Posted by & filed under Guest Blogger, Natural Dog Treats, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Podcasts, Talk Radio, Tracie Hotchner.

newtraciepicCold weather woes for doggy toes! If you live in a city where it gets cold in the winter, the salt they spread on the sidewalks to prevent and melt ice will burn the pads of a dog’s feet. There are ice-melting chemicals used instead of or alongside salt – like magnesium and calcium chloride – which can also irritate a dog’s feet. In addition, when you get home and your dog licks his feet he can get an upset stomach from ingesting those chemicals.

Dog booties can be great in the winter even if your dog does not have especially delicate feet because the products used on sidewalks to melt the ice and snow really can cause misery for your dog. The best protective action you can take in any wintry city is to get a set of dog booties.

Those dogs that live in the country have a different challenge: the ice balls I’ve written about previously, that can form in between the toes and paw pads of longer haired dogs and can cause pain, limping, and even lameness. Those dogs need booties in harsh weather just as much as their city cousins.

One problem is that many of the dog boot designs are flawed – they don’t take into account how a dog’s foot and leg come together and the mechanics of how they move. Some are so poorly designed that they fall off before a dog gets out of the house!

My book The Dog Bible mentions a few companies that have a user-friendly dog boot design – and even one company in Michigan that will cut boots for a dog’s individual paw and leg size (although they are not appropriate for cold wet winter weather). Myself, I’ve had good luck with my big outdoor dogs being able to run fast in Ruffwear boots, which stay on securely with a Velcro ankle strap and even give traction on slippery trails.

FilmA warning about fitting and adjusting booties: be sure that the boot fits snugly, but don’t secure them so tightly that you cut off circulation. If booties are too tight a dog can actually get frostbitten toes, which require emergency medical intervention.

However, the biggest problem is that many dogs will not accept footwear! Some dogs won’t take so much as a step once the boots are on – they just stand as if cemented in place! Other dogs lift their feet so high when they walk that they look like they are prancing horses! So how can you cajole your dog into wearing them?

* Do not wait to tart putting on boots until you have all your winter outerwear on and the dog has on her jacket – you’ll both get overheated and frustrated!

* Start as young as you can putting boots on your dog – but many dogs of any age can learn to accept the sensation of having their feet covered if it is proposed in a calm and rewarding way.

* Sit down on the floor with your dog beside you and open a jar of Halo Liv-a-Littles (you need really good rewards for a boot fitting exercise!)

* Take a front paw lightly in your hand, palm up. If she doesn’t resist, offer a small piece of Halo freeze-dried protein with your other hand. Continue putting boots on each of her feet, giving treats during the process. If she is accepting the footwear, then go right outside as her reward, with lots of verbal praise and some Liv-a-Littles in your pocket to encourage her outdoors, too.

* If she is fussy even about having her paw held or resting in your palm, you’ll need to work on paw touching and holding over a period of days, constantly offered Liv-a-Littles until the whole thing seems fun (or at least bearable!).

* Slip one booty onto one front paw and give a Liv-a-Little. If she puts down her paw and accepts the sensation give her another piece of treat.

* Do the same with the other front paw. Lots of treats, be calm and patient, have a happy, upbeat “Isn’t this fun?!” tone of voice.

* Encourage her to walk around the house wearing only the front two boots, praising her and giving her bits of Liv-a-Littles intermittently.

* Do this exercise for just a few minutes if your dog seems a bit uncomfortable; continue treating while you take the boots off. Try again an hour or a day later. You want to keep having positive experiences around the boot-wearing.

* Graduate to booties on all four paws, progressing to her wearing a full set of boots around the house. Only once she has accepted the boots indoors should you venture outdoors where there will be different sensations under her feet (wet, cold, slushy, slippery).

Even if it takes time and patience, it’s a worthwhile investment so that your dog can eventually be comfortable on winter streets. The bonus: all that paw handling will make toenail clipping easier, too!

Tracie Hotchner is the author of THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know.

She is also a renowned pet radio host and producer, having spent 7 years on the Martha Stewart Channel of Sirius/XM with CAT CHAT® and even longer with her award-winning NPR radio show DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) that continues to broadcast in the Hamptons and the Berkshires. Her most recent accomplishment is the pet talk radio network she has created on the Internet called The Radio Pet Lady Network.


Posted by & filed under Dr. Nicholas Dodman, pet adoption, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pet Shelters.

101118_4177_dodman154.jpgWhether you acquire your dog from a shelter or from a breeder, some will come with — or develop — vexing behaviors of one sort or another.

In fact, some 42% to 90% of owners when asked point blank if their dog exhibits any, even minor, behavior problems will admit that it does. What these owners often fail to realize, though, is that most of these behavior problems are surprisingly easy to treat as long as owners take the right course of action.

I will list a few of the more common behavior problems below. Click here to read the solutions to these behavior problems.

1. Submissive Urination (otherwise known as Super-submission)
2. Separation Anxiety
3. Owner-Directed Aggression
4. Fear Aggression to Strangers.
5. Fear Aggression to Other Dogs
6. Storm Phobia
7. Excessive Barking
8. Running Away

Whatever behavior problem your new or old friend is showing, there is always a way forward. There is an old saying, “That as long as you are on the right path you will eventually get where you’re going.” All I have done is explain that path for the various conditions mentioned above. The journey down that path may be long or may be short but, like every journey, it begins with the first step and continues with the very essence of training — consistency and patience on the part of the trainer (that would be you!).

Click here to read complete article.

Dr. Dodman is a Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and Director of the school’s Animal Behavior Clinic. He is also Chief Scientific Officer for the CENTER FOR CANINE BEHAVIOR STUDIES. He has written over 100 scientific articles and several popular press books, including The Dog Who Loved Too Much and The Cat Who Cried for Help.


Posted by & filed under Caroline Golon, pet adoption, Pet Shelters, Pet Stories.

soldier-lgOne soldier’s heartbreak turned to happiness, thanks to the kindness of an animal rescue and a fellow soldier.

According to the Herald Sun in Melbourne, Australia, a solider, who asked to remain anonymous, recently lost his mother. He was caring for her beloved 12-year-old dog, Prinny, when he was deployed to Iraq. Sadly, he had no one to care for the sweet little dog.

The soldier sadly surrendered the dog to a local shelter, who promised to find the pup a good home. The shelter turned to Kae Norman with Rescued with Love to help.

Norman was happy to assist and soon, one of Rescued with Love’s foster families heard about Prinny’s plight and agreed to give her a forever home. The adoptive dad is a veteran and dog lover who was honored to care for a fellow soldier’s pooch and promised to give her all the love and attention she needed.

Click here to read the complete story


Posted by & filed under Caroline Golon, Giving Back, Natural Dog Food, Natural Pet Food, pet adoption, Pet Shelters.

8Homeless pets across the nation will have more radiant coats, clearer eyes and renewed energy, thanks to the community, Halo, Purely for Pets and

The 4th annual Holiday Kibble Drop delivered a total of 565,000 meals to pets in need at more than 30 shelters and rescues in 15 cities throughout December.

At each Kibble Drop location, shelters and rescues received a food donation on behalf of visitors and Halo customers, who make the Kibble Drop possible simply by playing or by purchasing Halo pet food.

Halo retail partners in each of the cities along the Kibble Drop route generously agreed to provide a place where area shelters and rescues could pick up their donation.

Click here to read the complete story.


Posted by & filed under Belkis Cardona-RIvera, Giving Back, pet adoption, Pet Shelters.

loveanimalslogoShow your love for animals with this great campaign from our partner,

Love is in the air, and, a cutting-edge nonprofit crowdfunding website exclusively for animal causes is running a special Valentine’s Day campaign in order to grow their power and connect more animal lovers like yourself with critically important animal projects.

As their proud founding sponsor, we want to support their efforts, and we encourage you to do the same by checking out their campaign page:

What is crowdfunding? It’s a fun way to raise funds for important causes, by getting lots of people to chip in with just a few dollars. As they say, “Every little bit counts!” focuses only on animals, so that animal lovers and non-profits can easily find each other. Plus, unlike most crowdfunding websites, doesn’t charge any fees and takes no percentage of the money raised by their non-profit partners. That’s right: campaign donations go directly to the projects that need them.

The crowdfunding platform empowers everyone to get involved by performing small actions. Everyone can join the animal welfare movement by sharing this story on social media.

For Valentine’s Day, is asking animal lovers to share the love so they can help even more animals. You can check out their campaign at 14 Days of Love! campaigns run the full gamut of animal welfare projects. Pets, wildlife, marine preservation – you can find any project that helps animals posted on the platform. Here are some of our favorites, both big and small:

Roger the cat: Tossed from a moving car, the one-pound kitten was in critical need of surgery. In less than 24 hours, donors doubled Longmont Humane Society’s funding goal. Today, Roger is a happily rambunctious – and healthy – cat.

Chimp Haven: The only national chimpanzee sanctuary in the U.S., Chimp Haven, chose to raise funds to care for former research chimps. Donors raised nearly $60,000!

Catalina the cat: Catalina was found on the streets of NYC with burns on the majority of her back and tail. As part of their Critical Care Program, Sean Casey Animal Rescue provided veterinary care including daily wound care, IV antibiotics, and X-rays. And donors funded the over $4000 bill!

HSUS Prairie Dog Coalition: By working to address the dwindling prairie dog population, this wildlife organization improves the health of the entire prairie ecosystem. They raised over $5000 in their end-of-year appeal through

Learn more at