Guest blog written by Annette Vivian, author of Snoopy’s Dogblog.
I used to think that in order for my dog to work as a therapy pet he would have to be the most perfect pooch! That was until my mischievous little pup, Snoopy, passed his therapy dog assessment test with flying colors.
Turns out, Snoopy’s playful personality didn’t mean he couldn’t be a great therapy dog. I trained Snoopy to be sociable with children, adults and other dogs from the time he was a puppy. I also took him with me everywhere I went to help him get used to new environments. This allowed him to become relaxed on car rides. Now he loves going out on adventures!
As a therapy dog, Snoopy goes mainly to retirement and convalescent homes. The moment Snoopy walks into the homes, he is greeted with smiles and questions from the residents and staff. Some people just want to sit and pet him, and he would stay all day if he could—he just loves the attention. It really makes my day seeing all the joy he brings to others.
Join the Pet Therapy Twitter Chat! Is your pet perfect for animal-assisted therapy? Join our Therapy Pet Twitter Chat from 7:00 to 8:00 P.M. on Thursday, September 6, and find out! Use hashtag #TherapyPets.
If you’ve visited NoPetStorePuppies.com, you already know that Larry the dog, the No Pet Store Puppies campaign mascot, is serious about ending puppy mills.
This October 28, Larry’s going to step up his game and take some real action for dogs in puppy mills. He’s going to raise money for animals, increase awareness about puppy mills, and work off the weight he put on over the summer by running the Los Angeles Rock N Roll Half Marathon as part of Team ASPCA.
Don’t think our giant dog has what it takes to run a half-marathon? Look, we’re not saying it’s going to be easy. Not every canine is cut out for running long distances, especially six-foot-tall spokesdogs who walk on two legs. But Larry’s going to give it his best shot, and now’s your chance to support him.
Larry needs your help to stay focused on the finish line. To see Larry’s video announcement about joining Team ASPCA and to support him in his efforts, visit Larry’s Team ASPCA page.
As you know, exactly seven years after Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Isaac is devastating Gulf Coast communities. Waist-high flooding has forced thousands to evacuate their homes, and as first responders work to rescue people stranded by the storm, the ASPCA is planning rescue operations for stranded and imperiled animals.
The ASPCA’s response to this crisis is only just beginning and is evolving by the minute, but we have taken the following measures:
Our top experts are working closely with the Louisiana State Animal Response Team to plan and execute rescue.
We’re deploying responders to conduct door-to-door rescue of animals in flooded or abandoned homes.
We’re assisting a Louisiana animal shelter facing flooding.
We are supplying boats and other equipment for critical water rescue missions.
We transported animals from a Mississippi shelter to make room for possible Isaac victims.
If you’re seeking a way to help, you can make a gift to the ASPCA here. The ASPCA relies on the support of compassionate people like you to conduct rescues like this one and to assist animals facing other crises.
California, Texas, Illinois, Mississippi and Oklahoma have already banned horse slaughter and/or the sale of horse meat for human consumption, and we’re hoping New Jersey will be next. A bill banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption, as well as related activities such as selling and transporting horse meat and live horses for slaughter, overwhelmingly passed the New Jersey Legislature in June.
There are currently no slaughterhouses processing horse meat for human consumption in the U.S.—the last ones shut down in 2007. However, the foreign-owned companies that used to profit from selling the meat of American horses overseas are trying hard to get this industry back up and running.
Because the resumption of horse slaughter would be a giant step backward for animals, the ASPCA, along with the entire animal welfare community, has spent years lobbying Congress to ban horse slaughter and the transport of horses for slaughter nationwide. Until we succeed, it is vital that individual states continue to stand against this horrific practice by passing their own bans.
According to a 2012 survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 53 percent of adult dogs and 55 percent of cats are overweight or obese. That equals 88.4 million pets!
Obesity in pets is no joke. Just like in humans, it can cause a host of health issues, including respiratory distress, orthopedic problems and arthritis, and has been shown to make dogs more prone to diabetes and compromised immune systems.
So how do you know if your dog is overweight? And what can you do to help your portly friend? Read on!
When determining if your pet needs to shed a few LBs, ask yourself: Does he bulge at the waist? You should be able to feel, but not see, your dog’s ribs and spine
Talk to your vet! Certain health conditions—such as a low thyroid level and other hormonal imbalances—can cause weight gain in dogs.
One of the most important steps for controlling your dog’s weight is to cut out the treats and snacks. Exercise can only accomplish so much if your pet is taking in too many calories between meals.
“If you feel you must give your dog treats, choose low-calorie options such as veggies or a piece of rice cake,” recommends the ASPCA’s Dr. Louise Murray, author of Vet Confidential. “Decide how many treats your dog will get each day, and…make sure everyone in the family understands the plan and agrees with it.”