Category Archives: advocacy

Top Therapy Dog Stories 8.31

It’s great to see dogs integrated into new and an increasing number of places. The Ashland Gazette is reporting that Ashland-Greenwood Schools are placing a therapy dog in the classroom for students! They are hosting a breakfast to introduce Rizzo to the community.

Visitors will have the opportunity to meet Rizzo, Ashland-Greenwood Public School’s first therapy dog, during the first Bluejay Breakfast of the 2018-19 school year on Wednesday, Sept. 12 in the middle school/high school cafeteria. – Ashland Gazette

 

Part of a recent post about therapy dogs coming to airports, was this one from The Dallas Morning News (turn off adblocker to read the story), We are becoming increasingly familiar with explosive detection dogs in airports, but now it’s great to see them being available to soothe and comfort stressed-out passengers.

“The goal of the program is to make the traveling experience less stressful and more pleasant,” airport official Ken Whittaker said in a statement.

 

With students going back to school around the country, Huffington Post is reporting on an increase in therapy dogs showing up to relieve the stress of students. University of South Carolina is just one of the many to implement a canine program to help students of any year.

As students returned to the University of South Carolina this year, they were greeted by Indy, a therapy puppy who will soon be a consistent presence on campus, the Raleigh News & Observer reported. Once Indy’s training is complete, she will participate in pet-a-puppy events and hold office hours at the university’s Student Health Services.

 

Finally, Nancy Partridge from the Los Alamos Daily Post writes about Medical Detection Dogs and how they can help detect cancer in patients; as well as the benefits of exposure to animals.

In one study, a Labrador retriever trained in cancer scent detection correctly identified 91 percent of breath samples and 97 percent of stool samples from patients with colon cancer. In another study, a German shepherd identified ovarian cancer malignancies form tissue samples with 90 percent accuracy.

Benebone and Other Great Made In America Dog Toys


Originally started through crowdfunding, Benebone has become very popular and I can speak from experience, that my dogs love them! Made in New York of USA-sourced nylon with the flavor from real bacon, peanuts, and chicken; they are durable and highly addictive! Starting with their ‘wishbone’ shape, they have since branched off into several different models and flavors. Check out the original bacon Wishbone here.

I agree with the top reviews on Amazon that all of the Benebone products are durable even for the heaviest of chewers. They come in several sizes so be sure to select the one that is appropriate for your dog.

Pros:

  1. Very durable. Will provide a very long ‘chew time’ even for big dogs.
  2. Made using Real Flavors from real bacon, peanuts, and chicken.
  3. Come in a variety of shapes and sizes to appeal to any dog.

Cons:

  1. Can be too hard for some dogs. Make sure you select the correct size and monitor your dogs usage of this product.
  2. Cost. They can be more expensive than other nylon toys, but consider the size and amount of engagement your dog will get from Benebone versus another nylon product.

Overall, these toys are great for all sizes of dogs, just be sure to select the correct format.

Another great nylon product Made in the USA is from Nylabone.

There is a reason that the Nylabone website starts with “For Every Reason To Chew, There’s A Nylabone”. This long-standing company makes hundreds of products for heavy chewers. Treats, bones, toys, and chews; they make it all. All sizes, shapes, and flavors, you will find a Nylabone product that your dog will find irresistible.

Pros:

  1. Comes in every combinations of size, shape, and flavor you can imagine.
  2. Products for all states of life (puppy & adult).
  3. Covers all price ranges, from value to premium.

Cons:

  1. Can be overwhelming to find the ‘right’ product. Be sure to use their Custom Product Finder on their website.
  2. Scent can be weak or fade quickly. Some reports from these toys say that the scent can be weak. Be sure to keep the package sealed until ready to share with your pup!

Overall, the track record of this company is stellar and they are sure to have a toy to exactly match your dogs engagement level, but don’t stress over finding the perfect toy; use their product search feature to find a few your dog will like!

West Paw designs and manufactures their toys in Bozeman, Montana. Their in-house team carefully designs and tests their toys to ensure they will be loved, and loved for a long time. They come in fun colors and are environmentally friendly, and non-toxic. They have an ever-expanding list of toys available and all kinds of fun an innovative shapes.

Pros:

  1. Fun, colorful, designs. Very unique shapes for fun and stimulating play.
  2. Good size product range for a lot to choose from specific for your dogs play style.
  3. Money back, or product replacement guarantee.

Cons:

  1. Some reports of quickly destroyed toys. Be sure to take advantage of their guarantee.
  2. Limited availability – mostly independent pet stores, but check for them on Amazon.

Overall, West Paw is a highly engaged company that puts a heavy emphasis on creativity and ensure long play time with their fun and durable products. Contact them if – for some reason – your dog destroys the toy quickly.

 

Palo-Alto

Brent-Wood Products has introduced small to extra-extra large Bow Wow dog houses. They are made from upcycled wood, and built in Los Angeles. The image above is their Palo-Alto model. Using the sizing guide on their website in the link above, or call them directly at 800-400-7335 and they will help you select the right house for your dog.

Pros:

  1. Made in the USA using upcycled wood.
  2. High-design models built buy hand.
  3. Direct customer service number to plan your house with a consultant.

Cons:

  1. Limited retail outlets to see models and order in person. Check out their website for the list of retailers.

Overall, this custom product will provide a stylish and spacious outdoor home for your dog.

Buying American has many benefits including ensuring that jobs are created and stay in our economy. That also has the secondary benefit of keeping money in communities where those people live. By creating products and adding value to physical goods that we modify and build here, we are increasing our GDP, a measure of our global competitiveness. Everything that we build and keep in our country reduces our reliance on importing foreign goods. When someone in your community builds a product, you know they will stand behind it and offer a high level of service after the sale. You can also know that they are aware of the components of that product and there is an increased likelihood that the output is safer than an unknown product.

Top Therapy Dogs 08.12.18

Check out these great stories of therapy dogs for the week ending August 15, 2018

Children Read to SwedishAmerican Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs from SwedishAmerican Hospital gathered at Klehm Arboretum where little children were able to bring in their favorite book to read to the dogs. The dogs spend their time visiting cancer patients at the hospital. Check out the video on the 23WIFR site!

Baltimore PD’s new K-9 Is A Therapy Dog

It’s great to see that dogs are taking a more active role in policing, not only in catching criminals, but also comforting law enforcement! Their work is stressful and emotionally draining, so having this cute goldendoodle to comfort and calm them will be a huge benefit.
Check out the video at the site above how Dugger Union School brought on a certified therapy dog, Maggie, to help ease the anxiety of reading in front of others, or to help calm nerves.
This is a bittersweet moment for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Max is a crisis and therapy dog working for the Prince George RCMP’s Victim Services Unit. In fact, Max was the RCMP’s first professional therapy dog in Canada. The RCMP recently hosted a retirement party for Max. Check out the article above for Max’s accomplishments and the details of his celebration!

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National Assistance Dog Week

 

 

That’s right! It’s here! A week specifically set aside to raise awareness of the service dogs that make our world a better place.

The goals of National Assistance Dog Week are to:

  • Recognize and honor assistance dogs
  • Raise awareness and educate the public about assistance dogs
  • Honor puppy raisers and trainers
  • Recognize heroic deeds performed by assistance dogs in our communities

While not all working dogs are service dogs (the Americans With Disabilities Act has a specific definition for a service dog, our canine friends hold may positions in our lives.

Check out this great article from NBC 10 in Boston about the 10 Jobs that Dogs Do. From acting, to herding sheep, to therapy dogs, and dogs that complete tasks for people who can’t; read about them here!

One of the many important tasks dogs are great at is sensing the state of people. With so many soldiers and law enforcement personnel impacted by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; dogs who can assist to calm, reassure, and bring people out of the symptoms of PTSD are becoming more prevalent. Dog T.A.G.S in Pennyslvania is an organization whose mission it is to “To train, assist, guide and serve veterans who have been diagnosed by a licensed mental healthcare provider with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) through the operation of a Service Dog Program.” Watch a news segment from WFMZ about them.

National Assistance Dog Week also falls around the same time as National Night Out. From National Night Out website, the second week in August is designated as an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

One of the events that fit in well with this mission are police K-9 demonstrations. Watch below to see a police canine stop a suspect.

 

When you think of “Assistance Dog” you are probably thinking of dogs that perform tasks for individuals. Canine Companions for Independence is one such organization. Their mission “enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships.” They train dogs in four areas of service, Service Dogs, Hearing Dogs, Facility Dogs (who visit hospitals, nursing homes, and schools), and Skilled Companion dogs.

Paws With A Cause has taken the concept of training service dogs and added a twist. They operate in conjunction with inmates who provide the training. Paws With A Cause enhances the independence and quality of life for people with disabilities nationally through custom-trained Assistance Dogs. PAWS® increases awareness of the rights and roles of Assistance Dog Teams through education and advocacy.

Regardless of where they are trained or live, assistance dogs provide tremendous value to our communities and the people they serve.

Therapy Dogs Bring A Calming Paw To An Airport Near You

With studies suggesting that interacting with dogs can reduce anxiety levels, what better place for them than in airports! Long lines, tight deadlines, rigid procedures, and last-minute changes can all make for a stressful situation; especially during busy holiday travel times. In looking for ways to ease the frustration of travelers, many airports are inviting therapy dogs into their concourses to help sooth frazzled nerves.

Vane Airport Magazine complied a list of therapy dog programs available in U.S. airports. Check out their infographic here.

Here is a sampling of news articles of therapy dog airport ambassadors.

Albany International Airport’s Canine Therapy Ambassadors

Albuquerque International Sunport Ambassadors

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Buffalo Niagara International Airport

Denver International Airport – DEN CATS

Gerald R. Ford International Airport: Gentle Fur In Action

Orlando International Airport 

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport

Syracuse Hancock International Airport

This article on Syracuse.com says that the first airport therapy dog program started in San Jose after 9/11 to ease the fear of flying passengers were experiencing.

Given how expansive the program has become across so many airports in the United States and around the world, it seems that the presence of therapy dogs will continue to maintain a significant presence for a long time.

According to Syracuse.com, the first airport therapy dog program started in San Jose, California after 9/11 to help overcome the fear of flying passengers were experiencing.

Some of the benefits of the mental health benefits of emotional support animals and comfort pets, from Redbarn Inc, include the list below. Given the benefits listed below, it’s very obvious why dogs are appearing in airports.

  • lifts spirits and lessens depression.
  • lowers feelings of isolation and alienation.
  • encourages communication.
  • provides comfort.
  • increases socialization.
  • lessens boredom.
  • reduces anxiety.
  • aids children in overcome speech and emotional disorders.
  • creates motivation for the client to recover faster.
  • reduces loneliness.

If you are traveling through any of these airports, be on the look out for a fuzzy friend to pet or hug. Who knows, maybe it will improve your day more than you think!

Dog Therapy Programs

The Dog Alliance – Texas
Paws For Love – SPCA Serving Erie County
West Michigan Therapy Dogs Inc.
Careing Paws
PAWS of CNY

Exciting “Made In the USA” Dog Products

Every pet owner is looking to provide the best and safest food and toys to their pet. With concerns about the safety of imported goods, and as we look to strengthen our economy and keep money in within the border, we look to Made-In-The-USA products to fill those needs.

These are some exciting new products that are Made In The USA. All of them are creative ways to stimulate and improve the life of our pets.

If you haven’t had a chance to read an earlier post about buying American, please take a minute to do so now. It outlines some of the reasons why it is the first choice we should be making when looking to purchase anything for our home.

Some of the links below will take you to the product pages on Amazon where you can easily complete your purchase. Most of the products feature free shipping for Amazon Prime members. These are affiliate links which means we receive a small percent of the purchase to help cover the cost of operating this blog. The price you pay is the same whether you use the links here, or go buy directly through Amazon.

Clicking on the company name will bring you to the corresponding company page.

loving_pets

Loving Pets make a canine dental treat, branded as Ora-Bone, features both breath-freshening ingredients, and textured surfaces to clean all areas of your dogs mouth. They are proudly manufactured in their American facility.

dogs_peas

Dogs Love Snapeas (from the makers of Dogs Love Kale) are award-winning, limited-ingredient treats made with no animal by-products. The three current varieties are Peas & Cheese, Peas & Chicken, and Peas & Beef. Check out their fun Facebook page too!

ep-logo-17

The folks at Emerald Pet make their products in the USA from American ingredients. They have a full line of chews and toys, as well as Snug n’ Tug ultra tough toys.

 

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Earth Animal make a wide variety of innovative products, no-hide chews, and treats. How better can I say it than they do: “Earth Animal™ is proud to bring you our very own Veterinarian formulated vitamins & supplements, treats, chews, Wisdom Real Food, Organic Herbal Remedies, and Natural Flea & Tick Prevention Products. Each line of our treats has been carefully and thoughtfully sourced, truly made in The USA, and manufactured in a USDA Human Facility. They are safe and ultimately nutritious for your animals. Our protein is sourced by local farmers and our vegetables are real and organic.

fromm-family-foods-logo

The From Family operates all three of their facilites in Wisconsin from which they manufacture and test all their products. Their four lines cater to all stages of growth and diets. Customers rave about the high quality how even picky eaters will like this food.

One of their innovative products is Four-Star Parmesan Cheese treats. They are grain free and come in a resealable bag. Their Four-Star products come in a wide variety of dried, canned, and treat formats. Chicken with Peas and Carrots, Lamb and Cranberry, and Salmon with Sweet Potato, are just a few of the creative recipes they have formulated!

 

Be sure to check out the quality and durability of all these American-made products.

Top Therapy Dogs 08.05.18

Check out these great stories of therapy dogs for the week ending August 15, 2018

Therapy dogs celebrate retirement at Regions Hospital

After a combined 12 years of service at Regions Hospital and more than 700 hours of volunteering, 12-year-old Daisy, a golden retriever, and 11-year-old Stella, an Afghan hound, are taking time to unwind.

Baltimore Police Department welcomes a furry new recruit: Meet Penny the therapy dog

The eight-month-old mini Goldendoodle is the Baltimore Police Department’s first therapy dog and will be on call to comfort officers and supervisors, police announced Tuesday.

Therapy Dogs Benefit Those with ADHD

TheBark …interacting with dogs may help these kids by heightening their arousal and emotional states and leading to increased attention and interest in the environment in which therapy takes place.

Nanticoke Welcomes 4-Legged Volunteers As Part Of New Pet Therapy Program

The goal of the new pet therapy program is to provide Nanticoke’s employees, patients and visitors interaction with trained, tested and certified handler and dog teams, promoting positive mental health and reduce the effects of stress in a medical environment.

Animal Therapy Proves To Be A Paw-sitive Program For Local Seniors

The Enclave, a senior rehab and living facility just partnered with the therapy dog and his handler to bring the residents some extra sunshine.

 

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