Dharamsala Animal Rescue https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org a world of difference for animals and people Thu, 16 Jan 2020 02:08:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/cropped-DAR_Favicon2-32x32.png Dharamsala Animal Rescue https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org 32 32 How To Stop A Dog From Jumping On You And Others https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/how-to-stop-a-dog-from-jumping-on-you-and-others/ https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/how-to-stop-a-dog-from-jumping-on-you-and-others/#respond Thu, 16 Jan 2020 02:08:28 +0000 https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/?p=213820 The post How To Stop A Dog From Jumping On You And Others appeared first on Dharamsala Animal Rescue.

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Does your dog jump up on you and your guests for attention? You’re definitely not alone. There are many pet parents dealing with the very same issue.

It’s important to teach your dog that this unwanted behavior is unacceptable. Otherwise, you’ll likely end up having to put your pup in another room while friends and family visit – that’s no fun for anyone.

Here are some reasons why dogs jump up on people, as well as some training tips to stop this behavior.

Why Does Your Dog Want To Jump On People So Much?

Whether your dog is a puppy or a few years old, jumping on people is an instinctual behavior. A dog is a social animal, used to living in a group, or pack. While dogs have adapted very well to the human world, they communicate in different ways.

One of those ways is greeting others. Dogs interact with each other face to face. They like to read each other’s eyes. They want to do that with humans as well – but they can’t because humans are too tall. In order to get as close to our face as they can, they jump.1

How To Stop A Dog From Jumping On You And Others So Much

When a dog jumps on you or your friend, it can be quite annoying. But it can also be dangerous. A large dog can knock a person down, potentially causing a serious injury. So, how do you stop this troublesome form of dog behavior?

Training is key, no matter your dog’s age. One way to teach your dog not to jump is simply to ignore it. If they don’t get any attention when they jump, they may stop. You can also teach your dog to sit. Wait until your dog sits down to give them any attention. When you tell them to sit, won’t be able to do that and jump at the same time.2

As long as you’re consistent, there’s a good chance you can stop this behavior over time. But you must continue to reinforce the fact that the dog shouldn’t jump up on people. Don’t occasionally allow your pup to jump on you (or someone else) – this sends the dog mixed messages and will take them much longer to learn what it is you want them to do.3

Get Someone To Help With A Meet And Greet

When your dog is begging for attention and jumping on you, firmly tell them to “sit.” You’ll want to do the same thing when your pet wants something to eat, or if they see you going to get the leash for a walk and get super excited. Once you feel like your dog is learning self-control, have a friend come over. When your friend arrives, tell the dog to sit.

If your dog stays in the sit position, give them a treat or some other type of reward. This is known as positive reinforcement, which you’ll learn more about in a bit. Have the dog on a leash just in case it doesn’t work. If it doesn’t, tell your pet to sit again and repeat the process.4

Positive Reinforcement: Train Your Puppy With Reward Instead Of Punishment

Positive reinforcement is a method of dog training that focuses on providing a reward for good behavior rather than punishment for bad behavior. In a nutshell, when a pet receives a reward for acting the way they should, the greater the chances are the pet will continue the good behavior and ditch the bad behavior that did not lead to reward.

While treats can definitely help motivate a puppy or an adult dog, affection may also work. A lot of dogs also respond well to walks and playtime. You can also start with treats and change to praise once they start to get the hang of things. If you choose not to provide a treat every time your dogs responds to a command, always give plenty of love and praise.5

You may have some professional dog trainers in your area who can help with positive reinforcement training. Talk to your vet to see if they have any recommendations.

What Is Clicker Training?

clicker training for dogOne type of positive reinforcement training is commonly referred to as clicker training. It’s also known as reward or mark training. It involves the use of a device that makes a clicking sound. Clicker training basically reinforces good behavior. When you click, that marks the exact moment the dog behaved exactly the way you wanted.

To condition your dog to the clicker, simply click the clicker and provide a treat right after. This way they will associate the clicker with getting a treat. You can then move into using the clicker to train your dog.

Say you’re training your dog to sit instead of jump up on people. When you click as soon as the dog sits, the click tells the dog they did the right thing. Then you immediately provide a treat, a toy, or praise as a reward. If you don’t want to use a clicking device, you can snap your fingers, whistle, or simply say “good boy/girl!.”6

A trainer can give you more information on clicker training or help show you how to implement it with your pet.

Reached A Dead End With Training? When To See A Veterinarian Or Professional Trainer

There are some cases where no matter what you do, you just can’t keep your dog from jumping on yourself or on others. If this is the case, you should seriously consider talking to a professional dog trainer.

There are other signs your dog might need training from an expert. Here are a few.

  • Guarding – This is where a dog is so possessive of a toy or some other prized possession that they growl when you try to take it. That should never happen. Eventually, the dog might try to guard your couch or your favorite chair.
  • Leash pulling – When you walk your dog, you should be in complete control – not the other way around. Leash pulling is irritating but it could also be dangerous. If you have a big dog who pulls on the leash, you could fall.
  • Nipping – When a puppy nips, that usually doesn’t result in any sort of serious damage. As a dog gets older, however nipping can become dangerous. Talk to a trainer if your dog continues to exhibit this type of behavior.7

Take Control Of Your Dog Constantly Jumping On People

Dog with owner, both peacefully sitting on bench

A dog jumping on someone is annoying when it happens repeatedly. It may cause scratches on the legs or other unwanted marks. It can also be dangerous, especially if the dog is big enough to potentially knock you down. But if you take the right steps, you should be able to eliminate this problem behavior for good. Just remember to have patience and show a lot of love when your pet behaves properly.

Learn more dog training tips at Ultimate Pet Nutrition.

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About the author

Dr. Gary Richter, MS, DVM

Dr. Gary Richter, MS, DVM

Dr. Gary Richter loves animals, and is passionate about keeping them healthy and happy as long as possible. He has received more than 30 awards due to his expertise in the field, and The American Veterinary Medical Foundation recently named Dr. Richter “America’s Favorite Veterinarian.” Dr. Richter has been at the forefront of pet nutrition for two decades, and he is also the author of the bestselling “The Ultimate Pet Health Guide.”

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Caring for Your Aging Dog https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/caring-for-your-aging-dog/ https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/caring-for-your-aging-dog/#respond Wed, 08 Jan 2020 00:12:12 +0000 https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/?p=213791 The post Caring for Your Aging Dog appeared first on Dharamsala Animal Rescue.

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Dogs are man’s best friend.

As much as we like to think our furry companions will always have that puppy attitude, bounding around the house with ceaseless energy, it’s important to remember that they age just as we do.

Caring for a senior dog requires a little extra attention and love; if your dog has reached geriatric age (seven years old for small dogs and six years old for large dogs), be sure to commit to the following tips and keep an eye out for these signs of illness.

senior dog care

Senior Dog Care

There are five aspects of your dog’s health that should be considered as they get on in age. By doing your best to ensure these vital needs are met, you can guarantee their comfort and happiness as the years continue.

  • Nutrition: Focus on low-calorie, high-fiber foods to avoid obesity and improve gastrointestinal health. Antioxidants like fruits and vegetables are key to fighting disease.
  • Exercise: As dogs enter their senior years, they become more sedentary, but inactivity makes dogs more prone to obesity, putting them at higher risk of other serious medical conditions. Your veterinarian will assess your dog’s abilities and let you know what types of activities are safe.
  • Vet Visits: Most vets recommend taking your dog for a checkup once every six months
  • Oral Health: Up to 80% of dogs will suffer from gum disease at some point in their lives. Vets recommend brushing your dog’s teeth at least once a day. If your senior dog suffers from painful gum disease, a toothbrush may be too irritating, so use a gentle dental spray or wipe to remove plaque.
  • Accommodations: Senior dogs often develop bone and joint problems as well as vision loss, which affect their mobility. Soft bedding and an easily accessible bed that doesn’t require jumping up or down will make things easier for an older dog. Therapeutic dog leg wraps and dog hock support braces can help ease arthritic pain as well.

Just as humans, however, disease can develop even if you’re doing everything right. The three main illnesses that affect aging canines are arthritiskidney disease, and cancer.

Arthritis is characterized by external physical problems, such as difficulty standing or sitting, excess sleep, or the favoring of one limb over another. Symptoms of kidney disease can be a little more subtle; your dog may have a decreased appetite, increased thirst, or may experience changes in urinary frequency, although vomiting and the development of mouth sores can also occur. Canine cancer manifests quite severely, and poses a serious threat to your dog’s health; you may notice abdominal swelling in addition to lumps and discolored skin patches, breathing difficulties, and diarrhea or vomiting.

The more diligent you are as a dog owner (and best friend), the better your odds of catching any health issues as soon as they arise. With the proper care and buckets of love, your pup will enjoy its senior years problem-free.

 
 

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About the author

Back on Track

Back on Track supplies dog therapy products, such as dog hock braces, beds and liners, and coats, to help keep your canine companion happy and healthy. We also carry a vast array of horse therapy products, such as horse leg wraps, saddle pads, riding helmets, and much more. Our products feature Welltex therapeutic fabric, which is used to increase blood circulation throughout the body and deliver increased relief and shortened healing times. We use Welltex in our selection of dog wrist braces, horse leg wraps , physio elbow braces for people, and our other therapeutic products.

 

 

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CBD for Pets https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/cbd-for-pets/ https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/cbd-for-pets/#respond Wed, 11 Dec 2019 17:12:52 +0000 https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/?p=213684 The post CBD for Pets appeared first on Dharamsala Animal Rescue.

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Most pet owners consider their pets as part of the family and want to keep their animals happy and healthy.

And just like with humans, pharmaceuticals can have some serious side effects on animals. CBD is the latest alternative to pharmaceuticals and is getting a lot of press as many products are being released, such as Martha Stewart’s new line of products for pets. The Global Pet Expo will have CBD retailers as well.

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in humans, and any animal that has a backbone has an endocannabinoid system. For humans, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a CBD-based prescription medication for a rare form of epilepsy. Currently, veterinarians are not allowed to write a recommendation for cannabis as a medical option to treat animals, yet there’s a lot of debate about whether they should be able to or not.

Dr. Robert Klostermann, the founder of Middletown Veterinary Hospital in Wisconsin, gives CBD to his pets. He explains, “I also have two older dogs, and one of them has developed separation anxiety in his old age, so I decided to see if CBD could help,” Klostermann added. “After one week of treatment, I really noticed a difference in my little dog.”

He continues, “The evidence is limited, but there is now evidence that reveals CBD can be helpful for certain ailments, and that’s something that we didn’t have before.”

 

What Your Vet Can and Cannot Say About CBD

CBD Oil

Right now a veterinarian must state that “At this time there is no scientific data on the use or dosage for CBD in pets, only anecdotal. Because CBD products at this time are not regulated, there is no way of ensuring the efficacy for various purposes, ranging from anxiety, arthritis, or even epilepsy. There [are] no current studies on dosage for CBD to correctly and effectively dose a 6-pound chihuahua or a 150-pound mastiff. The time may come when the science has true answers, but it is not now.” But that doesn’t mean that CBD is not therapeutic for pets.

For several reasons, your vet or vet technician may not discuss CBD with you. As the use of CBD for pets is new, they didn’t learn about it in veterinary school. And if they have done their own research, they still may not discuss it with you for legal reasons.

 

Research on CBD and Pets

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is currently sponsoring a study which will evaluate the use of CBD in treatment-resistant epileptic dogs. The hope is to gain scientific data on the use of CBD in dogs with this condition. Epilepsy is the most common neurological disorder in dogs. The AKC also had doctors share the experiences of their patients using CBD and having success with anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, and for possible anti-cancer benefits.

Colorado State University conducted a small study on dogs with epilepsy and found that 89% of dogs that were given CBD had fewer seizures. The head researcher, Dr. Stephanie McGrath, said, “Overall, what we found seems very promising.”

Another study from Cornell University gave CBD oil to dogs with osteoarthritis every 12 hours for 4 weeks and found that the dogs who received CBD oil had less pain that the dogs who were given a placebo. Pain levels were determined using the University of Pennsylvania’s Canine Brief Pain Inventory.

The University of Reading School of Pharmacy in the United Kingdom published a study in 2018 which evaluated the acute anti-seizure effect of CBD on mice and rats. CBD was found to be effective in an array of acute seizure models in both mice and rats. This study illustrated that CBD is a well-tolerated and effective form of treatment for anti seizures and also illustrates a potential disease-modifying effect by being able to reduce seizures. The results also provided data to support that CBD can reverse epilepsy-induced cognitive deficits which commonly occur with seizure patients.

 

Possible Side Effects of CBD in Animals

Research on CBD treatments and side effects has yet to be done on cats, dogs, horses, and birds. Most veterinarians associate the potential side effects of CBD based on how it affects humans. The most common effects are dry mouth, lowered blood pressure and drowsiness. The FDA has not approved CBD yet as a form of treatment for anything, but with the newly signed Farm Bill, that may change. CBD is still being sold legally, but without claims of therapeutic effects on the product itself. Legally that can’t occur until it has been tested and proven to do what it claims.

PetMD quotes Dr. Gary Richter, holistic veterinarian and medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital and Holistic Veterinary Care in Oakland, California, who explains that CBD oil is generally safe for cats. There can be some adverse side effects, which include constipation, diarrhea, and sedation.

If your animal is taking any medication, talk to your vet about any possible interactions of CBD with other drugs. Dr. Casara Andre, the founder of Veterinary Cannabis Education & Consulting, explains “We do see the strength of pharmaceuticals increase when dogs are taking CBD, so we can often taper down some of those pharmaceuticals.”

While CBD is generally safe for animals, marijuana is toxic. Pet Poison Hotline lists symptoms for animals that have inhaled the smoke from marijuana or ingested some of a plant or an edible, which can include lethargy, dilated pupils, difficulty walking, dazed expression, vomiting, high or low heart rate, whining or crying, body temperature too high or low, incontinence, tremors, seizures, and potential coma. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has estimated that over the last decade there has been a 765% rise in the incidences of pets consuming marijuana or marijuana products. For this reason, it’s recommended that you only purchase CBD products that have 0 THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana that gives the high.)

 

Common Uses for Pets

Some of the most common reasons pet owners give their cats and dogs CBD are:

 

Will CBD Make Your Pet High?

old dog

CBD doesn’t cause a high in animals or humans. Some CBD products have .3% THC. At one-third of 1%, it would take a very large amount to get your animal high. However, as marijuana is toxic to cats and dogs, it’s advisable to avoid products that have any THC in them.

Another benefit of CBD is that if you stop giving your cat or dog CBD, pet owners haven’t reported any withdrawal symptoms, though research on this topic is needed to confirm the anecdotal evidence.

 

Shopping for CBD Products for Cats and Dogs

Here are some guidelines for finding the best product for your pet:

  1. Purchase a product designed for pets, free from any ingredients that could harm them (such as chocolate or xylitol, which are both toxic for dogs) or any smells that might turn them off. Cats and dogs have a very powerful sense of smell, and they can be finicky eaters, so getting a product that’s specifically designed for them increases the chances that they’ll consume it.
  2. Look for a high-quality CBD product. The CBD industry is unregulated and there’s a wide range of options, so buying the cheapest product may have little to no benefit for your pet, and in a worst-case scenario actually harm them. Lower priced options could be toxic and have additional additives in it which are not safe for your pet.
  3. Look for organic products that are free of pesticides, fungicides, or solvents.
  4. CBD products should have a COA (certificate of analysis). A COA is issued by a third-party testing lab that tells you the exact amount of CBD that is in the product, as well as other information such as the presence of solvents, pesticides, microbes, and chemical solvents. Many CBD oils contain very little amounts of CBD, and you will want to ensure there is little to no THC in the product.
  5. Look for products that extract their CBD using CO2 or alcohol, rather than other methods that can leave behind toxic chemicals.
  6. It is easiest to administer CBD in a liquid form so look for CBD as a tincture. This will allow you to simply add drops to your dog’s treats or food and you can easily adjust the drops as necessary. Chews are another option.

Regarding storing your CBD products, oils and chews should be kept at room temperature, and avoid direct sunlight and light, as you don’t want to change the chemical composition of the product.

 

How to Give Your Pet CBD

The most common way to give your animal CBD is by using a tincture and putting drops on their food. Treats such as CBD infused, freeze-dried salmon and chicken are also available.

Regarding dosing, the general rule is 1-5 mg CBD for every 10 lbs of body weight. One option is to start with a dose in the middle of that range and see how your pet responds, watching for any positive or negative changes in appetite, mood, movement, bathroom behavior, and sleep cycles. Usually, the product will start working within an hour. From there you can adjust the dosage to see how they respond. If you don’t see any results, gradually increase the dosage, and keep in mind that it may take up to a week to start noticing benefits.

 

Other Advice and Resources

Though CBD can have a positive impact on your pet’s health and well-being, don’t rely on CBD if your pet has a medical condition. CBD isn’t a replacement for medical treatments.

Don’t give your pet CBD if they’re immature or pregnant.

Veterinary Cannabis is dedicated to providing education to the Veterinary and cannabis industries.

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The Truth About CBD

The Truth About CBD

The Truth About CBD is an online blog giving you the latest news on the CBD industry. 

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Laddoo: The Great Adventurer – A Case for Desi Dogs https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/laddoo-the-great-adventurer-a-case-for-desi-dogs/ https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/laddoo-the-great-adventurer-a-case-for-desi-dogs/#respond Fri, 22 Nov 2019 22:14:06 +0000 https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/?p=213434 The post Laddoo: The Great Adventurer – A Case for Desi Dogs appeared first on Dharamsala Animal Rescue.

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dsomHe could almost fit in our palms when he stepped into our lives.

Laddoo, the dun colored desi pup and his two sisters were barely over a month-old when they were abandoned by their mother.

One day all three had been happily scrambling all over their mom and the next, they were stumbling, mewling all by themselves and the mother was nowhere in sight.

As street-dogs on the road, in the freezing cold of Rajasthan December, their survival was at stake. We fed them that day and kept waiting for the mother to return but she didn’t. Cold and unsafe as it was, we had no choice but to take them in. And, truth be told, we needed them as much, or perhaps even more, than they needed us. Our thirteen-year-old pet, Chotu, had passed away just a month the month before, leaving a gnawing void in our hearts. These little guys were just what the doctor ordered!

From December to February, the three pups stayed on our verandah before venturing out in the wider world of a stray. Yes, they were duly christened: Guiyaa – the doll like sister was black and brown with tufty ears; Toffee, who owed her name to her uniform toffee-tone, and Laddoo, the boy, was called so because he was light-brown, the colour of aate -ka-laddoo.

desi dogs

feeding desi pups

 

These three pups blew the myth that desi dogs are tough to train to smithereens. They learnt their routines in days. Every morning they would come out of their “home” (a plastic chair surrounded by and carpeted in newspapers and doormats with a Maggie ketchup bottle acting as the room-heater), feed on milk-rotis/bread, and gambol in the sun for the rest of the day. As the evening fell, they would crowd at the gate to be called in, supped quickly and zipped back into their home.

Never once the routine varied. Never did they fight amongst themselves, and apart from a few plant-casualties they largely left the garden alone. They were as good, if not better, than any pedigree dog.

They survived the winter while we healed from within.

Desi Dogs are Smart

Laddoo, from puppyhood, distinguished himself as a gentleman. While his sisters would try to sneak food from each other, he stood by politely and approached the communal-dish only after the ladies were done. He played boisterously but never attempted to bully. Both the sisters gradually wandered away. We had to be content with their enthusiastic greetings when we met them in the neighborhood. Laddoo, however, stayed and stuck!

It was impossible to leave home without Laddoo tagging along. He regarded us like his flock who couldn’t be let out of sight. On foot it was still possible to stop him, although we tried. We wanted to prevent the fights he would sometimes get into when he ventured into the territories of other strays. Going anywhere by car was like evading a super sleuth!

We’d cautiously start the car after first ascertaining that Laddoo was nowhere around and congratulate ourselves on tricking him successfully. The moment we looked in the rear-view, however, there would be this dun colored dog panting right behind the car! How and when he saw us will remain a mystery forever! I truly believe that he would have followed us to the ends of the earth had he not been deterred with dire threats!

Street dogs of India have to depend on their wits for their survival, and Laddoo, was the living proof of that. Most dogs figure out food and shelter, Laddoo figured out Medi-care too! Half a dozen times in his twelve-year life he came to me, severely sick or hurt, and my limited medical prowess aided by his Indie-genes put him back on his feet fast.

He also had this uncanny sense of direction that could put GPS to shame. He managed to go right across the city and espied out our office; my sister-in-law’s school (he actually attended her class once much to the delight of her students) and our office boy’s home AND then traverse all the way back home, triumphant and unhurt. How he managed to do that and what made him do that – mystery again! But what an adventurer he was, full of curiosity and loyalty!

Many choose expensive breeds when choosing a pet. I’m guilty of that too, but Laddoo proved rather conclusively what wonderful loyalty street-dogs have. In no way are they any less than any pedigree dog!

And if you cannot adopt a stray, taking care or feeding the strays around you can be as fulfilling as having a pet.

desi dog

feed a stray today

Some Do’s when adopting a stray:

  • If they have their mother, do let them be with her for two months. Not only do they receive food from her, but the milk provides immunity and the pups are taught social skills. If you can, take care of the mother.
  • Get them checked by a vet, vaccinated and sterilized as soon as you take them in.
  • As with any other dog, train them early.

If you can’t adopt one

  • Just feed, take care and be kind to the ones around you.
  • If you’re feeding one, do please remember anything sweet or salty is harmful for dogs. Both can lead to skin-problems, so the left-over prasaad is actually harming them. Leftover rice, roti, daal, on the other hand is fine for them. If you can spare eggs or meat, perfect!!
  • There are many NGOs across the country helping animals, do please inquire about getting a stray vaccinated and spayed.

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About the author

Madhumita Gupta

Madhumita Gupta

Madhumita Gupta lives in India and writes about life and well, dogs. She teaches English and is a teacher-trainer and would-be storyteller. You can read more of her work at the Times of India. 

 

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Meet Ujwala: Saving Dogs with Sweets https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/meet-ujwala-saving-dogs-with-sweets/ https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/meet-ujwala-saving-dogs-with-sweets/#respond Thu, 14 Nov 2019 23:18:04 +0000 https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/?p=213369 The post Meet Ujwala: Saving Dogs with Sweets appeared first on Dharamsala Animal Rescue.

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Ujwala Chintala was born and raised in India for the  first 23 years of her life.

Like many Indians, Ujwala grew up immune to the suffering of stray dogs. In a country where suffering smacks you in the face daily, sometimes it is easier to look the other way.

After moving to the USA and having a kids, it turned out her daughter was a big dog lover  – a funny twist of fate. Her daughter was always begging for a dog but Ujwala kept shrugging it off. But then, during a trip back to India with her family, her daughter befriended a stray dog and everything changed.

Ujwala reached out to Dharamsala Animal Rescue on Facebook and began donating to help our cause. After getting to know her, I decided to share her inspirational story, and let you know how you can buy her sweets and help dogs!

Here are excerpts from our conversation:

Deb: Will you share with me the story of what happened in India that led you to take notice of the stray dogs?

Ujwala: On a trip home to India one summer, my daughter befriended a stray dog. The dog ended up having puppies, so my daughter began to feed the mom so she could keep her pups alive. Unfortunately, many of our  neighbors were not happy about this because they did not want any more dogs in their area. They do not like dogs, so they decided to take action by moving the mom and the pups to another area away from their homes.

The neighbors could not catch the mom, but the unweaned pups were tossed elsewhere. The daytime temperature had been reaching 115 F, and I  knew the puppies would die if they could not be found. I frantically looked for the puppies for 24 hours. I found most of them and returned them to their mom, but as expected, two of the puppies did not survive.

Deb: Oh no. That is so heartbreaking. You and your daughter must have been so upset.

Ujwala: The incident haunted me for a long time, even after I returned to the USA. I realized I  wanted to keep helping dogs which led to becoming a foster. My first foster experience was to help a dog named Lily and her seven puppies find homes.

This fostering experience solidified it for me. I loved helping dogs. It made me so happy. Since Lily, I’ve fostered 43 more dogs: Moms, puppies, adult dogs, orphaned underage puppies, injured dogs, and dogs in need of rescue from a hurricane.

Ujwala and her foster pups

 

Deb: Amazing! So many lucky pups. What made you then decide to start helping dogs in India?

Ujwala: I visited India again for a wedding after a year fostering.  At the wedding, people were eating lots of food. Stray dogs were trying to eat the food that had been tossed,  but the wedding guests did not want any dogs there. To make the dogs go away, people were hitting them.

At that time, I realized I was not even hungry, yet I was eating the lavish food along with the others. I did not understand how  people could not be okay with the stray dogs eating the wastage. I realized just how cold people can be.

After this experience, I knew I wanted to help the dogs in India, but I did not know how. I started researching and found a few organizations in India. I began fundraising and donating. I shared  posts.  I even started a catering service for weekly meals and desserts and gave cooking lessons to friends.

I sold painted henna candles; sold ice cream in neighborhoods. In 2018, for Diwali, I sold 850 laddus and raised over $600 for People for Animals Hyderabad. People loved the laddus and it was such a success that I decided to start the Laddu House.

Deb:  Have you always loved cooking, making sweets?

Ujwala: I didn’t start cooking until I got married.  I discovered I loved it. I used to invite my friends to dinner parties all the time. My friends really loved my food, but I never wanted to make cooking my career. I work in IT, which I enjoy. I do like using my cooking skills to fundraise. Last year, I raised and donated around $3000 from my catering and sweets.

Deb: That is amazing. Fundraising is not easy. I love India food, and really love Indian sweets. I am so thankful that you selected  Dharamsala Animal Rescue as one of the three Indian charities you will be donating to. How did you first hear about DAR?

Ujwala: Honestly, I am not sure, but I think I first heard of DAR when someone shared a post on Facebook. I also saw your India TED talk. I was so impressed. Lots of people in India couldn’t do what you did. I wanted to go back to India and help but I couldn’t giving up my job, home, and luxuries. You being an American, travelled all the way to India to help.  I felt ashamed. I wanted to help DAR as much as i can. I painted a few henna candles and sold. Donated that money to DAR.

Deb: Thank you for the nice words, but  please don’t feel that way. I really think I just had a midlife crisis. I also have no children, so the risk was easier to take. I am not going to lie, I do miss the money and the easier lifestyle. What I realized though, is that we all can do our part. It is never just one person. You supporting DAR helps us keep going! Thank you so much.

To purchase some yummy laddus for Thanksgiving, or anytime, please click here.  50% of the profits goes to DAR.

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About the author

Deb Jarrett

Deb Jarrett

Deb Jarrett, at age 40, decided her life needed some shaking up. In fact, she needed to rattle her brains a bit. She was done climbing the corporate ladder, paying mortgages and internet dating—so she quit her job and moved to India to help animals. Not to be confused with Elizabeth Gilbert, at this point in her life, Deb had done just about all of the self discovery she so desired on therapist couches, yoga retreats, and spiritual workshops. In fact, she Eats very carefully, due to the risk of bacteria and parasites. She no longer Prays after experiencing the harsh reality of the developing world on a day-to-day basis and believes compassionate action is the answer. However, she did find Love with an Indian man. She started Dharamsala Animal Rescue in 2008 after her first trip to India.

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Dog Racing Died Without A Funeral https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/dog-racing-died-without-a-funeral/ https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/dog-racing-died-without-a-funeral/#respond Wed, 06 Nov 2019 19:34:26 +0000 http://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/?p=213332 The post Dog Racing Died Without A Funeral appeared first on Dharamsala Animal Rescue.

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SARASOTA, FLORIDA — The sun hadn’t yet risen over the Sarasota Kennel Club, and Deb Linn was wrist deep in 100 pounds of bloody meat. She had been been up since 4:30 a.m., when she made the 45-minute commute south from Ellenton, a small town where the rent is more affordable than in the wealthy beach city of Sarasota. She was 18 years old when she first started working with greyhounds in her home state of Wisconsin. She’s 50 now and stood over a fiberglass trough inside her kennel, mixing white, powdered vitamins into the raw beef for her dogs’ breakfast. I could make out thin white lines on her tanned arms, marks from where the dogs had scratched her over the years. The dogs were beside themselves in anticipation of food, filling the room with their barking and rapping at the crates with their paws, but it was much quieter than usual. Just a few weeks ago Deb had 102 dogs in her kennel. Now there were half as many. By tomorrow, there would be no dogs.

It was May 4, the morning of the last race.

“My main thing is to get through today,” Deb said. “Doing the dogs just takes up all my time and I can’t even plan a future or take college classes until we’re done here.” The barking got louder and she softly told the dogs to hush, the food was coming. “It’s not a job,” she said, heaping gobs of meat into a bowl on a measuring weight. “It’s my life, it’s all I know. I have no idea what I’m gonna do.”

Back in November 2018, the people of Florida passed Amendment 13 with an overwhelming 69 percent of the vote. The amendment called for the banning of all dog racing in the state by the end of 2020. Florida was the sport’s last great refuge. Forty states already had laws prohibiting dog racing, and of the 17 tracks left in the United States, 11 of them are in Florida. The sport is now forbidden by the Florida constitution, more or less putting an end to dog racing in the United States.

Florida surprised everybody by doing the “right thing” for a change. The protracted battle between animal rights activists and the dog racing industry was over, and it appeared the side of righteousness had prevailed. Grey2K USA Worldwide, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit, led the charge along with groups like the Humane Society and PETA. They spent more than $3 million in their campaign for Amendment 13. The dog racing industry put up just over half a million dollars to fight it. Commercials in support of the amendment showed sad-eyed dogs locked behind steel grates, backed by ominous string music. Voters were urged to find their humanity and put an end to the cruel sport.

The dog racing industry claimed allegations of abuse were lies made up by crooked nonprofits, and argued that abruptly dissolving dog racing would overload adoption agencies and put the dogs at risk of euthanasia. Their message did not resonate with the voters of Florida.

I grew up in Sarasota, just a couple miles south of the track, but not once did I go see the dogs. The track always seemed seedy and outdated, and the first time I’d ever set foot inside the Sarasota Kennel club was when I followed my more adventurous friends to play Texas Hold’em.

More than a decade later, I returned and managed the forbidden—I got to see the dog kennels a month or so before the last race. Deb let me in to meet her dogs one morning while she turned them out, cleaned their bedding, and hung plastic muzzles on the crates for the matinee races (I wasn’t supposed to be back there, per state regulations, but no one stopped me). Deb, like most trainers, does not own the dogs. The dogs are owned by investors throughout the country. She doesn’t own the kennel, either. She and more than a dozen other trainers are independent contractors who are hired to take care of the dogs.

There were 11 kennels, concrete structures about the size of a two bedroom bungalow behind the track, holding anywhere between 650 and 750 dogs. Outside of each kennel is a dirt plot—a “turn out pen”—bordered with chain link fencing where the dogs stretched their legs and went to the bathroom. The first thing I noticed was the smell—a sharp mixture of ammonia and warm dog oils. None of the people in the kennel noticed it anymore. Deb let the dogs out, females first. They bounded out of their crates, ears back, tongues lolling, and took turns pouncing on me. Greyhounds are weird-looking dogs, all sinew and bone with short-furred coats clinging tightly to their long bodies. They come in only a few different colors and patterns: white, black, and brindle, and some with mixed patches.

The dogs start racing at around 18 months old. Some will race until they’re six. Though the males are considerably bigger than the females, the genders compete against each other, and I asked Deb if that gave the males them a competitive edge.

“No, not really,” she said. “It usually comes down to who has the most heart.”

She led me outside so that she could smoke one of her Pall Mall Blacks while she washed the dogs’ bedding—she’d never smoke in the kennel around the dogs. She turned on a hose and dipped the bedding into a barrel filled with soap. I asked her what she’ll miss the most. “The dogs,” she said. “Greatest dogs you will ever meet. I wouldn’t have any other breed.” She turned to me and asked, “Did those dogs look abused to you?”

I said no.

“They love to run. If a dog got out of one of our buildings, they’d come right back to the track. You can’t make a dog run. These dogs have had it in their DNA since ancient Egypt. They’re born to run.”

I never did tell Deb that I voted for the amendment.

Trainer Hazel Copeland takes a drag from her cigarette
Trainer Hazel Copeland takes a drag from her cigarette
 
Photo: Isaac Eger (G/O Media)

The greyhound has the most enthusiastic description of any dog in the American Kennel Club’s Complete Dogbook

Swift as a ray of light, graceful as a swallow, and wise as a Solomon, there is some basis for the prediction that the Greyhound is a breed that will never die…His was the type the ancients knew, and from time immemorial he has been a symbol of the aristocracy. Yet the Greyhound is a dog that needs no fanfare to herald his approach, no panoply to keep him in the public eye. His innate qualities give him admittance to any circles, high or low.

Many fans of the greyhound claim that it is the oldest breed of dog. Like parents, people who love greyhounds have a habit of adorning the dog with superlatives. They’ll tell you that the first evidence of the greyhound can be found in the ancient Egyptian Tomb of Aten, who lived sometime between 2900 and 2751 BC. The evidence is based on hieroglyphs that show “dogs of unmistakable Greyhound type” hunting. They’ll say that the head of the god Anubis is a not a jackal, but a greyhound. And that heart-wrenching passage in the Odyssey where Odysseus returns home to Ithaca in disguise, and is only recognized by his loyal dog, Argus, who wags his tail at the sight of his old master and then immediately dies? That was a greyhound, too. In the 10th century, King Hywel of Wales decreed the killing of a greyhound to be punishable by death. The Spanish introduced the first greyhounds to America during their conquest of the New World. That the dogs were used to hunt down and torture Indians is left out of most histories. Recent DNA sequencing reveals that modern greyhounds are more closely related to herding dogs and that these ancient dogs are actually Saluki—sighthounds that resemble the greyhound’s profile.

The concept of pure breeding dogs is fairly recent. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century, which brought the creation of kennel clubs, stud books, and breed standards, that dog categorization took on any real methodology. The modern racing greyhound appears in 17th-century England with the sport of coursing. Coursing sets two greyhounds after a live hare that has been given a head start. You could bet on either the dogs or the hare. This sport democratized the greyhound as it was an affordable alternative to the more expensive sport of fox and stag hunting, which was done on horseback by British elite.

By the late 19th century, artificial lures that raced along mechanical tracks began to replace live rabbits in England, but this “coursing by proxy” proved unpopular and was abandoned. It wasn’t until 1905 that the sport reappeared in America due to the efforts of a South Dakotan businessman named Owen Patrick Smith. He was tasked with popularizing coursing, but believed the sport’s slaughter of a live rabbit at the end of the race by the dogs was too cruel. In 1910, Smith patented the “inanimate hare conveyer,” a trolley that carried a stuffed rabbit around a track. In 1919, with new financial backing, Smith displayed his invention on the first commercial dog track in Emeryville, California. The venture was popular, but lost money. It wasn’t until Smith brought the sport to Florida that it hit its stride. The first track in Florida was built in 1922 in Humbuggus (today the area is known as Hialeah). Tracks started popping up all over the state—St. Petersburg in 1925, Miami in 1926, Miami Beach and Orlando in 1927, Sarasota in 1929. The success of the sport in Florida likely had something to do with the fact that the state was a nexus for organized crime during prohibition. Dog racing became associated with mobsters, and betting on the dogs was technically illegal throughout the decade. But once Florida politicians noticed that revenue from dog racing could add to the state’s Great Depression-ravaged coffers, parimutuel betting was legalized in Florida in 1931.

In 1944, the Sarasota track burned down, and a car salesman and sheriff’s officer named Jerry Collins bought the place for $5,005 worth of back taxes. Collins was a model of the enterprising entrepreneur of the early 20th century. He had moved to Sarasota in 1919, and then became a sheriff in Ft. Myers, a town south of Sarasota, where he was one the bodyguards for Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. He was a gambler and he’d frequent the tracks in Tampa and St. Petersburg. At one point he owned 12 tracks throughout the country.

Illustration for article titled Dog Racing Died Without A Funeral
Photo: Isaac Eger (G/O Media)

“The only weird part is knowing you’ve done it for 75 years, and after this year you won’t,” he said. “Back in the ‘80s, live racing could bring in a million a day here. For the past few years, we were lucky if we got $200,000.” Collins Jr. is at the track nearly every day, but I only ever saw him at the poker room bar, where he sat in a dark corner and sipped on bottled water.

“Our business changed when the state changed the lottery laws in 1986,” he said. “Before that, we were the only place where you could gamble legally. Once the lottery came in, it took a lot of money out of circulation. We used to get so many people that those 17 acres behind the track were used for additional parking.” The palmettos and thick Florida wild have since taken the acreage back.

To read the full article go here. 

 

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About the author

Isaac Eger

Isaac Eger

Isaac Eger lives and leaves Florida. Writing about sports (basketball, mostly), the environment and the end of the world. To read more from Isaac, you can find him on Medium. 

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6 Ways to Spread Light this Diwali (without Bursting Firecrackers) https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/6-ways-to-spread-light-this-diwali/ https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/6-ways-to-spread-light-this-diwali/#respond Fri, 25 Oct 2019 22:15:24 +0000 http://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/?p=213257 The post 6 Ways to Spread Light this Diwali (without Bursting Firecrackers) appeared first on Dharamsala Animal Rescue.

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Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the most celebrated Indian holidays.

We decorate our homes with lights, prepare huge feasts for family and friends – and burst firecrackers.

But firecrackers are extremely alarming to dogs.

Dogs have an acute sense of hearing, a trait we revere in our guard dogs and hunting dogs, who can hear (and smell) even the smallest field mouse rustling in a meadow. My (not so pure-bred) dogs, Ruby and Jack, seem to go crazy over nothing sometimes but they have only sensed someone approaching the gate well before I can hear anything.  But firecrackers create a loud and sudden strike causing an elevated level of alarm and invoking a fight or flight response that makes dogs react in a variety of ways. When firecrackers ignite some dogs like Ruby will cower in fear, tails between their legs while others like my Jack quickly run away looking for a quiet place to hide. Some dogs may even become aggressive if approached in this state of alarm. To deter you from causing terror to your dog or the street dogs in your community, we came up with 6 Ways to Spread Light this Diwali. These inspiring actions can create light in your life as well as the lives of others.

1. Spread light by donating to a cause close to your heart – Diwali is a festival of giving. Giving love and spreading joy. Give love by donating old clothes to the needy. Spread joy by feeding the street dogs in your community.

 

2. Light up the sky with lanterns – Sky lanterns are small hot air balloons with a candle that allows it to loft into the air. Sky lanterns are easy to make or buy and create the most beautiful display of light in the night sky.

 

3. Spend time with your family – Designate a family night and experience the joy of playing games with your children, watching a movie together or go see Priyanka Chopra’s newest film The Sky is Pink – hopefully no firecracker are bursting in this film.

 

4. Have a dinner party – Diwali is a time to celebrate. Invite friends over for a dinner party. Try out some new recipes like Paneer Makhani or Gobi Pakora, play charades or taash, and don’t forget the sweets!

 

5. Decorate your home with rangoli – Rangoli is a tradition on Diwali. Include the whole family by making it simple or create an awe-inspiring design on your own. Do you have a design in your family? If not, here are some inspirations.

 

6. Light up your home with candles – Candles are a simple, elegant way to light up your Diwali. Get scented candles or find a traditional diya to impress the guests of your dinner party (#4) or enjoy the radiant glow with your family (#5) or special one.

 

While firecrackers are dangerous and contribute to air pollution (temporarily) they are most concernedly harmful to dogs: your dog, your neighbor’s dog and the stray dogs that share your streets. If you must enjoy firecrackers, think twice before shooting off your own and join in the municipal festivities where they are in an open space (where less dogs linger) and ignited safely and securely.

Wishing you a Diwali that brings happiness, prosperity and joy to you and your family. Happy Diwali!

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

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About the author

Andrea Lloyd

Andrea Lloyd

DAR Development Director

Andrea loves developing new and creative ways to inspire donors to donate to DAR and feel great about it! She lives in Northern California with her husband and three energetic boys. She loves reading novels and hiking with her rescue dog, Apollo.

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How to Introduce Cats to Dogs https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/how-to-introduce-cats-to-dogs/ https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/how-to-introduce-cats-to-dogs/#respond Tue, 10 Sep 2019 19:28:36 +0000 http://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/?p=213069 The post How to Introduce Cats to Dogs appeared first on Dharamsala Animal Rescue.

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And yes, dogs and cats can get along great. It may take some time for yours to gel, so you’ll need to be patient with your introductions.

Separate Them at First

Now, the first thing you’ll want to do is separate your new pet from your resident pet. If you’re trying to figure out how to introduce cats and dogs, this will be extremely important. Your new pet needs time to get adjusted without the added stress of another pet nearby.

If the new addition is a cat, keep them in a bedroom or a bathroom for a few days. Keep plenty of toys in the room, as well as a scratching post, food, and a litter box. If you’re crate training a puppy, keep the cat in the separate room.

Get the dog and cat used to each other’s scent. Put one of the cat’s beds or blankets in the dog’s space, and vice versa, so they get used to the smell. Once the dog and cat are calm around each other, it’s time to make the introduction!1

The First Face-to-Face Meeting

When introducing dogs and cats for the first time, make it brief. Keep it to about 10 minutes at most, and keep your dog on a leash. Then, let your cat or kitten move around the home freely.

Use plenty of positive reinforcement. Have lots of treats handy for the dog and cat to reward their good behavior.

Don’t raise your voice or punish either animal, because you don’t want your pets to associate the other animal with something negative.

Hopefully, both the dog and cat will be calm, and there won’t be any hissing or aggressive behavior. Once you’re confident everyone’s calm, let the dog roam around a bit. Keep the leash on just in case you need to regain control quickly.2

Keep Supervising the Dog and Cat

Most of the time, dogs and cats will eventually get along, and there won’t be any signs of aggression. Just to be on the safe side, though, keep each animal on the other side of a door or baby gate when you’re not home. When you are home, watch them closely.

Now, some dogs have a high-energy prey drive, like the Rhodesian Ridgeback, Irish Wolfhound, Siberian Husky, and Chihuahua.3 You’ll want to take care to make sure this type of breed doesn’t suddenly lash out at the cat.

Letting Dogs and Cats Roam Through Your Home

If everything seems good after a couple of weeks, you can let each animal loose throughout your home. The kitten, puppy, or adult cat or dog should be able to at least tolerate each other. If that’s the case, you can be proud that you’ve learned how to introduce cats to dogs!

how to introduce cats to dogs | Ultimate Pet Nutrition

To keep reading, go to the Ultimate Pet Nutrition blog by clicking HERE. 

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About the author

Dr. Gary Richter

Dr. Gary Richter

MS, DVM

Dr. Gary Richter loves animals, and is passionate about keeping them healthy and happy as long as possible. He has received more than 30 awards due to his expertise in the field, and The American Veterinary Medical Foundation recently named Dr. Richter “America’s Favorite Veterinarian.” Dr. Richter has been at the forefront of pet nutrition for two decades, and he is also the author of the bestselling “The Ultimate Pet Health Guide.”

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When Can Puppies Leave Their Mother – Do They Miss Their Mom? https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/when-can-puppies-leave-their-mother-do-they-miss-their-mom/ https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/when-can-puppies-leave-their-mother-do-they-miss-their-mom/#respond Wed, 04 Sep 2019 18:55:43 +0000 http://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/?p=213029 The post When Can Puppies Leave Their Mother – Do They Miss Their Mom? appeared first on Dharamsala Animal Rescue.

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*This article references breed dogs only. Please note, these rules apply for puppies born on the
street as well. Dharamsala Animal Rescue promotes adopting rescues.

Here’s a look at when a pup can be separated from the litter without leading to behavioral problems. You’ll also learn the differences between a properly socialized puppy and one that has been taken from their canine family too soon.

Do Young Puppies Miss Their Mother Upon Separation?

Let’s get to the question that bothers a lot of people who want a puppy. They love the thought of bringing a puppy home, but they feel a twinge of guilt making the puppy leave their litter.

Yes, there will be some crying when you bring a puppy home. But your new pet won’t necessarily be doing this because they’re missing their mother and siblings. After acclimating to the new home, the pup should be just fine.1

Taking a puppy from the litter too soon is not only wrong, it can also be dangerous to the dog’s health and well-being.

When Can a Puppy Leave its Mother?

If you ask your veterinarian or breeder, they would probably say that a puppy should not be separated from their siblings until at least eight weeks after being born. And this is true whether you’re adopting a puppy for your family or for puppies who’ll go on to become service or guide dogs.

From the minute they are born and for the following eight weeks, puppies have to be with their mother. They count on mom for food and to help them learn socialization skills.

This is where the puppy starts to learn about the world and about proper behavioral norms.

when can puppies leave their mother | Ultimate Pet Nutrition

Once you get the puppy home and begin crate training, you may hear some crying or even howling. Your young dog may also seem frightened at night and have a hard time getting to sleep.2

This isn’t necessarily because the puppy is missing their siblings and mother. It’s normal behavior, and it doesn’t usually indicate a behavioral problem. This is true whether you get a Golden Retriever puppy, a German Shepard pup, or a dog from any other breed.

Can Early Socialization Possibly Prevent Behavioral Problems in Pups?

Just like a child, puppies go through different stages of development. The time between three and five weeks after the pup is born is when they learn acceptable social behavior. They learn how to accept discipline from their mother. They also learn their place in the pack, along with their siblings.

If a puppy isn’t properly socialized, that could lead to big issues in their adult life. Adult dogs who are separated too soon may not tolerate other dogs, or may show aggression and other behavioral problems.3

According to one study, puppies that were taken from the litter 30-40 days after being born had more behavioral problems than those separated at the 60-day mark. These problems included:

  • Food aggression
  • Excessive attention seeking
  • Destructive behavior
  • Excessive barking
  • Pups obtained from pet stores appeared to have more pronounced problems.4

No reputable breeder or rescue organization would ever allow puppies to be separated too early. If you want to find dog breeding professionals in your area you can trust, contact your local kennel club or Humane Society. You could also ask your vet.

Wondering About Puppy Care? Talk to Your Vet.

Thinking about bringing home a puppy? 

CLICK HERE TO KEEP READING

~

Feature Photo Credit. Jesse Alk

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About the author

Dr. Gary Richter, MS, DVM

Dr. Gary Richter, MS, DVM

Dr. Gary Richter loves animals, and is passionate about keeping them healthy and happy as long as possible. He has received more than 30 awards due to his expertise in the field, and The American Veterinary Medical Foundation recently named Dr. Richter “America’s Favorite Veterinarian.” Dr. Richter has been at the forefront of pet nutrition for two decades, and he is also the author of the bestselling “The Ultimate Pet Health Guide.”

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What it Means to Rescue a Dog https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/what-it-means-to-rescue-a-dog/ https://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/what-it-means-to-rescue-a-dog/#respond Mon, 26 Aug 2019 17:03:22 +0000 http://dharamsalaanimalrescue.org/?p=212980 The post What it Means to Rescue a Dog appeared first on Dharamsala Animal Rescue.

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It’s dark and rainy, lightning in the distance, but I’m outside again – one of many times today that I’m taking Cooper for a loop. 

He doesn’t need this many walks, but having spent 1.5 years living on the street, he’s still learning that being inside is safe.

The big scary storm proves too much for him to handle today. He has a complete inability to come down from one of his panic attacks. But once outside, he is the most playful, grateful guy you’ve ever seen. He’ll put up a bit of a struggle to go back in, but he knows where his bed is and will eventually concede. 

Cooper feeling safe outside

Trade offs. That’s what keeps us going.

Within two months of being here, Cooper proved to be a completely capable, within reason, off leash dog. He learnt his basic commands very quickly, and we didn’t spend one minute potty training him. In fact, he won’t even go to the washroom on our property. 

However, it took three months for him to start returning any affection, and it was hard understand. It became clear when the first scary dog chased him and he ran and hid between my legs. It was then I realized, I was witnessing a creature who knows true helplessness.

It’s a constant lesson in patience and compromise.

I still get emotional thinking about how they beat him. Everyone’s favourite thing about Cooper is his cute little hopping. I don’t have the heart to tell them that it’s because someone beat his spine so badly that he has permanent nerve damage, causing his legs to move in a hopping manner.  He was born on the streets of Dharamsala, India, where stray dogs are not always treated with kindness.

But somehow, although he might not be conscious of it, in a world that was only cruel to him, he still decided to only be kind and gentle. This is why he deserves my patience. 

Cooper the Adventure Dog

The hardest lesson for me was that as I grew used to having him around, and it wasn’t fair for me to assume that he was used to us yet, or this new life we imposed upon him. It’s 100% different than anything he’s ever known. Our commitment to him wasn’t for just the good days, and the well-behaved walks. We also committed to be understanding when he is stubborn, and act gentle when he acts out. Patience and kindness helps us grow together, giving us the opportunity to do our little bit to make the world, or at least his world, a better place. 

When you rescue a dog, you get to be proud of every small accomplishment. You get to experience giving everything to a brave little guy or girl, so that he might yet get to experience what it is to be a carefree, loving adventure buddy. You get the esteemed honor to save a life.

~

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Dinyar Minocher

Dinyar Minocher

Dinyar Minocher and Michelle Sawatzky are the happy parents of a DAR dog and barn cat living in Saskatchewan, Canada. 

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