Canine Corner is for “everything dog.” It covers anything and everything dog-related, from the light-hearted and funny to the serious and sentimental issues. Read all kinds of information about dogs in general, see some really cute and really funny dog pictures, or be entertained by funny dog stories! Canine Corner will also cover recent news items about dogs and dog welfare issues.

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2015 Dog Flu Virus Q and A: Canine Influenza Still on the Rise

Posted on April 22nd, 2015

What You Can Do to Keep Your Pet Safe and Healthy

Flu season may be winding down for humans, but there have been over 1,000 reported cases of canine influenza in Chicago in the last few weeks, causing some local vets to call the situation an “epidemic.” The outbreak also spread to dogs across the Midwest, and infected many pooches right here in Cleveland. :(

To help dog owners better understand the virus, here are some key facts from the American Veterinary Medical Association:

What is canine influenza?

Canine influenza (CI), or dog flu, is a highly contagious infection caused by an influenza A subtype H3N8 virus first discovered in 2004.

What are common symptoms of the infection in dogs?

In the mild form, the most common sign is a cough that persists for 2-3 weeks. However, some dogs can develop signs of severe pneumonia, such as a high-grade fever (104°F-106°F) and faster breathing. Other signs in infected dogs include nasal and/or ocular discharge, sneezing, fatigue, and refusing food.

Is every dog at risk of infection?doggie flu

All dogs, regardless of breed or age, are susceptible to infection.

How does it spread?

Canine influenza is spread from dog to dog through the air, contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes), and people ineracting with infected and uninfected dogs. On surfaces, the virus is alive and can infect dogs for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on hands for 12 hours.

Can veterinarians test for canine influenza?

The most reliable and sensitive method for confirmation is serologic testing. Antibodies to canine influenza virus can appear in blood as early as 7 days after symptoms begin, and the virus may be identified in nasal or pharyngeal swabs during the first 4 days of illness.

Any treatment options?

In May 2009, the USDA approved the first influenza vaccine for dogs. Trials have shown that it can significantly reduce the duration of illness, including the incidence and severity of damage to the lungs. Dog owners should consult with their vet to determine whether the vaccine is appropriate for their dog.

Can canine influenza infect people?

There is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted from dogs to humans.

*I wanted to note here also that both Bordetella and the influenza virus have symptoms that mimic one another. In about 20 percent of cases, more severe symptoms occur including high fever and pneumonia. A small number of dogs with the virus have died from complications of the disease.

For more information about canine influenza virus, visit the American Veterinary Medicine Association or the Center for Disease Control.

Lindy & Company Brings Taste of Philanthropy to Pet Treat Market

Posted on April 20th, 2015

Homemade by homeless youth, Lindy & Company treats are “Saving Kids, One Treat at a Time”

After Cricket took just one teeny taste of the new dog treats he received in the mail from Lindy & Company last week, he melted at my feet like butter. I now realize that these fabulous new dog treats are from a gourmet pet treat bakery; a dog treat bakery with a twist, if you will.

Founded in 2012 by Daybreak, a nonprofit organization that provides shelter and housing for homeless youth, Lindy & Company is a work-readiness program Lindy and Company Logothat employs these youth so they can develop the valuable work skills (timeliness, respect, customer service, teamwork, etc.) needed in order to find and keep good jobs.

Linda Kramer, CEO of Daybreak, is proud of this unique program.

“Being able to employ the youth who stay at Daybreak means more than just giving them a job,” Kramer said. “It’s about giving them hope, reigniting their dreams, and providing them with tools that they can use so that they never have to be homeless again.”

Made with natural ingredients and natural preservatives, Lindy & Company and its homeless youth workers create, make, pack and offer six varieties of dog treats (including gluten-free), three varieties of dog training treats, and four varieties of cat treats! Cricket voted these dog treats extremely palatable and Maxwell gave the cat treats from Lindy & Co. four-paws-up!

Some of the delicious dog treat varieties you’ll find on the site include Apples-n-Cheese, Better Butter Honey, Cheddar Chompers, Peanut Butter But Better and more! Cats will delight in Lindy & Company’s gourmet cat training treats, which are appetizing and arouse Sasha’s interest with their flavors, like Liver and Cheese, Chicken Delight and Cheese and Tuna.Pet parents can purchase dog treats or cat treats in person at the Dayton, Ohio bakery, online, or at one of Lindy & Company’s retail partners.

“Our treats arLindy and Co Treat Bage sure to make your pet feel like a super hero,” Kramer said. “Beyond that, they’re homemade with love by homeless youth. We like to say Lindy & Company treats are saving kids, one treat at a time.”

For more information, please visit Lindy & Company online at www.lindyandcompany.org.

About Lindy & Company

Lindy & Company is gourmet pet treat bakery and social enterprise located in Dayton, Ohio. Founded by Daybreak, a nonprofit organization that provides shelter and housing for homeless youth, Lindy & Company employs these youth so that they can master the work-readiness soft skills that employers expect. For more information, please visit www.lindyandcompany.org or connect with the company on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Pinterest.

 

All opinions herein are those of the Administrator, JL Smith, and her dog Cricket, and cats, Maxwell, Tater Tot and Sasha Smith. This post was written in conjunction with Lindy & Company and our Administrator. ThoughtsFurPaws.com never publishes dishonest, distorted or distended reviews, nor does it perpetuate the circulation/spread of misinformation.

Tips for Pet First Aid Awareness Month

Posted on April 10th, 2015

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month; Top Tips to Help Your Pet in an Emergency

Emergencies happen – sometimes pets eat the wrong foods, get bitten or cut and have seizures.  But, there are ways to help while you’re getting your pet to the vet.  Here are a few tips from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to help stabilize your pet:

  • If your pet has been exposed to a toxin, check the label for immediate instructions such as washing its skin with soap and water, or flushing eyes with water.
  • If your pet is having seizures, keep it away from any objects, blanket your pet to keep it warm and call your vet or an emergency vet clinic, or phone the Animal Poison Control Hotline at 888-426-4445. They’re available 24/7 and there is a fee for consultation.AVMA
  • If you think your pet has a broken bone, gently lay him or her on a flat surface, or use a blanket as a sling to gently transport your pet to the veterinarian.
  • With cuts, press a clean, thick gauze pad over the wound and press on it until the bleeding stops. If bleeding is severe and on the legs, apply a tourniquet (using a rubber band and gauze) between the wound and the body to slow down the blood flow and get your animal to the vet ASAP.
  • For burns, flush a light burn immediately with lots of water, and if the burn is more severe quickly apply an ice water compress.
  • For choking, if your pet can still breathe, get it to the vet immediately. Look in its mouth with a flashlight and quickly try to get the object out with a tweezer.  If that doesn’t work, place both hands on the side of his or her ribcage and strike the rib cage firmly with the palm of your hand 3 to 4 times while getting to the vet.

What a proper Pet First Aid Kit should include, according to the experts at AVMA:

-Important phone numbers – your numbers, the vet, Poison Control, dog walker, etc.

-Gauze for wrapping wounds

-Nonstick bandages or towels to control bleeding or protect wounds

-Adhesive tape to secure the gauze or bandage *do not use human Band-Aids or adhesive bandages on pets

-Hydrogen peroxide – induces vomiting if ever necessary

-A digital thermometer in case you need to check your pet’s temperature

-Milk of Magnesia to absorb poison if necessary

-An eye dropper to give oral treatments or flush wounds

-A muzzle (in an emergency a rope, necktie, soft cloth, nylon stocking, small towel may be used) – to cover your pet’s head

-A leash – to transport your pet easily

-A stretcher (or board with a blanket) – to transport an injured animal

Always remember that any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care. First aid is not a substitute for professional veterinary care, but it may save your pet’s life until it receives veterinary treatment.

More pet life-saving tips from the AVMA are available; check them out at www.avma.org!

Blue Dog Bakery’s New Deli Sticks for Dogs Meet the Meat!

Posted on April 9th, 2015

Hold the bone, said Cricket. Savor the flavor, said Brisket! Blue Dog Bakery’s new Deli Sticks for dogs are a major contender for favorite dog treat around here after we were sent a sample to try by the brand last month.

beef deli sticksCricket, the happy-go-lucky Golden, took a whole 2.8 milliseconds to inspect the delicious-smelling meaty variety. He proceeded to immediately chew it. Voraciously. Happily. Like he had just tasted a bit of Heaven disguised as a sausage-roll-looking shapeshifter. He swallowed and immediately walked back to me for another one, just in case, by some small miracle or unknown impending Armageddon, I was willing to give up one more of the moist and meaty doggie delicacies… #pleaseGodletherhaveanother

Brisket the Pit Bull perfectionist didn’t play around with her Blue Dog Bakery meaty-licous dog treat either. I call her my “meat-o-saurus” because she just loves meat! Brisket licked the Deli Stick a few times and rolled it over on the carpet so as to inspect for other flavors or additional smells (oh the possibilities, skunk! Goose poop!), decided there were neither anymore new smells nor flaws, and then, BAM! It was gone! I didn’t even see her sweet sassy lips inhale it! It was just gone! #funniestBrisketmomentever

Brisket and Cricket both followed me around the house for like an hour after they had their first taste of Deli Sticks by Blue Dog Bakery. And here’s why:

  • Deli Sticks are made with human-grade meat
  • They contain no fillers, preservatives, artificial colors or ingredients
  • No corn, wheat or fillers
  • No animal by-products
  • They’re premium, natural dog treats
  • Deli Sticks are all natural and grain-free

Blue Dog Bakery Deli Sticks are no exception to the company’s objective to produce high-quality treats using high-quality ingredients.

“We wanted to create a new product form that was unlike anything else in the pet section,” said Eric Koppelman, Blue Dog Bakery’s VP of Sales and Marketing. “Our Deli Sticks are made from a high-grade USA beef in a facility that produces products for human consumption. The ingredients and the process is a quality so great you could confidently eat Deli Sticks yourself. We certainly do.”

Blue Dog Bakery has been dedicated to creating all natural, healthy dog treats since 1998. What began with one flavor of dog biscuits 17 years ago has gradually expanded….Blue Dog Bakery’s product portfolio now includes upwards of ten different product varieties for both mass-market grocery stores, and pet specialty retailers. While some of these product forms do contain natural meat flavors, they are 100% vegetarian, according to the company blue dog bakerywebsite.

In January 2015 Blue Dog Bakery launched its first-ever meat-based treat for dogs – all natural and grain free Deli Sticks made with premium USA beef. You can find Blue Dog Bakery Deli Sticks (and the company’s massive line of other dog treats) at shop.bluedogbakery.com. You can save 10% on your first order when you order now!

*You can also get your dog featured on the website! Email your cutest dog photos to bluedog@bluedogbakery.com for the opportunity to have him posted on bluedogbakery.com. With your photo, please include your dog’s name, a Blue Dog Bakery testimonial, your first name only, and your city.

The Deli Sticks retail on-site for around $7 and $10, for a 4.8-ounce and 7.8-ounce pack, respectively. You can also order an 8-pack bag of either dog treat variety, and there’s a 100% satisfaction guarantee! You can also find the natural dog treats at major pet retailers for similar pricing.

Cricket and Brisket have a final thought: Blue Dog Bakery Deli Sticks leave a pooch with nothing to be blue about (unless, of course, you run out! Then you have to send your hooman to get more!)

Four-paws-up! Thanks Blue Dog Bakery!

#TheMajorityProject: One Non-Profit’s Plan to Plod out Prolific Pit Bull Misperception

Posted on February 17th, 2015

Animal Farm Foundation Sends Strong Pro-Pittie Message; Challenges Harmful Stereotypes of So-Called “Bully” Dog Breed

This post is sponsored by The Animal Farm Foundation and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about The Majority Project, but ThoughtsFurPaws.com only shares information we feel relevant to readers. Animal Farm Foundation is not responsible for the content of this article. All opinions in this article are of the author and administrator of this blog, JL Smith. ThoughtsFurPaws.com never publishes dishonest, distorted or distended reviews or information nor does it perpetuate the spread of misinformation.

Pit Bulls. American Pit Bull Terriers. APBTs. American Bulldog. Some people even unknowingly call them “Bulldogs.” Or American Bulldog Terrier. These are all names for one of the world’s gentlest and kindest dog breeds I’ve ever known – at home and in my rescue/animal welfare efforts (and I’ve faced a lot).

The word “bull” is in no way meant to be taken literally with any one of these tender, sweet creatures. How do I know that? Am I the all-knowing Animal God that can foresee and explain every detail? No, unfortunately. But I can tell you what I’ve learned. And I can tell you what I’ve experienced.  And what I’ve seen — and what I’ve NEVER seen. And I can tell you that it’s beyond sweet. It’s so sweet, that I, in fact, find the irony that the word “bull” is in this breed name to be sweet just to spite the fact!

Why?

Read on. And see why the dreadful, negative, media-perpetuated typecasts of Pit Bulls are complete myth; how my experiences with these brilliant dogs framed my outlook forever; and why you should consider changing your own mindset – or, if you agree already, advocating for #TheMajorityProject, a nationwide campaign by Animal Farm Foundation aimed at turning around those pesky stereotypes about our loving little Pit-Bully babes. (I used to call our black and white Pittie my “sweet little pit-bully-dog:” actually it was a whole song I sang to him but I won’t get into that here.)

Tux, top, the Pit Bull mix, and Henry, bottom, the Basset Hound, snuggling.

Tux, top, the Pit Bull mix, and Henry, bottom, the Basset Hound, snuggling.

My Tux, aka “Tucky,” “Ram (because he liked to ram things with his head),” or “Tuckarina (my Mom’s personal fave),” was tenacious and tough. He was, though not named “Tuxedo,” a tuxedo-colored Pit mix who also had a bit of Welsh Corgi and Lab in him (don’t ask). His predominate breed was American Pit Bull Terrier according to DNA tests, however. Anyhow, Tucky was the bomb. I really wish I had time to explain every adorable thing he ever did here but I don’t, so I’m hoping that you will take from my emotion and passion how much I love this dog (and miss him). And, of course, I hope you’ll gather what a gentle soul he was… And I hope it will inspire you to go ahead and join #TheMajorityProject.

Tucky was my car-partner. Although he was my sister’s dog, she and I lived together and she worked nights as a bartender, I worked days. Hence, I always had “the boys” at night (she also had a Basset Hound named Henry). Working as a consultant at the time, I often worked from home at night and would go on coffee runs around 7:30 or 8:00 pm (give me a break, we all have a vice).

I am a Pit Bull; and I am playful and silly and sweet!

I am a Pit Bull named Brisket; and I am playful and silly and sweet!

Tucky love, love, loved going on car rides. When we lived in Orange County, CA, my sister was in Long Beach, which is north, and to get there you had to drive right past the takeoff/landing paths of planes headed to/from John Wayne Airport. Tucky would absolutely lose his mind barking at the planes and shake with joy over the noise and the excitement of seeing something so big and powerful and loud up so close. (You’ve heard of dogs chasing cars, right? Well Tux chased planes.) He would get so excited he would often foof in the car, thank you very much!

Tucky also accompanied me, after one night of me inviting him, on my aforementioned nightly coffee runs. The second I stood up from my laptop at 8:00 on any given night he just knew and would run to the door. It was #adorbs. Of course, I let him come every time. I would always buy him a beef jerky from 7-11. He would, after thoroughly kissing me and thanking me, devour the Slim-Jim in seconds then go back to sticking his whole head out the window and doing polite bark-bys at every moving or stationary object/person we passed, BOL! (FYI: A “bark-by” is like a non-violent “drive-by” from a dog; it’s when they run past you real fast [like when they are zooming] and bark their butts off on the way out of sheer enthusiasm and delight! I believe I’ve seen a few dogs at BlogPaws doing bark-bys, BOL again. And I definitely see dogs at the dog park and at dog beach doing crazy bark-bys!)

So this is a Pit Bull who, when left alone in the car, did not jump out the open window at children who pet him; who did not act aggressively toward people who approached the car with the windows down; and who never ever acted in a threatening manner in a public place though oft-provoked by a curious & prodding public, or by another dog (one of which was, yes believe it, a mean Golden Retriever). Tux was relaxed. And trusting. Tux knew his boundaries and his limits and the rules. And he lived by all of them. Tucky was respectful, loving and funny. He was docile yet strong, submissive yet assertive, uncannily goofy, and wicked smart. He was intuitive, sweet, and if he could talk like a human, he’d talk the ear off a cornstalk.

Tucky was predominantly Pit Bull. Tucky was the majority…

For this he wasn’t allowed at the local dog park at all. For this, the city we lived in (Lakewood, Ohio) now requires his breed to be muzzled and leashed when outdoors (on walks) or while at dog parks, at all times, no exceptions (not even if Fido has a cone on). Responsible Pit Bull owners also have 6” or higher fencing around the entire yard, as is also required by the county nowadays. And if Tucky were here now, I just know he would say:

“#IAmTheMajority*, and I am loving, kind, gracious, sweet and smart. Furthermore, I have emotions too, so please don’t hurt me with your words, policies or hands.”

Breed Specific Legislation, referred to commonly as BSL, is a nationwide epidemic, if you will. County and city governments are having a hay day harassing my precious Pitties and their faithful owners, requiring staunch advocates like myself and others like those at Animal Farm Foundation to bend over backwards and turn inside out just to get a valid, legitimate, veritable message out like nay-sayers do.

What is this message?

Pit Bulls are not mean dogs. There is no such thing as a “Bully Breed.” If you ask me, there are no bad dogs – there are only irresponsible (okay, bad) pet owners. And I’m not sorry if I get in trouble for saying that.

Pit Bull owners are not irresponsible dog owners; neither are German Shepherd or Rottweiler or Dobie owners. Reckless dog owners cannot be correlated with any particular breed or type of dog; the only factor reckless dog owners have in common is their problematic behavior resulting from a disregard of public safety and animal welfare.

Think about it – honestly – for a minute, please. Have you ever heard the saying, “Attempting to get to the truth means rejecting stereotypes and clichés?”

No? Well (it was spoken by a man named Harold Evans and) it’s the perfect overarching descriptive statement of what’s happening here, here in the nationwide fight to eradicate BSL and, instead, advocate for responsible pet ownership.

Let me pose another situation really quick:

How many stories do you see on the news or Internet about a “bully breed” hurting someone?

Brisket the Pit Bull helped welcome the new rescue kitty this winter; here they are cuddling.

Brisket the Pit Bull helped welcome the new rescue kitty this winter; here they are cuddling.

Now how many times do you see on the news or Internet a story about a “bully breed” loving someone to pieces with kisses, affection and love? Featuring the dog standing next to a 5-year-old child with the child holding the leash and the Pittie licking the child’s face? Stories like those of the Michael Vick dogs and what they’ve become and accomplished and who they are? How often do you see stories like that?

Not NEARLY as often… hardly ever…. That fact there makes it an unfair fight right out of the gate.

Anyhow, I’d like to ask something of you now if I could guys — I do have one of those important Internet videos for you to see really quickly (it’s not even two minutes), and I hope it will help you understand that Pit Bulls are not mean dogs. And I hope it will help you understand that the restrictions that Tucky faced, and that Pit Bulls near my town now face, and that restrictions that responsible breed owners now face, are totally unfair and are not based on fact or history (or anything reliable or predictable – just like I’m not the Animal God, unfortunately). The video is about The Majority Project, a really cool initiative meant to stomp out the stereotypes (among other things), thank Heavens.

In an effort to challenge the negative stereotypes about Pittie owners, Animal Farm Foundation created #TheMajorityProject, a photo collection illustrating how countless Pit Bull dog owners make valuable contributions to their communities and families every single day.

Pit Bull owners can join The Majority Project by visiting themajorityproject.com, printing and personalizing an “I am the MAJORITY” sign and submitting a photo with their dog.

Animal Farm Foundation partnered with actor and Pittie owner, Jon Bernthal to create a public service announcement (PSA) to raise awareness for The Majority Project; some of the photos submitted will be chosen to appear in The Majority Project PSA to help raise awareness for the cause! Cool! Bernthal hopes to help an unaware public understand that Pit Bull owners are no different than other dog owners; the overwhelming majority love and care for their pets in a responsible manner, which includes proper maintenance, control and containment of their dogs.

The Majority Project with Jon Bernthal from Animal Farm Foundation on Vimeo.

Animal Farm Foundation is a non-profit corporation has been rescuing and re-homing animals, as well as making grants to other humane organizations, since the mid-1980’s. It is Animal Farm Foundation’s mission to secure equal treatment and opportunity for Pit Bulls. Join The Majority Project on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMajorityProject, or Twitter at twitter.com/meetthemajority.