Should You Muzzle Your Dog for Your Cat’s Safety?

Muzzle for dogs

I got this email from a listener:

“I need a muzzle for my pitbull.  She is great with me, but I don’t trust her with cats in the house, so when she is in the house she is crated.  I want to transition her to give her more freedom without risking harm to my cats. I planned to let her hang with me on the couch with the muzzle on. What type do you recommend?”


My answer was:

“A muzzle is an excellent idea on your part instead of crating! My recommendation would be a Baskerville Ultra Muzzle designed by British dog trainer and guru Roger Mugford, whose Company of Animals has many innovative products for dog wellness. This muzzle has a flexible fit for dogs with wider noses and also allows the dog to eat, drink and pant while wearing it. The ergonomically designed safety strapping ensures the muzzle remains securely in place and features two additional points of secure attachment. It is made from strong but maleable thermo plastic rubber (TPR), so that the muzzle can even be molded to best fit a dog’s muzzle by warming in hot water then cooling in cold to create a broad muzzle for a boxer (or possibly your pittie if he has a broad head) or a narrow muzzle for a Borzoi.

However, you need to introduce a dog slowly and gently to a muzzle, by using positive reinforcement and high value treats. Offer your dog some pieces of cheese, hot dog, or Halo-Liv-a-Little freeze dried cubes of salmon or chicken while adjusting the muzzle on your dog’s face the first time. Let him wear the muzzle while you are around for increasing amounts of time until he doesn’t fuss with it and looks to you for those treats,which he will associate with wearing the muzzle. Periodically give him more treats through the openings in the front while he’s wearing it the first few times, until he can even lie comfortably on his bed (or on the couch with you!) while wearing it.”

After getting this email I wanted to raise the question of whether a cat is ever truly safe in a dog household with Gayle Watkins, a renowned Golden Retriever breeder and one of my Avidog International co-hosts on my dog training show GOOD DOGS!  Our recent podcast on the topic makes it clear that jeopardy for the cat always theoretically exists, especially when the humans are out of the house. On the show I talk about how a cat can quickly become prey, even to a dog she has lived and played with – but when the cat takes off, the prey-drive instinct takes over in many dogs and tragedy can happen. Especially when adopting or rehoming a dog – even one that you’ve been told is “good with cats” – please be aware that this possibility exists. I have heard of newly-adopted dogs who went after a family cat and then the people couldn’t bear to live with the dog anymore and discarded him.

So our recommendation is to always separate dogs and cats in different parts of the house when you leave them alone – or muzzle the dog so that the kitties stay safe.

Tracie HotchnerTracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

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Dogs Help Fight Poaching in Tanzania

WWE dogs

We all know that poaching is a huge problem that needs to be stopped. According to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), “ivory poaching has reduced the elephant population in Tanzania’s oldest and largest protected area by 90%” in the last 40 years alone.. Karin Wagemann is one of the dedicated people working to stop that trend – with a little help from some four-legged barking friends!

“Training dogs, that’s always been easier for me,” Karin told The Spokesman-Review. Karin is an American Society of Canine Trainers instructor but some of her most impressive dogs are in Tanzania, not America. So far she has trained four anti-poaching dogs and returned to Tanzania in January to continue working with six Tanzanian handlers dedicated to protecting the elephants of Tanzania.

The four dogs are former rescue dogs from America named Tony, Popo, DJ, and Radar. They know how to detect hippo teeth, ammunition, rhino horns, and ivory from elephant tusks. The handlers are game scouts with the Grumeti Law Enforcement Division. Despite a language barrier, they made their love for the dogs clear to Karin.

“They really care about the dogs and have shown care I haven’t seen anywhere else,” Karin said. That helped compensate for the human language problems. They worked together for two months on canine management as well as advanced detection and tracking before the handlers worked on their own for eight weeks while Karin returned to the United States. Looking back, “I couldn’t have asked for a better group,” Karin told reporters.

Once the group is done with training, they will work with the dogs at roadblocks to detect and halt transport and trade of illegal animal goods. The dogs are not attack dogs though. “They’re not aggressive,” explained Karin. If they detect a smuggled item, they “sniff you out and think you have a toy for them.”

Karin loves working with protection dogs and helping fight poachers. Karin told reporters, “I have known I was going to this [vocation] for a long time” before adding that it is “the best job ever.” Karin’s work with the dogs isn’t just helping elephants. The WWF notes that poaching also harms local communities who depend on tourism for their livelihoods. The tourists come to see the animals, so if the animals disappear, the tourists will, too.

Halo’s mission includes our belief that each and every animal impacts our lives and ultimately plays a role in improving our collective well-being. Because of that, we’re actively challenging the long-held one-way view of animal management (purely for human benefit) for one where we take care of each other—people, animals, and planet. We applaud the dogs and people working together to prevent poaching and take care of our planet. Those are some good dogs who deserve great treats for their amazing work.

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March 2018 Web Store Special

Halo pet products 2017

For our blog and newsletter subscribers, here’s a special offer!

When you order $100 or more this month, you’ll get:

  • 20% off
  • Free Shipping
  • Order by 03/31
  • Use Coupon Code: OUTLIKEALAMB20PCT

Instructions

  1. Go to the Halo Web Store— Shop by adding Halo products and go to your shopping cart.
  2. Enter Promo Code in the Order Summary window and proceed to checkout.
  3. Hurry–limited time only. You have until March 31, 2018 to place your Halo order with this promotion!
  4. Note: Coupon codes cannot be combined. Only one offer per shipment.
  5. Offer valid in lower 48 states only. For other locations, please contact us or use our store locator to find a retailer near you.

Shop Now

Posted in Belkis Cardona-RIvera, Bloggers, Holistic Pet Food, Natural Pet Food, Web Store Deals | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Facebook Fan Says, “Halo the Bengal Loves Her New Halo Kitten Food”

Halo the Bengal Cat Loves Halo Kitten Food

Halo Facebook Fan Rommey Walsh shared with us her story about her kitten named Halo and her Halo natural cat food experience. She says:

Halo the Bengal loves her new Halo Kitten Food! She is just 14 weeks. Born into my hands and bottle fed. Her name is Wild Legacy On A Wing And A Prayer Aka Halo, Halo Bean, Broken Halo (because she is mischievous). She’s thriving on Halo kitten!”

Rommey, thank you so much for sharing your story and we are happy that Halo is happy and healthy.

Posted in Belkis Cardona-RIvera, Bloggers, Cat Food, Holistic Cat Food, Holistic Pet Food, Natural Cat Food, Natural Pet Food, Testimonials | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

What Can We Learn from the Puppy Who Died on United Airlines?

United Airlines

There are a lot of people who – when they learned about a puppy who died in an overhead luggage bin on a United Airlines flight last week – were filled with moral outrage against the airline. They went ballistic, telling everyone on social media that they were going to boycott United Airlines and so should everyone else to “send a message.”

What message would that be?

What could possibly be achieved by boycotting United Airlines?
An airline company did not cause the death of a puppy.

United Airlines is a huge company that (safely) puts thousands of flights in the air every week, with tens of thousands of employees helping to make that happen. United Airlines policy allowed that dog in the passenger cabin in a TSA-approved carry bag, intended to be placed under the seat in front of the woman traveling with her 11-year-old daughter and infant, flying back to New York’s LaGuardia Airport from Houston.

I think this indignation against the airline is entirely misdirected.

Why are people so quick to jump to the conclusion that an airline company would knowingly do anything to harm a pet – and should be punished? [Why would United Airlines ever want to be dealing with another public relations nightmare – not so long after Marshalls forcibly dragged a human passenger down the aisle of another United flight?]

This traveling puppy was allowed into the passenger cabin according to United’s own rules. He was traveling legitimately – in a TSA-approved bag with a paid fee. He was traveling with the same owner who had already flown the first leg of a round trip journey – with that same dog, in the same bag, on the same airline. So what went wrong this time that caused the death of that puppy? And what can we all learn as a take-away moral to the story so this kind of debacle doesn’t happen again?

The story that circulated in the New York Times and all over the country – in print and on television – was that a flight attendant told the owner of a carry bag – that wasn’t fitting fully under the seat in front of her – that she had to put the bag up in an overhead bin before takeoff. The owner later said she explained there was a dog in the bag, but regardless, the flight attendant still said it had to go in the overhead bin. The flight attendant later claimed not to have understood there was a dog in the bag.

Obviously, an overhead bin was never intended for anything but inanimate carry-on bags, It would be unimaginable that a crew member – even if rushed, distracted, overworked or thoughtless – would send a puppy to its certain death by locking it into what would become an airless tomb. Who doesn’t love puppies, after all? Would anybody knowingly suffocate a little dog for convenience?

But we have to wonder why the owner didn’t repeat herself – refuse to have the dog put up there? She’d already flown successfully with the dog in that bag underneath a seat with the dog to Houston – so she knew how it worked when it went right.

Let’s say she was frazzled traveling with two children. Let’s say she didn’t’ make herself clear enough to the flight attendant

Let’s even say she was a timid person, afraid of making a scene.

What about everybody else sitting around her? Several passengers later reported that the crew member insisted on putting the dog in the bin despite the fact a dog was in it. But why didn’t any one of them say something? Why didn’t someone stand up on behalf of the dog and the traveling family? Why did everyone wait until after the tragedy to acknowledge they saw it unfolding and did nothing?

Shouldn’t the moral outrage in this story be directed at bystanders who stood by and said and did nothing while obvious harm was being done to a puppy?

All it takes is for one good person to remain silent for something terrible to take place. And each person who remained silent on that flight – expressing their horror and outrage later – surely has some responsibility in the foreseeable tragedy.

After the flight, several fellow passengers said the dog barked for two hours of the three and a half hour flight. And then it fell silent. Without air circulation, a frightened, barking dog would have consumed whatever small amount of oxygen was in there. How many people had to sit listening to the plaintive barking of a trapped dog for two hours and do nothing?

Why didn’t one person stand up and say “Take that dog out of there?”  Why didn’t other people join that one voice of reason and say, “Take the dog out of a luggage bin. ”Why didn’t they react when the dog barked itself to death during the flight – only to express outrage on social media once they got home?

It’s a terrible tragedy that a number of otherwise presumably intelligent people allowed a young puppy to be locked inside an airless overhead bin. But why direct moral indignation at a faceless airline company as though it were the villain?

Maybe after this traumatic death we can think about how we might someday find ourselves in a position to do the “right thing” – and that’s an opportunity we should never avoid. It only takes one righteous person to speak up in order to galvanize a whole crowd of people to resist the “wrong thing.”

Tracie HotchnerTracie Hotchner is a nationally acclaimed pet wellness advocate, who wrote THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. She is recognized as the premiere voice for pets and their people on pet talk radio. She continues to produce and host her own Gracie® Award winning NPR show DOG TALK®  (and Kitties, Too!) from Peconic Public Broadcasting in the Hamptons after 9 consecutive years and over 500 shows. She produced and hosted her own live, call-in show CAT CHAT® on the Martha Stewart channel of Sirius/XM for over 7 years until the channel was canceled, when Tracie created her own Radio Pet Lady Network where she produces and co-hosts CAT CHAT® along with 10 other pet talk radio podcasts with top veterinarians and pet experts.

Dog Film Festival - Tracie HotchnerTracie also is the Founder and Director of the annual NY Dog Film Festival, a philanthropic celebration of the love between dogs and their people. Short canine-themed documentary, animated and narrative films from around the world create a shared audience experience that inspires, educates and entertains. With a New York City premiere every October, the Festival then travels around the country, partnering in each location with an outstanding animal welfare organization that brings adoptable dogs to the theater and receives half the proceeds of the ticket sales. Halo was a Founding Sponsor in 2015 and donated 10,000 meals to the beneficiary shelters in every destination around the country in 2016.

Tracie lives in Bennington, Vermont – where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based – and where her 12 acres are well-used by her 2-girl pack of lovely, lively rescued Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda.

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