Sunday, October 28, 2012


You've heard Helpful Buckeye say many times before that the Halloween holiday period is one of the most dangerous for pets.  There are many reasons for this...frightened dogs getting loose from their owners, either when walking or going out the front door; dogs getting into all the piles of candy and treats being offered; and dogs getting tangled up in their costumes or their costumes catching on fire.  The Humane Society of the United States annually reminds us that this is also the time of the year at which the most dogs become lost from their owners.  Pay attention to these warnings!  Your dog's life may depend on it!

Since we're also talking about different breeds of dogs this week, how about a topical quiz?  You've all heard about The Hound of the Baskervilles, one of the first Sherlock Holmes mysteries by Arthur Conan Doyle.  What breed was this particular hound?  The answer will show up at the end of this issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats.

Halloween: Frightening Time for Pets

With Halloween just a week away the Humane Society for Shelter Pets is offering America’s pet owners some safety tips to ensure this Halloween is truly spooktacular.
 ■Costumes are scary to pets, whether worn by familiar people, strangers, or even pets themselves. The National Retail Federation found that over 15% of people are planning to dress up their animals this Halloween. If you can’t stand leaving Fido out of the family costume, make sure to avoid pet costumes that include hats, masks, or shoes. The American Veterinary Medical Association reminds owners not to leave costumed pets unattended.
■Most people are aware that chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but hard candies and other sweets containing the ingredient Xylitol, commonly found in gums and mints, can also pose a health risk to your pet. Often in the excitement and chaos of Halloween night, these dangerous treats may be left within easy reach of curious canine noses. As with all human food make sure your candy is placed out of reach of your pet.
■Dogs are not the only pets known to stick their noses and mouths where they don’t belong. Due to their curious nature, cats can’t help but be attracted to glow sticks and shiny costume jewelry. While not usually life-threatening, treating a glow stick as a chew toy can result in mouth pain and irritation, and lead to excessive drooling and foaming. The Pet Poison Helpline suggests you attempt to wash as much of the chemical off of the fur as you can, as self-grooming can contribute to further poisoning. If left in reaching distance, cheap costume jewelry can also become a major choking hazard for both dogs and cats. 
According to the National Retail Federation, 170 million people plan to celebrate Halloween this year. With so many families participating in All Hallow’s Eve festivities, it’s important to take this opportunity to talk about pet safety.
With every human celebration there are opportunities for lapses in household security resulting in ghastly accidents or devilish escapes.
Strangers stopping by in ghoulish costumes can cause plenty of anxiety, while parties offer access to large amounts of food and candy. Although only pigs and dogs, and a certain two-legged animal, seem to be at the greatest risk for overindulging, it’s worth considering a few ways to batten down the hatches and protect pets from mishap.
Adapted from:

Keeping Your Dog Safe on Halloween

Ghosts and goblins. Witches and warlocks. Creepy crawlies. Not to mention Batmen, fairy princesses, and space aliens. For kids – and be honest – plenty of grownups, too, Halloween is a time when silliness gets a chance to shine. But for the dog of the house – or a cat or bird – the holiday can be a nuisance: A nightmare of doorbells that never stop ringing, loud noises in the night and too many strangers. For a cat – especially black ones – the haunted holiday can be downright lethal.

"Halloween can be just as dangerous as other holidays, even if it lasts just one night," said Ruth First, a spokesperson for the ASPCA. "After all, lots can happen in one night."

"We see substantially more pets than usual in the emergency room around the holiday, due to vomiting and diarrhea," says Debra Primovic, a veterinarian at the Animal Emergency Clinic in St. Louis.  "Most of these cases are due to the animals getting into the kids' Halloween bags when nobody's around and getting into the chocolate."  Here's how to keep your pet safe through a night of ghouls and goblins.

Safe At Home

• This is a night to keep your pet close by your side.  Don't leave a dog tied up in the yard alone and say no to a cat who normally goes out on his own for a ramble.  Animals have been teased, stolen, injured – even killed – by trick-or-treaters carried away by the excesses of the holiday.

• Keep your dog or the cat in a room away from the front door with plenty of fresh water and a familiar blanket.   It may sound unsociable, but too many strangers in weird costumes can scare an animal.  You don't want your dog to charge the door every time you open it – nor do you want the cat slinking out on the heels of the trick-or-treaters.

• The best idea is to leave your dog home when you go out trick-or-treating.   But if you can't resist, use a short leash to keep him from fighting with other animals or biting strangers out on the prowl.   If you're out after dark, use a reflective leash or flashing safety collar so drivers can easily spot him.

• If you decorate your house with Halloween lights, make sure wires are secured out of the way so your pet doesn't trip on them or chew them.   Cats, birds and dogs are all naturally inquisitive and are likely to try to explore with their paws, mouths or beaks.   Also, make sure all decorations don't have loose or sharp parts that can snag a tail or wound a paw.

• Don't leave a lighted jack o' lantern unattended around pets.   One exuberant swish of a tail can start a fire – or a quick sniff can burn a whisker.

• Make sure your pet is collared and tagged with your name, address and phone number – just in case he manages to get out.

Tricks and Treats

• Don't put a pet in a costume unless he or she seems to like it. Many animals stress out when you dress them up.  If you do put your pet in fancy dress, make sure it's safe: no constricting details that can obstruct hearing, movement, breathing or sight.  Even the friendliest of animals can get snappy if they can't see or hear what's going on.  If the costume attaches with rubber bands, make sure you remove them when you take off the suit.  Otherwise, they can quickly work their way into the animal's skin. Also note that cats find rubber bands almost irresistible.  Make sure the cat can't chew on them or swallow them; if ingested they can be life-threatening and require expensive surgery to remove them.

• Halloween candy is not for pets: Chocolate is toxic for cats and dogs.  Lollipop and candy-apple sticks can get stuck in an animal's throat or perforate the stomach or bowels; candy wrappers can cause obstruction and irritation to the digestive system.  Make sure the kids know not to share their hoard, and keep the stash in a place the animals can't get to.
Adapted from:[T]&

Things Pets Hate About Halloween

Many of us love Halloween. Do our pets love it too?  Well, some do and some don't.  Here are some top things that pets hate – from the mouths of pets themselves.

Doorbells.  That darn doorbell rings and rings.  My owners answer it and then it rings again. I get excited, I bark and they yell at me.  I don't get it.

Scary Costumes.  Ugly, evil-looking things come to the door, and they get something.  I don't know what they get, but I'm sure it's tasty.  The whole ritual is scary and just plain odd.  Why do they do that?  If I did something like that they would haul me off to the "funny farm."

Screaming Kids.  If the noise and the costumes aren't bad enough, there are screaming kids to contend with.  Screaming children chanting little rhymes that only a mother must be able to admire.

I Don't Get Treats.  On top of it all, there is an abundance of candy going from hand to hand, chocolate, candy bars, and goodies that make a real dog drool.  And I don't get any.  None.  Stingy people.

They Ignore ME.  I am there – barking and doing my dog thing – and no one pays any attention to me.  I try to join in on the fun but they keep telling me to go away.  With all these new people here at this Halloween party, a dog /cat has lots of sniffing to do.  I need to get to know these people to make sure they are safe for my family.

Black Cats.  This holiday is a real bummer if you are a black cat.  I have never done anything bad and some people think there is some demon quality in me during Halloween.  They seem like the demons for considering that myth.


Weird Music and Sounds.  People play the most ridiculous music – makes me want to howl.

Jack-O-lanterns and Candles.  Weird shadows on walls and total ambiance of ghostliness.  It would not surprise me if Casper came out of the walls and said boo!
Adapted from:

Different people...different lifestyles and preferences...different types of dogs...where do you fit in?

Top Pets to Fit Your Lifestyle
By: Alex Lieber

You work the swing shift at the factory and return home early in the morning. Not quite ready to sleep, you rouse your dog for some quality-time play, but he looks at you with red, bleary eyes. It's obvious he's just feigning excitement – he'd much rather dream of chasing Frisbees than actually do it.
Several hours later, Scruffy is rested and ready to play in the sunshine, but you've adopted something of a vampire's lifestyle. That big, bright interrogation lamp we call the sun is just too harsh at midday. Your lifestyles are definitely out of sync.
If you're thinking about getting a pet, one of the first things to consider is your lifestyle. Pets have deep, emotional needs just like people. While this does not mean you have to listen to the relationship woes of your friends, it does mean you should have the time to bond with your pet.
Where you live is of course a major factor in your decision. A condo or apartment building may not allow dogs, for instance, and you shouldn't flout the rules by bringing one in. You may be forced to choose between moving or giving up your pet. Unfortunately, many people choose to give up their pet to a shelter, where there is little chance he or she can be adopted before being euthanized. You can learn more about the animal issues of where you live by reading Home versus Apartment Living.
It is far better to choose a type of pet that fits your lifestyle. This may mean selecting a companion other than a dog,  cat or some other relatively high-maintenance pet. Fortunately, there is a world of options out there that can allow you to mesh your lifestyle with that of an appropriate companion. The following list is far from all-inclusive, but it may give some ideas of the things you should consider.
Night Owls
If you work the graveyard shift or just like to stay active at night and sleep all day, a dog is a poor choice for a pet. When you're up and active, his canine body clock is chiming that it's time to hit the hay. When you're in sweet REM sleep, he's ready to go.
For night people, consider the following species:
• Cats. They own the night. Cats power nap an average of 16 hours out of the 24, and particularly enjoy playing at night, as any first-time kitten owner will have discovered. Cats are also much more self-sufficient than dogs and are also ideal indoor pets.
• Rabbits. These quiet and unobtrusive pets can have a temper if you try to handle them during the day, when they normally sleep. Rabbits are at their best in the morning or late in the evening, which may fit your night owl habits.
• Gerbils, hamsters and hedgehogs. These small mammals are generally active at night.
• Fish.
Revolving Roommates
The first question you should ask a prospective roommate is whether he or she likes dogs, cats, birds, etc. Be cautious and ask follow-up questions about his or her experience with pets: Many people say they like pets because they are desperate for a room. Only later do you find out they really can't stand the sight of your pet. Always ask for references from prospective roommates.
The revolving roommate phenomenon can be hard on some dogs, so you may want to wait until you have a stable living situation before getting a canine.
• Cats. Your cat may or may not like new people entering or leaving her home, but so long as her personal space is not affected this shouldn't be a problem. Your prospective roommate may need some patience though; cats want to explore all of their domain, including your roommate's room.
• Canaries, finches, budgies and most small mammals. These are generally unaffected by changing roommates.
• Reptiles. Generally reptiles will not notice, although your iguana may get a little nervous around new people.
• Fish. They won't even notice, unless your roommate overfeeds or harasses them.
Singles Only
If you're single, live alone and work a regular 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule, the world is your oyster in terms of selecting the right pet. But there is another factor to consider: If you are looking for a relationship, your pet may have something to say in your choice of mates.
• Dogs. Your lifestyle was made for a dog. With so many choices, you need only to select the right breed to fit your lifestyle: active, laid back, or that comfortable place in between.
• Cats. This pet just seems to come up in every category, but there is no denying that cats are relatively low maintenance. Self-sufficient and independent, they ask only for some love (on their terms), a warm place near or on you, fresh water, litter and good food. You should look for the breed that fits your own personality. A domestic shorthair or longhair is laid-back, while an Abyssinian is very active. A Siamese will prove affectionate, but they can be quite vocal.
• Ferrets. A ferret is like a perpetual kitten – they're always ready to play. They rate somewhere between the demands of a dog and the independence of a cat, which may be perfect for your lifestyle. However, they will get destructive if left alone too long. If you're the type that likes to travel, better pass on the ferret.
• Small mammals. Gerbils, hamsters, etc. are also good pets for the single life.
• Birds.
Frequent Travelers
Leaving your pet for a weekend getaway doesn't mean you're leaving behind your responsibilities. If you take frequent trips, either for pleasure or business, you should ask whether your lifestyle has room for a pet. Leaving means making sure all your pet's needs are met, physical and emotional.
Dogs, cats, birds, ferrets and many small mammals are poor choices if you're not around. These animals bond with their human caregivers and suffer from their prolonged absence. However, there are some animals that can do well, provided they are well cared for:
• Rats and mice. These rodents do fine on their own, if they have others of their own species and sex to play with.
• Fish. Again, finding the right pet sitter is crucial. Many fish die from the "good neighbor" syndrome – chronic overfeeding.
• Reptiles.
• Small birds such as canaries and finches. These do well as long as they have the company of their own species. Single birds do not do well alone, however.
Adapted from:

Choosing the Right Dog for You
The problem with adopting a dog from an animal shelter? The selection of available canine companions can overwhelm you!  Man's best friends come in all shapes, sizes, and—of course—personalities.  While almost any shelter dog can make a wonderful, lifelong companion for you and your family, some of those bundles of energy will make less appropriate pets for you than others.

The key is knowing what to look for. Here are a few things to think about:
What's your lifestyle?
Choosing the right dog generally means identifying the type of animal who matches your lifestyle. If you live alone in a small, third-floor apartment, for instance, adopting a large, active retriever-mix might not be the best choice. Conversely, if you have a family of four and are looking for a companion to match your active lifestyle, such an animal may be perfect. A dog's size, exercise requirements, friendliness, assertiveness, and compatibility with children should all figure into your decision.

Breeds and mixes
How do you find out which dogs have the qualities you're looking for? Information is the key: learn about various breeds, visit with animals at the shelter, and speak with an adoption counselor for guidance.
Dogs fall into one of two categories: purebreds or mixed breeds. Most animal shelters have plenty of both. The only significant difference between the two is that purebreds, because their parents and other ancestors are all members of the same breed, are similar to a specific "breed standard." This means that if you adopt a purebred puppy, you have a good chance of knowing about how big he'll get and what general physical and behavioral characteristics he'll have.
Mixed breeds
Of course, the size, appearance, and temperament of most mixed breed dogs can be predicted as well. After all, mixed breeds are simply combinations of different breeds. So if you know the ancestry of a particular mixed-breed puppy or can identify what type of dog he is (e.g., terrier mix), you have a good chance of knowing how he'll turn out, too.

Mixed breeds offer several advantages over purebreds. When you adopt a mixed breed, you benefit from the combined traits of two or more breeds. You also get a dog who's likely to be free of genetic defects common to certain purebred dogs. Mixed breeds, in fact, are often considered the more "natural" dog. When you adopt a mixed breed, you adopt a unique companion.
Visit with shelter animals
While you're at the shelter, keep in mind that it is a stressful place for any animal. Quite often, a dog's true colors won't show until he's away from other animals and the shelter environment. So even if you walk past a kennel with a dog who isn't vying for your attention, don't count him out. He may just be a little scared or lonely.
An adoption counselor can help you select canines who will match your lifestyle. When you spend time with each animal, consider the following questions:
 How old is the dog? You may want to select a puppy as your new companion. However, young dogs usually require much more training and supervision than more mature dogs. If you lack the time or patience to housetrain your pup or to correct problems like chewing and jumping, an adult dog may be a better choice.
How shy or assertive is the dog? Although an active, bouncy dog might catch your eye, a quieter or more reserved dog might be a better match if you don't have a particularly active lifestyle.
How good is the animal with children? Learning about a dog's past through a history sheet or from an adoption counselor can be helpful, but past information isn't always available. In general, an active dog who likes to be touched and is not sensitive to handling and noise is a dog who will probably thrive in a house full of kids. Also keep in mind that puppies younger than four months of age, because of their fragility and special needs, often won't be adopted out to families with young children.
Choose a pal for life
 Every dog in the shelter can provide you with boundless love and companionship, and every dog certainly deserves a lifelong home. But some dogs are better for you and your lifestyle than others. That's why you should take the time to make a thoughtful choice. After all, you're choosing a pal likely to be with you 10 to 15 years—or even longer. Select the right dog, and you and your new companion will enjoy those years to the fullest.
Adapted from:

Like Dog, Like Owner: What Breeds Say About

Extroverted Pups
Pastoral and utility breeds score highest on extroversion.
What is extroversion? An extrovert is someone who is outgoing, talkative and the "life of the party."
Representative Breeds: Pastoral breeds include collies, sheepdogs, heelers and corgis. Utility breeds include Dalmatians, bulldogs, poodles, schnauzers and sharpeis.
Famous Owners: Actor Adam Sandler owns a bulldog, as did Winston Churchill. Actor Chris Evans owns a German Shepherd. The Queen of England owns a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.
Agreeable Breeds
Gundog and toy breed owners are highest on agreeableness.
What is agreeableness? Agreeableness is a trait that makes people easy to get along with. Agreeable people sympathize with others, care about their feelings and try to make other people feel at ease.
Representative breeds: Gundogs include spaniels and retrievers of all sorts, as well as setters, pointers and Weimaraners. Toy dogs include Yorkshire terriers, Pomeranians, Chihuahuas
Famous owners: Gwyneth Paltrow owns a Labrador retriever, and Jennifer Aniston owns a golden retriever. Sir Isaac Newton owned a Pomeranian, and Paris Hilton owns multiple Chihuahuas.
Conscientious Canines
Utility dog owners are the most conscientious.
What is conscientiousness? People who are conscientious are dutiful and self-disciplined. They like order and schedules.
Representative breeds: Utility breeds include Dalmatians, bulldogs, poodles, schnauzers, Shar Peis, chow-chows and Boston terriers. Famous owners: Mariah Carey owns a Shih Tzu, part of this category. Warren G. Harding owned a Boston terrier, as did Gerald Ford and Helen Keller. Martha Stewart owns and shows chow-chows.
A Mark of Stability
Hound dog owners have the highest emotional stability.
What is emotional stability? It's the opposite of neuroticism, a trait marked by anxiety. Irritation and stress. People low in neuroticism are calm, cool and collected.
Representative breeds: Rhodesian ridgebacks, foxhounds, beagles, dachshunds, whippets and greyhounds.
Famous owners: George Washington owned a foxhound. Lyndon B. Johnson owned a beagle. Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas owns two dachshunds.
Creative Spirits
Toy dog owners are the most open.
What is openness: People with open personalities are intelligent, open to new experiences and appreciative of art.
Representative breeds: Toy dogs include Yorkshire terriers, Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, Pekingese and pugs.
Famous owners: Fashion designer Valentino owns a pug. Natalie Portman, Paris Hilton, Alyson Hannigan and Lindsay Lohan all own Yorkies.
Traits of a Terrier
Terrier owners score high in agreeableness and openness.
What are agreeableness and openness? Agreeableness is a trait that makes people easy to get along with. Agreeable people sympathize with others, care about their feelings and try to make other people feel at ease. People with open personalities are intelligent, open to new experiences and appreciative of art.
Representative breeds: Bull terriers, calm terriers, border terriers and Staffordshire bull terriers.
Famous owners: Simon Cowell owns a calm terrier. Late conservationist Steve Irwin owned a Staffordshire bull terrier, as does action star Vin Diesel.
Agreeable and Open
Working dog owners are high in agreeableness and openness.

What are agreeableness and openness? Agreeableness is a trait that makes people easy to get along with. Agreeable people sympathize with others, care about their feelings and try to make other people feel at ease. People with open personalities are intelligent, open to new experiences and appreciative of art.
Representative breeds: Portuguese water dogs, Great Danes, Rottweilers, mastiffs, St. Bernards and boxers.
Famous owners: Justin Timberlake owns a boxer. President Obama owns a Portuguese water dog. Jim Carey owns a Great Dane and Will Smith owns a Rottweiler.
Adapted from:

Top Watch Dogs – Breeds That Protect the

For centuries, dogs have been employed as living alarms and guards. Their protective nature made them ideal to alert a family that something strange was amiss. Along with being a companion, dogs can and do still perform watch dog roles.
Watch dogs are not the same as guard dogs. A watch dog alerts their owners when strangers approach, but they do not usually attack. A good watch dog doesn't have to be big or aggressive; he or she just has to possess a strong bark that lets the family know someone is approaching the house.  Often, just hearing the bark deters would-be intruders. A guard dog can do the same, but is also large enough to intimidate and, if necessary, attack an intruder.  Almost any dog that barks when something unusual happens can serve as a watch dog, but some breeds are better known for their natural watch dog abilities. These include:
American Eskimo. Descended from the German "Spitz" line of dogs, the American Eskimo was bred from ancient times to watch over people and property. The Eskimo is a small- to medium-sized dog that bonds closely with family, and tends to distrust strangers.
Boston terrier. Small, muscular and compact, the Boston terrier is one of the few truly American breeds. They are gentle, friendly dogs that are protective of family and home. Most have a good bark to alert people when strangers approach.
Chihuahua. The Chihuahua is a small dog with a big bark. He or she will bark vigorously, as if they are trying to make up for being just 6 to 9 inches tall and weighing under 5 pounds. They make sure you know when someone's approaching the house.
French bulldog. The French bulldog is not into barking, but will certainly alert the family to strange noises or approaching people. A natural guardian, the Frenchie is a devoted companion.
Miniature pinscher. Contrary to the belief of some, the miniature pinscher is not bred down from the Doberman pinscher. In fact, the breed is the older of the two and is something of a cross between the greyhound and a terrier. Always curious, the min pin will alert his owner whenever someone new is nearby.
Pekingese. The Pekingese is a bold, regal toy dog that has an enthusiastic bark rivaling the Chihuahua's. This dog loves to be pampered but will do his best to alert his family when strangers are around.
Irish setter. An Irish setter is a beautiful, friendly, energetic dog. The setter will bark to let you know someone is at the house, but don't expect more than that, in spite of the dog's size. The setter is friendly enough to show a stranger around.
Schipperke. Pronounced "skipper-kee," the Skips (as they are nicknamed) were originally bred as watch dogs, hunters of vermin and as companions. They excel at all three.
Standard and miniature schnauzer. Both make excellent watch dogs. The schnauzers hail from Germany, and all are intelligent, reliable and protective.
Norwegian elkhound. This dog is descended from canines that served with the Vikings. Brave enough to track bear and moose, the elkhound makes an excellent watchdog. The breed is bold, courageous and athletic.
Airedale. As the largest member of the terrier group, the Airedale can be intimidating. Though they may seem aloof to strangers, the breed is very loving towards his family, especially towards children.
Top Dog Breeds for Life Outdoors
Due to space limitations or personal preference, some people choose to have their dogs live the majority of their lives outdoors. Some dogs do better than others as an outdoor dog.
Curly coated retriever. This retriever is a hardy dog that loves water. His thick coat gives him protection from the harshest weather and he is a faithful and devoted guard dog.
Rottweiler. This powerful dog can live indoors or outdoors. Originally bred as a herding dog, the Rottweiler is now best known as a formidable guard dog.
Samoyed. This big white dog with a smiling face is popular because of his gentleness. Sturdy and covered with a thick coat, this dog can live outdoors as long as there is plenty of contact with his family.
Siberian husky. The husky has historically lived outdoors in the harshest lands. Bred to pull sleds across frozen terrain, this dog is very hardy and quite content to live outside.
Norwegian elkhound. This dog is descended from canines that served with the Vikings. Brave enough to track bear and moose, the elkhound is also hardy enough to live outdoors.
Mastiff.  This giant and imposing dog was used as a hunter and protector. Content to patrol his home and guard his family, the mastiff can thrive outdoors but needs companionship.
Old English sheepdog. Easily recognized by his thick white and grey coat, the Old English sheepdog is not as popular as other breeds but he can live anywhere. At home in an apartment or yard, the OES needs daily grooming to keep his coat healthy.
Greater Swiss mountain dog. This breed was developed in Switzerland as a working dog. Bred to guard, herd and haul heavy carts, the Greater Swiss mountain dog enjoys the outdoor life.
Bernese mountain dog. As with the Greater Swiss mountain dog, the Bernese was also developed as a draft dog. Hardy and strong, the Bernese is at home indoors or out and thrives in cold weather.
Great Pyrenees. The Great Pyrenees is happiest when he has a job to do. Whether guarding sheep, pulling carts or protecting his family, the Great Pyrenees seems to thrive outdoors, especially in winter.
Irish wolfhound. This gentle giant was originally developed to hunt wolves in Ireland. The massive size of this dog leads him to enjoy the wide open spaces of the great outdoors.
Keeshond. With his thick coat, the Keeshond can do well outdoors, as long as his family is nearby and provides daily grooming and companionship.
Alaskan malamute. Bred to pull sleds over frigid terrain, the Alaskan malamute is ideally suited for life outdoors, though not in hot climates. His heavy coat is better for cold climates.
Australian shepherd. Despite his name, the Australian shepherd is an American made dog. Used in many different ways, the Aussie is very intelligent and craves activity. Outdoor life can work well for this dog, provided there is plenty of things to do.
Australian cattle dog. Unlike the Aussie, the Australian cattle dog is truly from Australia. Developed to herd cattle, this dog needs lots of mental stimulation and physical activiy. Provided he is securely fenced in a very large yard, the Australian cattle dog can do well outside.
Bearded collie. The bearded collie may not be as popular as some other breeds but he has plenty of admirers. A hardy dog that works as a sheep dog in Scotland, this breed has a thick coat that allows his to thrive in cold outdoor weather.
American Foxhound. As a hound developed to hunt foxes, the American foxhound thrives on outdoor activities. Not the best apartment dog, this breed needs a sturdy fence and plenty of room to run.
Belgian sheepdog. As one of the representative breeds of Belgium, this dog is cherished as a police dog, guard dog, herding dog and companion. With a thick coat, this breed can live outdoors, provided he is given lots of attention.
Chow chow. The chow is one of the most easily recognized breeds. Popular because of his thick fluffy coat, the chow can thrive outdoors, even in the coldest of weather. During the hot summer months, outdoor chows greatly appreciate a drastic haircut.
German shepherd. Nearly always topping the most popular breed lists, the German shepherd has natural guarding and protecting instincts. His double haircoat insulates him in cold weather and he can be quite content spending his days and nights outside.
Guard Dogs - Which Breed Should I Get?
For some people, dogs are not only companions but are also used to protect their owners as well as property.
Guard dogs are not the same as watch dogs, and if not properly socialized and trained, can be a far cry from the average family-loving pet. A watch dog is typically a member of a breed that barks when strangers approach. These dogs will alert their owners to danger and threaten the stranger but really don't have the size or strength to follow through with their verbal threats.
Guard dogs, on the hand, are strong, large and imposing; their natural protective traits are honed to protect property or people. If provoked, some of these dogs have the ability to cause serious damage by attacking. Most others will do what they can to protect their family and possessions but do not typically attack.
Despite their natural protective instincts, these dogs can be gentle and loving family members, if socialized and trained early in life.
Breeds that are known for natural guard dog abilities include:
Akita. One of the national dogs of Japan, the akita is a dignified and courageous dog. Originally used to hunt bear and guard property, the akita was also used in dog fighting. Today, the akita is more a family pet and is a natural protector.
Neapolitan mastiff. This large wrinkly faced dog is extremely strong and quite imposing. With his broad solid head, just one look from this dog can scare off any potential wrong-doer.
Staffordshire terriers. Often confused with the pit bull, the Staffordshire terrier is a powerful and intimidating dog, when he wants to be. When it is just him and his family, he is a loving and easy going breed.
Bouvier des Flandres. The Bouvier originated in Belgium and was originally used to drive cattle and pull carts. A natural guardian, this dog is good with children and has the size and strength to keep them safe.
Bullmastiff. With a relatively recent history, the bullmastiff was a revered companion to the British gamekeeper. The large size and imposing appearance of this dog scared off many a potential poacher. Still considered an excellent guardian, the bullmastiff is a giant dog that can easily weigh over 120 pounds.
Adapted from:

The answer to the question about "The Hound of the Baskervilles" is, as described by Doyle himself, a cross between a Bloodhound and an English Mastiff.

The Ohio State Buckeyes went to Penn State and won impressively over the recently surging Nittany Lions...never an easy place to win.  9-0 now!

The Pittsburgh Steelers won their second well-played game in a row, defeating Washington and their impressive rookie QB.
Helpful Buckeye was fortunate enough to have a friend invite me to the Arizona State/UCLA in Tempe yesterday.  It was homecoming, the temperature was 89 degrees, and the game was really exciting.  UCLA came from behind on a FG with 2 seconds to go to win by 2 points...a heart-breaker for the Sun Devils.
Desperado and Helpful Buckeye had the pleasure of meeting a very interesting nonagenarian this past week.  She was an absolute delight to talk with.  Hats off to you, Dorothy!
~~The goal of this blog is to provide general information and advice to help you be a better pet owner and to have a more rewarding relationship with your pet. This blog does not intend to replace the professional one-on-one carereceives from a practicing veterinarian. When in doubt about your pet's health, always visit a veterinarian.~~

Sunday, October 21, 2012



You've got a dog that starts to nervously drool when you get within 10 blocks of the veterinary clinic.  By the time you get to the parking lot, the dog is unmanageable and you cannot even think about getting it out of the car.  Or, your cat hears you talking about "going to the vet" and sees you pull the cat carrier from the closet...and disappears under the king-size bed.  What you need is an alternative to putting the pets into the vehicle and heading to your veterinarian.

Enter the house call veterinarian and their mobile veterinary clinic....

In years past, farm animal veterinarians were the only ones to have a truck that carried their equipment and supplies as they traveled from farm to farm.  Some of them even included the basic necessities for dogs and cats, almost as an afterthought since many farmers also had house pets.  Today's mobile veterinary clinics can be equipped with just about anything needed for medical and surgical treatments.  Pet owners who take advantage of such services swear by them.

House calls a growing trend among veterinarians
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two kids, two pets, two jobs, too much.
That's how it felt to Erin McCarthy when it came time to drag her cat and puppy to the veterinarian. So she jumped on a growing trend among veterinarians and called the vet to her.
House calls are a growing trend among the country's 85,000 veterinarians, said Dr. Bonnie Beaver, a professor at Texas A&M University's College of Veterinary Medicine and director of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.
It's been a life-saver for McCarthy, whose cat Duke was so afraid of the vet he had to be tranquilized to get there. When he was joined by a Shih Tzu puppy, Pooch, they found a vet who makes house calls, Elisabetta Coletti. McCarthy has made liberal use of text-messaging when a house call isn't necessary.  "When Pooch ate a peppermint patty last week, she was there with instant advice that got us through the night," said McCarthy, a teacher in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The trend is a return to tradition, Beaver said: "We used to call them farm calls." While the vet was taking care of cows and horses and other livestock, he would take care of the family dogs and cats too, she said.
"House calls used to be the bread and butter part of our business," agreed Dr. Margarita Abalos, a relief and concierge vet in Los Angeles.  Then clinics and hospitals, where X-rays could be taken and surgeries performed, became the norm.  Now house calls are making a bit of a comeback, at least in bigger cities and higher income areas, said Abalos, who handles several ranch pigs, goats and sheep in addition to smaller animals.  Seeing an animal at its home enhances the bond between vet, pet and owner, the veterinarians say.
It starts with less stress, said Lisa Beagan in Severna Park, Md., the Mobile Pet Vet. There is no waiting, driving, loading or getting hot and cranky for kids or pets, she said.  "For a lot of animals, it's stressful to go into a strange hospital with all kinds of smells. Cats and dogs are so smell-sensitive, it's like getting bombarded with a kaleidoscope of colors. At home, they don't realize they are having an exam or shots," she said.
House calls help vets solve behavior problems, too.  Beagan had a client who couldn't figure out why her cat was peeing outside its box. Seems the litter box was next to the cat's pet door and when it came through the door and went to the box, the flap on the door would hit it on the behind. Removing the flap solved the problem, she said.
Other pet owners may need a reality check.  "I had a client who, bless her, had these fat, fat cats. I had been at her for years to deal with their weight. She kept saying they were only getting a certain measured amount of food each day," Abalos said. So she made a surprise house call. "There were bowls of food everywhere. I caught her red-handed." They were able to start working on the problem together.
Beagan said many of her pets and owners are geriatric and have trouble getting in and out of cars, so house calls help them all.
House calls can cost twice as much as an office visit, but every vet is different. Charges have to be higher because sometimes the vets can only make it to three or four homes in a day and they have to limit client numbers.
In New York, house calls may be as necessary as they are convenient, Coletti said, because many cab drivers won't stop for someone with a dog or cat and many New Yorkers, including Coletti, don't have cars.
Coletti makes her house calls on bicycle, with her cocker spaniel Milo in the front basket and supplies and equipment in a rear trailer.
Coletti helped Carrie Dirks Amodeo through the death of her cat, Delphi, several months ago. At the same time Delphi got sick, Dirks Amodeo had her second son. She had to leave Delphi's care to Coletti.
"She would come after the kids went to bed and take care of the cat, then she'd let herself out," Dirks Amodeo said.
When Delphi had to have surgery, Coletti went with Dirks Amodeo and the boys.
And when the time came, Coletti put Delphi down.
Vets who make house calls say home euthanasia is one of the most important parts of their practices.
"That was so important. We were heartbroken. She was able to come so we could have our time with the cat without being rushed and pulled in a lot of directions," Dirks Amodeo said. "She was as invested in respecting him as we were."

Adapted from:

Does any of that sound familiar to you?  Does that type of veterinary service appeal to you and your situation?  Here are some of the considerations for you to ponder:

Is a House Call Vet Right for you and your pet? 

Having a vet come to you to treat your pets at home is becoming ever more popular. As of February 2007, requests for House Call vets at is up 22% over the same time period last year.

Here are some things to consider  before deciding whether a house call vet is right for you and your pet.
What is a house call veterinarian and how is this different than a traditional vet?
A house call veterinarian differs from a traditional veterinarian in that the vet comes to your home to treat your pets instead of you and your pets traveling to see the vet.
There are two types of 'traveling vets'. One type is a veterinarian that is part of a clinic or hospital, and that clinic provides in-home treatments such as routine checks, heartworm treatments, flea and tick repellent, vaccinations and some also provide holistic and alternative treatments as well. In this case, you might have different vets come to treat your pets at home, since the in-home service is provided by the clinic or hospital and not by a specific vet.
The other type is a mobile veterinarian who has a whole clinic set up in a specialized van. This type of vet can often provide the majority of services delivered by a traditional clinic or hospital including x-rays, etc. and normally has a clinic or hospital he or she works with when there are services required that are best administered in the hospital.
You should ask how the house call vet is set up when requesting they come to you.
Why do people choose house call vets over taking their pet to a clinic or hospital?
Here are some common reasons to choose a house call veterinarian over taking your pets in:  
You have multiple pets and the hassle of getting them all to the vet is too much. It is easier for the vet to come to you to see everyone at the same time.
Your dog or cat gets very stressed riding in the car.
Your pet does not do well around other animals, either because of fright or aggression.
Your pet does not like traveling to see the veterinarian.
Your pet is just too ill or unable to move or travel easily.
Having your pet around other sick animals makes you worry your pet can get ill through exposure.
Your schedule is too tight to get to your vet's office. House call vets can have a more flexible schedule.
You no longer drive and have no way to get your pet to the vet.
Convenience. Since the veterinarian comes to you, you don't have to load your dog or cat into your car and drive, you don't have to wait in an uncomfortable waiting room with other pets, you don't have to keep an eye on your kids, your pets and the other pets in the room.
The number one reason owners and house call vets give in providing their service is the much lower stress level for both the pets and the owner.
Is there a cost difference?
Depending on the veterinarian and the service, there may be an additional charge for house calls. However, this is not always true. Despite the very personalized service, house call veterinarians are not necessarily more expensive than traditional vet. Mobile vets usually have a lower overhead since they don't need to maintain a full clinic. You will need to check prices during your conversation with the house call vet and compare them with a clinic or hospital.
House call veterinarians do have limitations relative to traditional veterinary practices, and there are things you should be prepared for should you choose to allow one to care for your pet.
The first is if you have a pet emergency, it is better to bring your pet into a clinic or hospital right away. There are too many unknowns in an emergency for a house call vet to be prepared for everything that might come up. maintains a list of 24 hour emergency pet hospitals searchable by zip code should the need ever arise.
If your pet requires major surgery and x-rays, most house call vets will request that you bring your pet into a clinic or hospital for these. Again, because of limited space and staffing house call vets have, these things are best done at the hospital.
If your pet requires hospitalization or constant medical attention the vet will make arrangements with the hospital or clinic that they work with for you to bring your animal in so it can have proper after-hours care. Many laboratory tests will take one day to run so the house call vet will normally call you with results (same as a regular visit to a clinic or hospital) once the lab test are done.

Since a house call vet provides personalized service by traveling to a pet's home, the number of patients they can see is less than what can be seen in a clinic or hospital. Sometimes this can create a delay in your pet being seen quickly.
House call vets provide many positives to easing the stress and hassle of a traditional clinic or hospital. The cost for this service might be a bit higher than a regular clinic or hospital, but the convenience may outweigh the costs.
If you choose to work with a house call vet, make sure you check on what services he or she can provide as well as check references of other pet owners who use their services. Also make sure you know what hospital they use for emergencies and other lab or hospitalization work.
To find a list of House Call vets in your area, simply visit :
Mobile veterinarians bring care to pets of the
By C.J. Lin, Staff Writer
When it was time to put her 13-year-old dog to sleep, Yael Pardess could not bear the thought of having it done on a cold metal table at the vet's office.  And it would have been difficult, too. Mika could not walk. Getting her into the car and making the trip would have only further stressed the dog in her final hours.  So Pardess had a mobile vet come to her Mount Washington house.  "It had to be done at home, on the pillow that she knows, with my other dog, with everything that she knows around her," Pardess said. "It was the most peaceful thing that could have been done for her. It was my gift to her."
Veterinarian house calls were traditionally reserved for farm animals, but more and more people are turning to mobile vets for both advanced care, such as euthanasia, to more routine checkups of cats, dogs and other common pets, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The service offers a convenience factor for those who can't or are unwilling to make a trip to the vet, and it keeps the pets in a familiar environment so that their stress levels don't spike.
"The home turf advantage is great," said veterinarian Chris Cauble of Glendale-based Mobile Vet. "At home, animals are just much different. Mom's there, he smells Mom, knows he's at home, so there's not a lot of change."
One of Cauble's clients include Pardess' next door neighbor, Nathalie Luboff. At 86, she walks with a cane and has difficulty climbing the steep stairs around her home - much like Henry, her 18-year-old cocker spaniel, who is too heavy for Luboff to carry.  Groomers won't take Henry because of numerous warts on his skin, a common problem in the breed. He gets extremely agitated at the doctor's office and at his old age - 126 in human years - he could die while being restrained.  But Henry was quiet as a mouse as he got his eyes, ears and teeth cleaned and vitals checked while sitting on a table in his backyard during a recent visit by Cauble.
"He hasn't figured out yet that we're veterinarians," Cauble said. "He's still in`I'm at home' mode. If we were going to take him to a vet, he'd probably almost have a heart attack."  Henry cried only once while lying on his side as he got the hair around his sensitive paws trimmed, but later fell asleep while wrapped in a towel as his toenails were clipped.
"He goes crazy when he goes to the doctor's office," said Luboff, who had shut her door because she had expected non-stop crying from Henry. "He cries and cries." 
The same is true for many cats, especially the older and fragile ones who have chronic problems such as diabetes and heart disease, said veterinarian Matthew Ehrenberg of Cats Only Veterinary House Calls in Woodland Hills.  "There are cats that you almost can't handle unanesthetized at the hospital," Ehrenberg said. "But when they're at home, they'll sit in my lap."
House-call fees and hourly charges typically add at least $100 per appointment. But the extra expense is worth it for clients - including celebrities and high-powered executives who value time and privacy. Still, others put their animals' comfort as a top priority and favor the undivided attention their pets get from the doc at home.
"It's worth every penny," said Linda Hodges, a cat owner from Studio City. "Think about it, how would you feel? Would I want my doctor to come or do I want to get dressed and schlep over the hill?"
And seeing the animals in their element helps the vets give a better diagnosis, Ehrenberg said.  "If an animal has a behavioral problem and you can actually see them at home and see the way the house is set up, it helps a lot," he said. "No matter how much someone describes something, I'm always surprised by how bad my imagination was."
It was likely the milky sap of the jade plants growing on the hillsides of a La Canada Flintridge backyard that was causing an eye infection in some pygmy goats as they munched away at the vegetation, Cauble determined on another house call. That, or the flies.
No, one of the goats wasn't pregnant, just bloated. But she was in heat. The hard growth on another goat's head was its horns growing back. A Labrador retriever puppy should get along fine with the goats, Cauble said in responding to the owner's concerns.
Cauble, who was the first to start a L.A.-area mobile vet service in 1985, was wrapping up the visit when the house cat wandered by. Her owners had canceled vet appointments because the elusive Siamese mix refused to get in her carrier, and she hadn't seen a doctor in a while.
"Getting her in that box is just a nightmare," said the owner, who didn't want to be identified for fear of violating the city's zoning code for having too many animals. "And I can't imagine getting these four (goats) in a car."
But within minutes, 10-year-old Blackie was wrapped up in a towel and, despite her yowls, had gotten a rabies shot and was checked for tapeworms.
Then it was off to North Hollywood to see a 6-month-old crow, who had survived the West Nile virus but had been left blind. The crow, who was learning to fly, had crashed into its cage and hadn't been eating for days, vomiting whatever food it was fed.  After sticking his pinkie finger down the crow's throat, Cauble found a kink in its neck, but no serious damage. A batch of liquid bird food was whipped up, force-fed with a syringe and tube, and stayed down. Vitamin and calcium shots followed.
The dog, goats, cat and crow made up a relatively tame day for Cauble, who had checked on thousands of rodents and reptiles at a pet importer the day before. And that doesn't compare to the lions, tigers, cheetahs and other wildcats he vaccinates at the Shambala Preserve in Acton. Or his patients at the Los Angeles Zoo, which include elephants, pandas, and even Reggie the Alligator, which he helped catch at a park lake 2007.
About five mobile vet businesses are operating in L.A., with a majority in the San Fernando Valley, according to Cauble.
Despite the ease and appeal of operating out of a truck, local brick-and-mortar animal hospitals said the mobile service is more a complement to their business than competition, according to local vets.  Mobile vets lack facilities for housing the pets after surgeries and for taking X-rays. Often, they'll pair up with a hospital, or refer clients to local businesses for major surgeries.
"It's great," said Amy Worell, a veterinarian at All Pets Medical Center in West Hills. "I think it's all just complementary to a standing business. There's certain people that have enough money, and some people don't want to transport the animals, but there's plenty of business for all people."
Adapted from:

This type of veterinary care isn't necessary for everyone; however, if your situation is such that you would benefit from a veterinarian coming to your door, hopefully you will have access to a house call veterinarian.


The Ohio State Buckeyes remained unbeaten yesterday by coming from behind to beat Purdue in Columbus.  We had to score a TD with just 3 seconds to go in the game and a 2-point conversion just to tie the game...then won by 7 points in overtime.

The Pittsburgh Steelers went to Cincinnati for the Sunday night game and finally put together a complete game on the road.  The win was a big one and brings us back closer to the Ravens.

Desperado and I went to see the movie, ARGO, this week...and were very impressed with the production. 

Helpful Buckeye put together a day trip to Sedona this week for Desperado, a sort of mini-recovery tour following her shoulder procedure.  We ate at a restaurant that was new for us and really enjoyed the outdoor ambiance...the food was special too!  The fact that Desperado was feeling so much better, the weather was beautiful, the meal was outstanding, and the stroll around Tlaquepaque was relaxing...all went together to leave us with a very happy day.

“Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”
--Guillaume Apollinaire,  French writer, poet and critic

~~The goal of this blog is to provide general information and advice to help you be a better pet owner and to have a more rewarding relationship with your pet. This blog does not intend to replace the professional one-on-one care your pet receives from a practicing veterinarian. When in doubt about your pet's health, always visit a veterinarian.~~