I have seen a lot of lost dogs and cats posted as found on Next Door and Facebook lately. While most people are generally concerned about the safety of the dog and getting it reunited with its owner, I have seen quite a few people decide for themselves how to handle the situation and do some things that will make it impossible for the pet to ever be reunited with their lost dog or cat.
Here are my thoughts and recommendations regarding the subject. My goal is to keep everyone including the pet as safe and healthy as possible and to follow local laws. A loose dog is in a great deal of danger. Where I live the greatest danger will be cars, natural predators, and bad people looking for bait dogs to use in illegal dog fighting. Cars are by far the most imminent danger in Los Angeles where I live.
Why do we hate retractable leashes?
You think they are great.
They give your dog freedom to roam. Its like they aren’t on a leash. They don’t tangle and drag like a regular leash. You really love them. I know you do. I can tell from your happy face looking like you don't have a care in the world as your happy dog races from side to side checking out all the bushes and people going by. It looks wonderful and joyous. It's all butterflies and sunshine.
Wrong! I will not use these to walk any dogs. I'm not just being mean or rude and I am not writing this to be offensive.
Here are my reasons.
I have said my piece and I get all worked up just thinking about these horrible things. I think I need to calm down and go walk my dogs on their nice normal leashes. Just say NO to these things. I use a standard web leash for both of my dogs. I like the ones with padded double handles. I have linked a similar item on my resources page if you want to use something like that.
- Your neighbor and normally friendly dog walker
Have you ever wondered if dog kisses are really kisses? Or, maybe, we just taste good? Well, I did some research and here is everything I could find about dogs licking us.
Why do they do it? What does it mean? Should we let them?What can happen when they lick us? Here is the scoop.
So, why do they lick and what does it mean when a dog licks you? Is it love? Well, the short answer is probably yes. Dogs do appear to lick people and sometimes other dogs (and even cats) that they like or love. It is a sign of affection and is common. So calling the licks kisses is appropriate.
They can learn this when they are puppies and their moms are grooming them by licking them. As puppies, they lick their moms to get attention or to be fed. Some dogs lick more than others. A dog that doesn’t lick as much may have not learned it as a puppy or they may not like it as much.
Licking is also reinforced by our reaction to it. When a dog licks us, they get attention. Whether we like it or not, they are still getting attention by licking. So, a bored dog that wants your attention will also lick you. If they can get to your face that is often the preferred spot -but they will lick hands, legs, or feet if they can’t get to your face. Our faces often taste the best because of food that we eat. Also, wolves in the wild will come back to their pups after hunting and regurgitate food for their pups and the pups will lick mom’s fact for bits of meat. So, it is thought to be instinctual to lick faces.
Sometimes we smell especially good - like when we have eaten something that smells good, or put on lotion, or a personal favorite of most dogs: fresh out of the shower with wet bodies. These are times that we become irresistible to our dogs.
Dogs may lick some people more than others too. This can be caused by a variety of reasons. The dog may have a particular fondness for this person or they may just smell terrific. Or, the person has reinforced the licking behavior with a positive reaction in the past. Some people have great energy too. Dogs are very sensitive to a person’s energy. They can tell who is going to be a friend and who isn’t by our body language, our tone, and our approach to them. Energy is really important to dogs. Plus, dogs can smell our hormones so if we are stressed out, they can smell it. We actually smell better when relaxed and happy. So, to a dog, stress actually stinks.
Do you love to take road trips? Here is what I do to take my dogs and make it fun and enjoyable for all of us. Betty has been on many multi-day road trips with me and she is a great traveling companion. Here are some things that I did with Betty from the beginning that helped ensure that she loved car rides.
I will also post the gear that I use on my resources page.
Make car rides fun and safe. I started by taking Betty on shorter trips. I took her hiking, Home Depot, dog friendly restaurants, and to visit family and friends whenever possible. This helped get her accustomed to riding in the car and she looked forward to going places with me. Most dogs love to go wherever you go so this is pretty easy. I have a special seat belt for her to keep her safe and she always rode in the backseat where she was safest away from airbags. I also have a waterproof pet cover for my rear seat to keep my car nice. I also recommend rubber washable floor mats and a silicone detail brush to clean hair. The one I keep in my car has a pointed edge and reaches in all kinds of places. It comes in really handy to swipe up dog hair.
We started with shorter rides to make sure she wouldn’t get car sick as some dogs get car sick just like some people do. I keep a water bowl and a large jug of water in the car so if its hot or we have been out for a while, I can offer water. I also keep poo bags on hand for potty breaks and I even have a poo vault for when I have full bags and no trash can handy. It seals in the stickiness so your car won’t smell like poo. I’m a pro though so I take poo very seriously.
Obedience training and socializing your dog ahead of time help make them much more enjoyable around other people and other dogs too. Before traveling with a dog, having them understand basic commands like sit, down, stay, leave it, and good walking leash manners will make the trip a lot more successful.
Check with your vet if your dog is due to get their regular check up or vaccinations are due. If you have a dog that gets car sick, check with your vet for recommendations. Bring a copy of their vaccination records with you. If your pet is a service dog or emotional support animal, bring the documentation for this as well.
Practice with longer trips once you know your dog is comfortable with shorter trips. There are a few things that I take on longer or overnight trips. I will bring dog bowls and their current food. I never switch food unnecessarily as this is a recipe for stomach upset. I bring their dog bed. Whenever I need a potty break, I stop somewhere that I can take the dog out for a potty break as well. Plan your trip so that you never leave the dog in the car alone.
I help people take care of their pets every day. Most people know that they have to do estate planning "someday". Most people also put it off because it is daunting to face your own mortality. So, instead, most people hope for the best and don't plan at all. But, what happens to your pets when you aren't here anymore? We hope that a family member or friend will step in and care for our pets. But hope is not a plan. For most pets, they will end up in a shelter and either be adopted by strangers or euthanized due to overcrowding. Animals don't grieve the same as humans but I have seen them grieve. When my mother was sick, her dog knew. He stayed by her side every day until she was admitted to the hospital for the last time. Her doctors allowed him to visit her on her last day. You never saw such a sad face as the face on her dog that day. He was the last reason she smiled though. She loved him dearly and he loved her. The night after she passed, he slept with me practically burying himself under me. It was as though he couldn't get close enough. My mother asked me to take care of him and I have. She also spelled it out in her will. I am happy to honor my mother and care for him. He is a great little dog.