Bark Heard Round The World

Where in the world are all the dogs?

dogs-earth-day

We have the answer! Maybe this has been the question keeping you up at night… or maybe not. Well we did the research on dog demographics and found out where all the dogs are.

Whether traveling with your pup or trying to decide where to move, it is great to know the cultures and places that are best for your pooch. Using statistics brought to us by statisticbrain.com, we see the most popular countries dogs:

Most Popular Countries of Residence for Dogs Number of Registered Dogs
United States 403,760
Canada 23,068
Philippines 13,232
United Kingdom 7,835
Australia 5,301
Singapore 2,688
Malaysia 1,726
Indonesia 1,537
Brazil 1,085
New Zealand 868
India 747
Mexico 702
Germany 683
Netherlands 594
South Africa 583

http://www.statisticbrain.com/dog-statistics/

The US seems to have the most pups by a landslide! Lets see which states within the US are in the dog state of mind? Can you find your state?

DogMap2

Most Popular States of Residence for Dogs Number of Registered Dogs
California 52,051
Texas 31,011
Florida 23,116
New York 21,717
Pennsylvania 15,191
Ohio 13,841
Illinois 12,918
Washington 11,383
Michigan 11,180
Georgia 10,929
New Jersey 10,638
North Carolina 10,604
Virginia 9,608
Massachusetts 8,281
Ontario 7,965

Within these states, we have found the top ten friendliest cities for dogs. Does your city welcome dogs with open paws? Find out which do:

1. Austin, Texas

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015AustinDoga

2. Bar Harbor, Maine

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015Crusoe The Celebrity Dachshund/Flickr

3. Cape Cod, Massachusetts

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015El Condor/Flickr

4. Carmel, California

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015Vicki and Chuck Rogers/Flickr

5. Chattanooga, Tennessee

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015Michael Hicks/Flickr

6. Chicago, Illinois

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015Chris Bentley/Flickr

7. Colorado Springs, Colorado

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015Andrew Doak/Flickr

8. Key West, Florida

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015Anna Val

9. Portland, Oregon

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015Lulu Hoeller/Flickr

10. Sonoma Valley and Napa, California

10 Awesome Dog-Friendly U.S. Cities to Visit in 2015

Anna Vallery

Do you think your city is dog friendly?

What do you think can be added to your city to make it more dog friendly?

Hot Dog? Not Cool!

Walking on the street and see a poor pooch melting away in a sauna of a car?

Call to action: What would you do?

By now we all know the rule: do not, by any means, leave your dog in your car- especially in the summer! According to the Humane Society of the United States, when it is 80 degrees fahrenheit outside, the inside of a car can rise up to 99 degrees fahrenheit within only 10 minutes! This can be life threatening for your dog!

This helpful infographic created by Dr. Marie Haynes illustrates the danger and effects of leaving your pooch in a hot car:

c16400c838ba2ddb8aa3583b1c813937

Want to relate? PETA enlisted Arizona Cardinals player Tyrann Mathieu to illustrate just how sweltering a vehicle can become after sitting for just a few minutes in the sun. Watch the video here:

Also check out this article from BarkPost on what to do if you see a dog locked in a hot car.

Comment with any stories or experiences you’ve had:

DSC_2218_high

Do Dogs Dream?

Dream Dog

Man’s Best Friend. One of the smartest mammals on the planet. They eat, they sleep… but do they dream?

Have you ever spotted your pup taking a snooze and suddenly let out a woof as his legs twitch? Is he dreaming? What is really happening when dogs move and make noises in their sleep?

While no dog has ever woken up for a dream to tell us about their crazy nightmare, there is tons of scientific evidence to prove that our dogs are in fact dreaming!

Researchers have compared brain activity and sleep patterns between humans and canines. Like people, dogs enter what is called the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep in which dreaming occurs in humans and seemingly in dogs as well. During this deep sleep your pup may move their legs as if running, whimper or bark, or change breathing patterns from deep to rapid breathing.

Check out this cute dog dreaming away:

Now lets answer a few questions:

Q: What could they be dreaming about?

A: They’re most likely dreaming about their doggy days like running, digging, chasing, or chewing at their favorite bone.

Q: Do all dogs dream the same?

A: Research has shown that smaller dogs actually dream more than larger dogs. Puppies dream a ton as well! Incidentally, adult dogs spend about 10 to 12 percent of their sleeping time in REM sleep. Puppies spend a much greater proportion of their sleep time in REM sleep, no doubt compacting huge quantities of newly acquired data.

Q: Are dogs the only animals that dream?

A: Recent evidence suggests that animals even simpler and less intelligent than our genius dogs seem to dream

Q: Is this normal?

A: It is perfectly normal and healthy for your dog, and means that they’re in a deep sleep. It is best not to wake them up, just cover them with a blanket and “let sleeping dogs lie.”

Share your best doggy dreaming story with us in the comments below:

Want to know more? Here are some great sources from:

Cesar Millan 

Psychology Today

Dogster 

Pet Place

And we just couldn’t get enough of these dreamy dogs:

DSC_2026_high

Hachiko Debate: Supplements- when are they necessary and when are they a waste of money?

SUPPLEMENTS

Dog’s that are in good health and eat balances diets should not need supplements. In fact sometime supplements can also do harm- so before you decide that your dog needs them take a moment to look at the real need.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association from 2006 the most common supplements given are multivitamins, fatty acids (to improve coat shine), Probiotics (for gastrointestinal problems), supplements to support arthritic joins and antioxidants (to counter aging effects such as cognitive dysfunction).

Now it’s estimated that one third of every dog in the US receives some kind of supplement, and we are talking about a 1 Billion dollar market, that has little scientific evidence behind it. The FDA and many vets believe that pets receive a balanced diet when they are feed commercially processed dog food, while others think they are a good way to improve health.

There are a few general rules of thumb when considering  adding supplements to your dog’s diet:

You may consider adding supplements (after consulting with your vet!) if:

  • You feed your pet a homemade diet
  • You dog as particular health needs

You probably don’t need supplements if:

  • When you dog is in good health
  • If you feed them a store bought pet food diet (they usually contain the ingredients you are looking to supplements and adding more may have adverse effects)

Why is this such a big issue? Well overdoes of vitamins can be very bad. According to vets excess calcium can cause bone problems, too much Vitamin A or D can lead to vitamin toxicity with effects such as dehydration, joint pain, muscular atrophy and loss of appetite.

If, after consulting with your vet, you do decide to add supplements then here too you need to do your research and choose carefully! The National Animal Supplement Council checked joint support products on the market, and found that 25% didn’t really contain what they claimed on the label. When ConsumerLab.com tested thee probiotic supplements they only found one with enough dosage to be effective.

What to look for when looking at pet supplements:

  • Know exactly what ingredient you are looking for and check the label
  • Look for brands that have commissioned clinical studies
  • Gauge their expertise- look for brands that specialize in one area, or contact them directly to understand how the product was formulated and how long they have been in business
  • Look for certifications from third parties (such as the National Animal Supplement Council)
  • Do not give your pets human supplements. There are ingredients that are harmful to dogs!
  • Don’t fall to false promises- if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Supplements promising to alleviate cancer, parvovirus or hip dysplasia? Move along…

What do you think? Do you give your pets supplements? Why? Tell us in the comments!

Additional Reading:

Pets WebMD supplement guide

Pet MD Supplement guide

Top 10 supplements and do they work

Life with Beagle- are supplements worth it?

Hachiko Debate: Dogs in apartments- what’s the big deal?

A friend called me the other day with a common concern- she wants to adopt a dog but has a smallish apartment with no outdoor space.  And it seems she’s having a problem with dog shelters (which apparently is not a new problem).

So let’s look into this- is it really such a terrible thing to have a dog in a small apartment (hint, no it’s not).

Putting aside the fact that there are far too many dogs looking for loving homes, let’s turn to the experts.

The main consensus seems to be that it’s not the dog itself, or the size, but rather the breed that matters. Some breeds are just more adapt to smaller spaces. This is linked to energy levels and what we’re going to call barking potential.

Dogtime has a listing of breeds that adapt well to apartment living (from big to small):

  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Boston Terrier
  • French Bulldog
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • English Bulldog
  • Basset Hound
  • American Staffordshire terrier
  • Greyhounds
  • Great Danes

This isn’t to say that other breeds won’t suffice. And each dog has their own personality and quirks. You can have the most energetic pooch in small place- just make the time to make sure they get plenty of energy.

If you are making the leap, or already have here are some top tips for cohabitation with your dog:

  • Establish a routine to minimize ‘accidents’
  • If you have behavioral issues (such as barking or chewing on furniture) get a good trainer to help
  • Hire a dog walker to give you some peace of mind
  • Place a chair or bench by a window to allow your pup to jump up and look outside
  • Create a space that’s theirs, with a comfy bed and their toys
  • And of course, if you are renting don’t forget to double check with your landlord!

Further reading:

More tips

More about breeds here and here

Best ways to get rid of fleas

Fleas debate

So this is awkward.

But we had a little incident of fleas the other week. And we know, this happens to everyone. And it’s nothing to be ashamed of.. however we just couldn’t get rid of them.

We have a few too many pooches in the office, so we’ve had to institute a doggie ban until we can eradicate the problem, which is only made slightly more bearable thanks to Hachiko (so we can check in with them during the day).

This has also been the source of a heated debate- what’s the best way to get rid of fleas. Or more specially natural vs. medication. We’ve already written in the past about home remedies but lets take a deeper dive into the options here:

In the Natural corner:

  1. Rosemary Flea Dip – Boil water with a bunch of fresh rosemary twigs for 30 minutes. Strain the liquid and add to a gallon of warm water (it must be warm or it’s not effective, but make sure it’s not too hot!) give your pooch a good soak and then let them air dry.
  2. Lavender Essential Oil– place a few drops on the back of your dog’s neck and base of the tail. You can also sprinkle a few around the house
  3. Make your pup smell & taste awful (to fleas!) by adding a tablespoon of apple vinegar to their water or spoonful of brewer’s yeast to their food.

In the medication corner we find:

  1. Spot on treatments– usually very effective, but they can be strong and have warnings so read the labels carefully
  2. Oral Medications– pills that are given monthly are widely available and also work on immature fleas. (We recommend giving them with a treat!)
  3. Shampoos– There are a bunch on the market (We like Oster’s natural Oatmeal Flea and Tick Shampoo which Kills fleas and ticks at all stages of the lifecycle through naturally-derived Pyrethrins from Chrysanthemum flowers) and we’ve had good results though it’s a bit of a hassle and can require multiple uses as results usually last for around 2 weeks.
  4. Tick dips– lasts for longer than shampoos and should not be rinsed off (Sentry is a popular choice)
  5. Tick collars– more preventative than a treatment, but helpful!

Which method have you found most useful? Hopefully we’ll be flea free very soon and all our dogs will be back to distract us from working…

dog working
Our pooches are a major part of the work force here!

Haciko Debate: Raw food diet

We all know the age old saying of we are what we eat. One of the main decision us dog parents need to make is around what type of diet we want our pet to eat.

Dry food, wet food, raw food, commercial, locally made, homemade.

The choices can be overwhelming. And one of the hottest issues seems to be around raw diets. We wanted to take a deeper look at conversation and understand a little bit more what the advocate and critics say.

The raw food for dog movement started in Austalia in 1993 by vet Ian Billinghurst promoted “BARF” diet, which stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, which was essentially Bones and Raw Food, and is according to Dr. Billinghurst a more natural diet in line with what dogs would eat in the wild. Critics have pointed out that 1. Dogs live much shorter lives in the wild, so this is not necessarily a strong selling point, and 2. That a lot of the breeds we raise at home are very different to wild dogs.

The FDA and ASPCA  have weighed in, backing the critics in saying that there are great health risks in raw food diets. Specially in a 2010 Pet food study the FDA testing 193 commercial raw food and found that 15 were positive for Salmonella and 32 were positive for L. monocytogenes.

However let’s look at the pro’s and con’s to the raw food diet:

Pro’s:

  • Safety– there have been numerous pet food recalls and by preparing your dog’s meals you know exactly what you are feeding them
  • Nutritional benfits– you control exactly what you dog eats (and can tailor food based on allergies or sensitives). Commercial dog food also contains preservatives which you can eliminate from your dog’s diet
  • Health benefits– Everything from better dental health, to shiner coats, and higher energy levels. Some even say this is an outlet for chewing tendencies and can lead to overall better behavior.

Con’s:

  • Safety concerns– raw food is known to contain a number of pathogens (such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium botulinium, and Staphylococcus aureus). These pathogens usually only pose a serious human risk to the immuno-compromised, the elderly, and young children; however, this is a very important consideration if you are feeding a raw diet and have people in these risk groups living in your home.
  • Nutrition and health- Nutrient deficiency is a big concern on homemade raw diets. It’s hard to and time consuming to adequately balance a diet. Furthermore there are health risks from the food itself, eating bones has been known to hurt dogs and is a major concern.
  • Commitment– raw diets can be both very expensive and time consuming.

Continue reading

Hachiko Debate: Diet VS Slentrol

We’ve all been know to pack on the pounds, and our pooches are no exception. In fact according to the Banfield state of pet health report from 2013 1 out of 4 pets in the US are obese.

Diet and Exercise:

When faced with a puggy pup your first response should be around diet and exercise. Unsurprisingly the number one cause of obesity is… overeating. You may measure your pet’s food scientifically, but treats, off the table nibbles will rack up the calories. Start here by reducing your pet’s food consumption by 25%, cutting out the treats, and give them raw veggies instead (broccoli, green beans and carrots seem to be a hit).

Also not all dog food is created equal so check out a list of alternatives or switch to a high fiber dog food. And in general when picking dog food look at the ingredients! Aim for food that is high in protein and low in fat and carbs.

Don’t underestimate the power of more exercise, take longer walks, incorporate sprints, walk up and down stairs and play multiple rounds of fetch.

 

Slentrol- the “magic pill”:

When all else fails there is the only FDA approved doggie diet pill. Slentrol suppresses appetite, and slows the transfer of dietary fat to the bloodstream, and according to reports it works. You pooch can lose up to 0.7% of their body weight in a week.

However this is not a long term fix. Since the pill lowers your dogs cholesterol it can have adverse effects such as depression, anxiety, aggression, vomiting and diarrhea.

Have you used slentrol? Tell us about your experiences!

To crate or not to crate?

There comes a point, sooner or later, when every dog parent is faced with a decision: to crate or not to crate.

While most experts agree that dogs should be crate trained, since some situations require it (for example after vet procedures or plane travel), there is a definite split between those that use crating at home for training/ containment purposes or for car travel.

Crating as a training/containment tool:

Many dog owners use crates with puppies and adopted adult dogs to train them and also to make sure dogs stay out of harm’s way when they are left alone.

  • Pro’s:
    • It can keep dogs safe- and prevent them from getting into trouble by chewing power cables, or running around the house
    • The carte can be a sanctuary for you dog- a safe place for them to go that is their own
    • It’s a great training tool
  • Con’s:
    • It is very easily abused- PETA is very firm in it’s guidance that crating as a training tool can have adverse effects
    • It deprives dogs of freedom- dogs that spend most of the day in a crate are limited in their movements, and limits their interaction with the environment
    • Can lead to behavioral problems when used excessively

Crating while travelling:

While in some situations, such as plane travel, this is not a decision left to us (then we need to decide if it’s worth the crating- but we’ll get into that later) we have come across an interesting debate in terms of crating during car travel.

  • Pro’s:
    • Less distracting for the driver- having your dog jumping or sliding around, or worse sitting on your lap (which is illegal in some states) can put both you’re and your pup in an emergency situation
    • Protects the dog in an emergency stop- there are also crash tested crates, so think of this as your dog’s seatbelt
  • Con’s
    • Owner guilt associated with putting their dog in a crate- we recommend taking frequent stops (every 2-3 hours) and let your dog out for a quick sniff and jog
    • Do not leave your dog in the crate (or loose in the car) when you leave- hopefully this will seem obvious but nevertheless always an important reminder

What do you think? Do you crate your dog? What are the benefits and downsides? Let us know in the comments!

And if you are looking to crate here’s some of the more popular crates out there:

Midwest Life Stages Folding Metal Dog Crate

Petmate Vari Kennel

Precision Pet ProValu2 Dog Crate 

Remington Wire Kennel

Precision Pet Products Precision Pet ProValu Great Crate Double Door Dog Crate

And check out this guide to choosing the right size crate for your dog

Going Home for the Holidays: Taking your dog with you VS Leaving them behind

When we first heard about this debate it seemed like there was an obviously correct side- what kind of person would leave their poor pet alone for the holidays right?… But then again what kind of person would stuff their dog in a crate for a flight?

This is definitely a hot issue and each side has pro’s and con’s.

Taking your dog with you:                    

Pro’s:

  • They are part of the family and everyone should be together
  • Separation anxiety when they are not with you
  • You know they are going to be taken care of

Con’s:

  • Travel is not a great experience for dogs- especially if it involves planes/ long trips
  • Taking them to someone else’s house can be a burden
  • Being surrounded by lots of new people can cause anxiety and over excitement

Leaving your dog behind:

Pro’s:

  • Let’s be honest… more freedom
  • Easier travel and not burdening family members
  • Less planning and packing of dog supplies

Con’s:

  • Where to leave them is always an issue. With friends? With a dog sitter? Boarding? You need to have an option you trust
  • Can be a very expensive option

What do you think? How do you make these decisions?