03 August 2017 by Grace on Living with dogs

Animal Hoarding

What is animal hoarding? I deal with this question on probably a daily basis. Animal hoarding is not necessarily a person who has a large number of animals. An animal hoarder is a person who has a large number of animals and cannot properly care for them, while insisting that they can. According to the Hoarding of Animals Research Consortium, these are the characteristics of an animal hoarder: • More than the typical number of companion animals • Inability to provide even minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter and veterinary care, with this neglect often resulting in starvation, illness and death • Denial of the inability to provide this minimum care and the impact of that failure on the animals, the household and human occupants of the dwelling Animal hoarders have compulsive disorders that lead to them obtaining the animals. They become deeply attached to each one of their animals and have a hard time letting them go. They believe that they are caring properly for their animals, which is a major distinction between hoarders and those that are cruel to animals. Unfortunately, hoarding is harmful to humans and animals. The conditions that …

Read more
10 April 2017 by Vedrana on Living with dogs

Scientific Dog Love is Here

I am a scientist who loves dogs. In my research I have spent much of my working life traveling through different European countries. In each area I have encountered distinct personalities, philosophies, traditions, and different approaches to life. I appreciate these different approaches dearly. In order to preserve, extend, and maintain life, cultures develop a unique approach to health and healing. Over time, I discovered remedies, diagnostic techniques, treatments. With each new discovery I became a blend of different philosophies and treatments. What does a scientist do in a situation such as this? We improve. We are here to expand perspectives and insight into how we can approach disease, diagnosis and treatment, and I want to impart some of this specialized knowledge and vision of the future to my readers. Why am I with DoggyDoc? As a scientist, I am always curious as to “why” medical treatment is done a certain way, or why test results are the way they are. And, I am always seeking new knowledge about these wonderful creatures we call dogs. I am excited to be here to contribute to the development of a new diagnostic …

Read more
14 January 2017 by Grace on Living with dogs

They Live Here, You Don’t

There’s an email circulating around with a sign that a person posted on their front door. I chuckled when I received it in my inbox, as most pet parents that I know have suffered the complaints and eye-rolls of non-animal-loving guests at their home. Here’s the sign: TO ALL NON-PET OWNERS WHO VISIT AND LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PETS: 1.) They live here. You don’t. 2.) If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That’s why they call it ‘fur’-niture. 3.) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people. 4.) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours, and don’t speak clearly. Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they: 1) eat less, 2) don’t ask for money all the time, 3) are easier to train, 4) normally come when called, 5) never ask to drive the car, 6) don’t hang out with drug-using people, 7) don’t smoke or drink, 8) don’t want to wear …

Read more
03 November 2016 by Grace on Living with dogs

Grieving the Loss of Your Pet

It’s been a year and a half and she is still missed. It’s hitting especially hard now because the holiday season was her time. The day after Thanksgiving was the day that all the Christmas decorations came out of the shed. She would jump around and act silly—nose-poking the box that held her stocking and her reindeer antlers (to this day I still don’t know how she knew which box it was). She would lie quietly on a blanket beside us while we opened each box and carefully extracted each ornament, her eyes lighting up when the angels and snow globes made their appearance. Then, when the last ornament went up on the tree, we would step back and look at our handy work... she was always beside us, body wagging as if to say, “Good job!” The decorations did not come out the day after Thanksgiving this year. We tried, but we just couldn’t. We kept thinking about her, our best friend, and we couldn’t. Christmas is just not the same without her. If you are reading this, you are a dog lover …

Read more
19 January 2015 by Dang on Living with dogs

Overcoming Our Helplessness

Born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam, I have seen my country progress from an underdeveloped, war-ravaged country to become one of the most rapidly developing nations in Southeast Asia. Almost everyone enjoys the benefits of modern communucation. We have instant and ubiquitous internet access, and hence, we expect all kinds of information to be available, immediately. Nontheless, dogs in Vietnam are still not properly cared for. They rarely recieve veterinary treatment. The unfortunate among them are at risk of being stolen and sold to illegal dog traders. Although there are animal rights, veterinary clinics and hospitals, animal care is still a private, and expensive service. It relies exclusively on the veterinarian for help, and owner education and supplimentary resources which can come in handy in an emergency are not here yet. So, our "modern" assumption that everything is at our fingertips works great, except for our pets. When found a stray dog right in front of my office I experienced something that proved to me how far we have to go. Stray dogs are still somewhat a common sight in Vietnam. And this one was in bad shape. He seemed …

Read more
24 November 2014 by Grace on Living with dogs

Head of Household: Man or Dog?

I am guilty of it. You have a cute, and I mean cute-make-you-change-your-voice-and-dance-around-cute, puppy. He’s so cute that you want to just cuddle with him all the time. He’s so adorable that he looks at you with those big, brown eyes and you give him the left over dinner on your plate. He’s so cuddly, you not only let him sleep on your bed, you give him your pillow. He’s just so precious that you… Yes, fill in the blank. The puppy now has you in his paw. The problem is, that cute little puppy grows up and sometimes becomes a big, unruly, disrespectful dog. As much as I hate to use the word “alpha” when speaking of a family member, in any group or household there has to be a leader. Even on our taxes, we have to declare whether we’re “Head of Household”; in other words, the leader. So even in your relationship with your pets, you must establish a “pack” leader. This can either be yourself or your dog. Your dog will look to you as provider, protector, and leader if you …

Read more
16 October 2014 by Grace on Living with dogs

An Opportunity for Education

I have a confession: I daydream about dognapping my neighbor’s dog. I know it’s bad and it definitely sounds a lot worse saying it out loud, but hear me out. I want to dognap this dog because I think he deserves better. For 20 minutes today, I watched him sit nicely on the doorstep, waiting for his person to emerge. When my neighbor finally opened the door, he yelled, “Move!” and walked right by his faithful companion. Every day this dog greets his people when they get home. If he is recognized, he might get a pat on the head but most days, the child is complaining that the dog is licking her. Cold… heat… rain… wind… this dog is outside; he is never allowed in the house, so his ratty, little blanket is on the porch. When I approached my neighbor, his first response was defensive and insisted that the dog had food, water, and shelter. But when I pushed about the dog being outside, he had the “he’s just a dog” attitude. My knee jerk response to a situation like this is fury. How can …

Read more
25 September 2014 by Mike on Living with dogs | Technology

Honoring Loved Ones with Innovation

Working with DoggyDoc is a neverending challenge to think outside the box. Taro, Mark, Jens, Carl, and our community of supporters are moving at full speed to do more, better, faster, and in just the right way. This last part is the hardest, but it's the part that leads to real innovation. We've built a unique user experience that doesn’t fall into any pre-made categories. Through the iDiDi, we are translating users’ visceral experience of their dog's state of being into useful veterinary information. Now that we've developed an app with this goal in mind, what's next? Our challenge is to connect to our audience, learn from them, and develop even more functionality into this special delivery mechanism because heath matters more than anything in our lives. Personally, I’ve had both a dog and a cat in my life. He was a Chow Chow named Bear and she was a calico cat named Root Beer. Both were with me throughout their entire lives. Bear’s life was cut short due to cancer, and the memories I have of flushing his tumor and giving him medicine are probably familiar …

Read more
23 September 2014 by Grace on Living with dogs

How to Speak Dog – From a DoggyDoc Power User

*Here's what most likely happened the first time you tried try to Speak Dog * “Sit, sit, sit, SIT, SIT, SIT… I SAID, ‘SIT”…. Please sit. Come on sit. Sit, sit, sit, …” I’m sure you’ve all heard this type of interaction. I know many of us have even been guilty of it. Guess what? Dogs don’t speak English; they don’t speak German or Japanese either. I know you are probably sitting there thinking to yourself, “My dog does. When I tell him to sit, he sits.” Well, I hate to be a Debbie Downer but your dog still doesn’t speak English. What your dog does know is the cue for “sit”. Cues are words that describe the behaviors that you ask of your dog (sit, down, come, etc.). Just because you say a cue to your dog, does not mean that he will understand what you want him to do. With that said, it is extremely important to not confuse your dog and have him ignore you when you talk to him; if you use a cue and your dog does not know the behavior, then …

Read more
16 September 2014 by Grace on Living with dogs

A Few of My Favorite Things, Part 1: For Your Dog

Christmas is just around the corner and here is the moment of truth: Do you buy your dog a present? Don’t be embarrassed—I most certainly do! For all of you that do buy your dog a gift, here’s a list of my favorite pet products. Food Delivery Toys I love these types of toys because it keeps my dog busy. So often I hear, “my dog has separation anxiety because he tore up the backyard.” Fortunately, a great deal of the time it is not separation anxiety (which many times leads to medication) but boredom. Give your dog a food delivery toy, and voila, puppy is busy and is getting rewarded for doing so. My favorite products on the market are: Kong- I throw some wet food in there, mixed with dry food and pop it in the freezer. When I go to work, I give him the frozen Kong and that equals hours of gnawing and chewing to get the yummy treats out. Kongs are great for dogs that like to chew on things. Buster Cube- It looks like a large dice. You put your dog’ …

Read more