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Blog: JoAnna Lou
Healing Power of Dogs
More health care professionals are bringing their pets to work
Any dog lover knows the unique ability our pets have to cheer us up when we’re not feeling well. As a pet therapy team, Nemo and I have seen firsthand the power of pets to cheer people up at the hospital, often a very depressing place. And it seems that health care professionals are catching on. The Wall Street Journal reports that a growing number of psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Canine Behavior Database
C-BARQ provides data for valuable research
Recently, I attended a presentation of Parvene Farhoody’s research on the physical and behavioral effects of spaying and neutering, which is currently being prepared for publication. There were a lot of interesting findings that I can’t share until they’re published (I promise to do so when they are!), but I did learn about an important database. Parvene’s research was based on analysis of data...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Herding Dogs in Modern Life
Today’s Border Collies herd rented sheep and compete at herding trials
In the past couple months, I’ve been doing a lot of research about Border Collie breeders in preparation for adding a new dog to our family.  I’m always in awe of a good herding dog‘s instinct.  While technology has replaced animals in many jobs (think horse drawn carriages), Border Collies remain the best way to manage livestock.  In my puppy search, I recently discovered the world of...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
National Train Your Dog Month
APDT dedicates January to socialization and training
  Last year the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) decided that it was long overdue to dedicate a month to promote socialization and training. So in 2011 January became National Train Your Dog Month. The first month of the year was chosen because so many dogs are adopted or purchased during the holidays.  APDT wants to encourage new pet parents to start off the New Year on the right paw.  In...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Weight Loss Resolutions
Vet hospital encourages cats and dogs to lose weight in 2011
It’s that time of year when everyone is making their New Years resolutions, many related to losing weight. In recent years, obesity has been a problem among both humans and pets, which can lead to a myriad of health consequences, including a shorter life span. To encourage pet weight loss resolutions, the Vinton Veterinary Hospital in Virginia is sponsoring a Biggest Loser competition for dogs...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Adoptions Increase This Holiday Season
Shelters report higher adoption rates for December
Many shelters around the country are reporting higher adoption rates this holiday season. This is great news, although Christmas isn’t exactly the best time to bring home a new animal. I know many families want to surprise their kids with a puppy or kitten, but I can’t even imagine bringing home a new pet with all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Nonetheless, I’m happy to see people adopt...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Proposed Ban in NYC for Chained Dogs
Bill to limit tethering to three hours
In New York, it’s common to see dogs tied to parking meters and trees while their family runs errands in nearby stores. I’m always afraid the pups will get stolen or get too hot or cold, depending on the weather. But even worse are the pets that get left behind at home, chained to fences for hours on end. This is more common in the outer Boroughs of the city, like the Bronx and Brooklyn. Earlier...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Toxic Holiday Plants
Watch out for dangerous mistletoe this December
For years I’ve avoided Poinsettia plants around the holidays because I’d always heard that they were highly toxic for animals. But according to Veterinary Medicine magazine, the toxicity of Poinsettias has been greatly exaggerated.  Research estimates that the average animal would have to ingest 500 to 600 Poinsettia leaves to surpass toxic levels. The most common symptom is irritation to the...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Seasons Greetings from the Dogs
Sending cards from the pets is increasing in popularity
This past weekend, I finally got my Christmas cards out and, as always, they were complete with my dogs’ signatures and the annual holiday photo of the pups. Seasons greetings aren’t the only cards “sent” by my dogs. I routinely mail birthday cards and get well soon cards to friends’ pets from my furry crew.    Years ago, when I first started writing cards from my pets, I rarely received any in...
Blog: JoAnna Lou
Caring for Pets Through Tough Times
Seer Farms temporarily takes in pets from families in crisis
In tough economic times, we’ve seen an increase in surrendered dogs, a myriad of shelter budget cuts, and the creation of the pet soup kitchen. According to the ASPCA, the recession has added an estimated one to two million animals to shelters.  And that's on top of the six to eight million pets surrendered each year. I can’t even imagine what I would do if I was financially unable to keep my...

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