The NY Times has an interesting story about new, advanced medical procedures that prolong a pet’s life. Like end-of-life treatments for people, these procedures are often expensive and also raise the question of what is the quality of life the procedure will bring? If you have brought an elderly and very sick pet to the vet recently, you have probably been asked to fill out a form authorizing how far you would be willing to go with your pet’s treatment. How far would you go?
According to an article in the Miami Herald, our pets’ body language speaks volumes about how they’re feeling. Mary Burch, a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist who works for the American Kennel Club says when a dog stares directly at you, he could be issuing a threat, and if your dog’s mouth is closed with his lips pulled back at the corners, he might be scared. A stressed or scared dog’s eyes gets smaller and he pulls his ears so far back they appear to be plastered to his head. Click here for more details on animal body language.
Today the author of the New York Times’ Ethicist column, Ariel Kaminer, tackled a reader’s question regarding who is responsible for a dog’s bad behavior when a friend is taking care of the dog — the owners of the dog or the friend? It sparked an interesting debate on the NYT website. Click here to read the various opinions and find out which side the Ethicist took.
Hyptertension, obesity, bone strength and allergies all get a positive boost for those who own dogs or cats. Pet owners also live longer and are more likely to quit smoking for the sake of their pet. On the converse side, 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year (most of them children), and ringworm, MRSA and the plague are all communicable by pets. Here’s more on the pros and cons of pet ownership.
Bad news for the allergy-prone owners of Portuguese Water Dogs, Poodles, Schnauzers and other breeds that are considered “hypoallergenic.” A new study published in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy shows that these so-called allergy-free pooches have just as much allergens as other breeds. “We found no scientific basis to the claim hypoallergenic dogs have less allergen,” says Christine Cole Johnson, senior author of the study. “The idea that you can buy a certain breed of dog and think it will cause less allergy problems for a person already dog-allergic is not borne out by our study.”
Business travelers and baby boomers are taking advantage of the pet hotels popping up near airports across the country. Suites, flat-screen TVs, and webcams for pet owners to check in on their pooches while they’re away are just some of the amenities offered at these facilities, according to this article in the New York Times.
Most likely a German Shepherd or a Belgian Malinois accompanied the team of commandos who stormed Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistan compound earlier this week. The military uses dogs to find bombs, and this dog could have been responsible for sniffing out explosives on the compound or checking door handles for booby traps, according to an interview in the New York Times with Major William Roberts, commander of the Defense Department’s Military Working Dog Center at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. It also might have been brought along to detect a human presence in any secret rooms or to catch anyone trying to escape the compound.