates.
We love our cats, they are so entertaining, curious and busy! What makes them so special? Have you ever been licked by your kitty? They have barbs on their tongue and this is why their tongue is not very smooth and wet. The rear-facing protrusions help cats lap up water and snag the last morsel of food from the bowl. The barbs also help cats remove loose patches of fur or dead skin from their bodies.
Cats can right themselves when falling. This is a vestibular reflex that reportedly kicks in during a fall from one foot or higher. A 1987 study documented that cats were able to survive a fall from 7 stories high.
Cats have the largest eyes of any mammal relative to their size. Cats can see with only one-sixth of the amount of light humans can for two reasons: They have more rods in their retinas than we do, and they have a tapetum lucidum, which is a reflective layer of tissue at the back of the eye that creates that unusual glow at night.
Have you ever tried to decipher the meaning of the ingredients listed in dog food? For example, what does “meat” mean? Dog Food ingredients are overseen by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. There are many problems, however, with pet food manufacturers using misleading labels to describe their food. The goal is to make you believe their food is really healthy for your dog.
Many vets recommend choosing a high quality dog food, despite the high price tag. Better quality foods will contain more easily digestible proteins. The easier the ingredients are to digest, the better for your dog’s health. High quality foods will have meat, chicken or fish listed as one of the first three ingredients. Lower quality foods will be vegetable-based and have ingredients that are far more difficult for your dog to digest. For example, oats, wheat and corn are harder to digest than egg whites, muscle meats and organ meats.
Dog food ingredients are listed according to the weight of the ingredient in descending order. Some manufacturers will use “ingredient splitting.” This means that even though corn may be the main ingredient, it will be broken up into 4 different types of ingredients that are related to corn. This way they can appear further down on the list and it may mislead the consumer to believe a healthier ingredient is more prominent in the food.
It is well-known that dogs, and other pets, can help lower your blood pressure, encourage recovery from heart disease and create a general sense of positive self-esteem. Several people are testing out these theories by using animals as therapists.
For example, the Paws for Purple Hearts program is being piloted at the VA in Palo Alto, CA. This program is helping returning veterans heal from psychological wounds by making them responsible for training service dogs. These dogs will then serve other veterans with combat-related injuries. Psychiatrists believe that the veterans who train the dogs are receiving positive reinforcement from eager-to-please Golden Retrievers in the form of licks and nudges. This positive reinforcement then helps boost the self-esteem of the veterans that has been shattered by combat experiences.
Another program is taking place at the Harvard Medical School library. A Shih-Tzu named Cooper is the resident therapy dog. Anyone can essentially check him out by visiting him in his office in 30 minute increments. Cooper’s office is equipped with chew toys, food, water and his bed. Cooper’s very calm demeanor helps reduce anxiety in the “patients” who come to him for comfort, a good cry, or a game of tug-of-war.
There are many negatives to allowing your cat to roam freely outdoors:
Your cat might get injured or killed by other cats, dogs, wild animals or vehicles.
Your cat might become a nuisance to neighbors by digging up plants, fighting with other animals or going to the bathroom in gardens.
If your cat is not spayed or neutered then it is likely that a lot of kittens will be born and end up in shelters.
Many cats do long to go outside, but this is generally frowned upon by most animal behaviorists. A simple solution to getting your cat some fresh air is to get a pet stroller.
KittyWalk is a company that specifically created pet strollers for cats. Each of the strollers in their line has a removable pet carrier. Having a detachable carrier is convenient for trips to the vet. You won’t have to take your cat out of the carrier until you return home from your trip.
You might first think of the Labrador and the Golden Retriever as being the best choices for great family dogs, but there are many other fantastic dog breeds that you may not have considered.
If you have an active, activity-oriented family, then a Beaglemight just be the perfect dog for you. Beagles are friendly, durable, and are rarely too tired to play.
If you live in a townhouse or in an urban setting, the Papillon is a great choice. Papillons are lovable, energetic, highly intelligent and eager to please their owners. They aren’t just pretty lap dogs, they are true family companions.
For families with small, active children, the Bulldog is a good pick. Bulldogs love to roughhouse with kids. This is a loyal, friendly dog that will adapt well to either apartment or house living.
If a large dog is your desire, then the Newfoundland should be at the top of your family’s list. The Newfoundland has a natural love for children and is protective of its family members. It enjoys a lot of space, rather than apartment living, and will give you all the love you like! This breed does tend to drool and shed a lot, but its wonderful personality will trump all things unpleasant.
The Vizsla is a beautiful, short-haired, medium-sized dog. This breed is great for energetic children, because the Vizsla regularly loves a good walk. This Hungarian dog is gentle, loyal and quiet and affectionate. This dog loves to spend most of its time being close to family members.
My son said to me the other day, “I’m as sick as a dog” while someone else commented that it was “raining cats and dogs.” These idioms are a part of everyday conversation and I thought I’d look into some of them a little further.
Every dog has its day
John Heywood recorded this proverb in the 1562 edition of Proverbs and Epigrams and Shakespeare used it in Hamlet, 1603:
Let Hercules himself do what he may, The cat will mew and dog will have his day.
This phrase implies that every person would have a period of power or influence in life.
As sick as a dog
This one reminds me of my own dog, who used to go out into our compost pile and have a feast. We didn’t know what he was doing until he started coming into the house and throwing up a few nights in a row! Dogs do often eat anything they can find and it doesn’t always agree with their system. This phrase dates back to the 17th century. Oh, and my son was definitely as sick as a dog!
Lead a dog’s life
Long ago, dogs were not considered to be the beloved family members they are now. To lead a dog’s life meant you had a miserable existence. More recently, we like to use the phrase when we are sure someone has the ideal life. Dogs lie around, take frequent naps, get served their food and go outside for some exercise everyday.
It’s raining cats and dogs
There isn’t any clear documentation on the origin of this phrase. One popular theory is that thunderstorms create havoc, and are loud and furious. Animals falling from the sky may have just been compared to these fierce storms for nonsensical humor value.
People have been arguing for many years over whether dogs are smarter than cats and vice versa. It’s difficult to compare two species when they were created to excel in different areas. Cats are more adept at manipulating objects with their paws, while dogs are more mobile and able to quickly move from one place to another. It’s like comparing apples and oranges.
In the 1970’s, an alternative measure of animal intelligence was created by a psychologist named Harry J Jerison. He called it the Encephalization Quotient, or EQ. It is a sophisticated mathematical comparison of the actual brain weight of an animal compared to the expected brain mass for that animal’s body size. This reconciles for the fact that bigger animals tend to have bigger brains and moves the question to one of whether the animal has a larger or smaller brain size than what we would expect for an animal with its body mass.
So, if we go by the EQ, the smartest animals on the planet are humans, followed by great apes, porpoises and elephants. Dogs are not too far behind elephants, while cats, horses, sheep and mice fall much farther down the list.
The degree of socialness is also an important factor when considering the intelligence of an animal. Animals that live in social groups are more intelligent than animals who live alone. The main reason for this is that animals have to engage in problem-solving behavior when they are interacting in groups. We know that dogs are much more social than cats and dogs must engage in more complex behaviors than do cats.
More recent research done by Suzanne Shultz and Robin Dunbar at Oxford University suggests that the intelligence in dogs has grown even greater since its domestication. As pets, dogs must learn a whole new set of demands when learning to interact with humans. This may suggest that dogs will just continue to increase the intelligence gap between themselves and cats.
There are so many benefits to owning a dog, including feeling less stress, having a deep sense of responsibility and being unconditionally loved. Many of us leave our dogs at home for 8 or more hours each day. We miss them and they are lonely. So, it seems to make a lot of sense that having your dog with you throughout your work day would be nothing but beneficial.
It is likely that companies where pets are allowed have workers with lower levels of stress. If stress levels are lower, chances are workers are more productive.
Having a dog at the office probably means you are getting out a few times during the day to take your dog for a walk. Walking promotes the general health of the worker as well as the pet. A healthier worker may mean fewer missed days and higher productivity.
Companies such as Google, Amazon and Ben and Jerry’s have allowed workers to bring their pets to the office for years. They believe that people work together better when a pet is present. Pets, especially dogs, have the ability to bring about conversation and create a positive work environment.