Archive for August, 2009

Nina, Indy & Lola’s Urban Coyote Encounter

Posted on August 25, 2009. Filed under: 1. Daily Life | Tags: , , , |

We know they’re out there and occasionally we hear their frenzied howls when a small animal becomes dinner. But when I take my morning walks with my two dogs, I always hope the neighborhood coyotes are in for the day, after a night on the prowl. But a few days ago as I walked Indy ( a medium sized Border Collie) and Lola ( a small “coyote bait” type dog), one big, hungry looking coyote tried to join us. Unfortunately, we were in a low traffic area with a lot of open space and no where to hide.
The coyote was a few feet ahead of us, exactly in the pathway we needed to go to get home. Indy spotted the coyote and immediately started barking. I froze and grabbed my pepper spray, struggling to hold back the two dogs. This coyote seemed to know we knew he was there, and he wasn’t about to go anywhere.
Once I thought the coyote had trotted far enough ahead of us, we continued walking. But sure enough, the coyote appeared again, tucked into a bush seemingly waiting for us to pass.
I froze again. Finally, I flagged down a woman passing by in her SUV. I politely asked if she would put her car between our walking trio and the coyote until we could get to the busy intersection. She kindly agreed and watched as the coyote continued walking not far ahead of us on the opposite sidewalk. When we arrived at the intersection, the coyote proceeded in the same direction we needed to go. So I finally gave in and took the long way home.
Our 45 minute walk turned into more than two hours. Indy and Lola were panting and seemed confused as to why our stroll became a two-plus hour marathon. But we avoided the coyote and any chance Lola would become breakfast. The coyote was never aggressive towards us, but he was just too close. One thing is certain, our urban coyotes are not afraid of us!

Does anyone know what to do when you come face to face with a coyote? Has anyone had a similar encounter?

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Who knows what to feed my pet?

Posted on August 24, 2009. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: , , , |

For every pet owner one of the toughest questions we have is what is the best food to feed our pet without breaking the bank.  I know this is a question I am constantly trying to figure out.  There are a couple of  things to keep in mind when trying to find the best food for your pet.

1.)  Does your pet have any special dietary needs.  If your pet has food allergies you may need to purchase a food with specific proteins, or if your pet has a sensitive stomach, like mine, you may need to find a bland diet that will work with their digestion.

2.)  As a general rule, the more whole ingredients, the better the food is for your pet.  Unfortunately, that usually means the more expensive it is.

One website you can look into is www.dogfoodanalysis.com.  They rate the foods on a scale of 1 to 5.  5 being the best.  The site isn’t the most userfriendly, but it has some good information on it if you can navigate the site.  To my surprise, the food I had my dogs on Purina one, was only rated as a 1.  Science diet which is recommended by most veterinary hospitals is also rated a 1.  Kirland, the costco brand, was rated as a 3, and is much cheaper at only about $22 for 40lbs than most other brands.

So here is what I am going to do personally.  My dog Faith has a very sensitive stomach.  She vomits whenever she has a different food.  She is currently on Purina One Chicken and Rice and has no vomiting.  I will definately continue her on this food due to the consistency she has had on it.  It is relatively inexpensive, and while only rated a 1, it has better ingredients than many foods.  I am going to try to switch Moose to the Kirkland Costco brand.  It seems to have better ingredients and is cheaper than the Purina One he is on.

Remember if you decide to switch your pets food, always do it slowly.  You shouldn’t switch is any faster than over a weeks period of time.  That means you slowly start to mix in the new food with the old food.  Gradually you increase the new and decrease the old until they are totally switched.

Feel free to contact me with any questions, and I would be more than happy to steer you in the right direction.

Devon Bozlinski, petopia.tv

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Fun Cat Facts

Posted on August 16, 2009. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: |

petopia3

So since I gave some love to our viewers who have dogs last week, this week I think it only fair to spend some time with our cat lovers.  Here are some little known facts that you may not know about your cat.  I got my information from www.catfacts.org and www.catsplay.com

TASTE

According to www.catfacts.org, cats can’t taste sugary foods, probably because of the high protein diet of mostly meat.

VOCALIZATIONS

Cats can produce up to 100 different vocalizations compared to a dogs 10. Purring seems to be associated when a cat seems “happy” or content, however cats have been known to purr when hurt.  It is said to be a possibility that the frequency of the vibrations may promote healing.

HEARING

Cats can rotate their ears 180 degrees in order to localize a sound.  They hear at higher frequencies than humans and dogs, from 30-60 khz.

SMELL

Cats can smell things we are not even aware of because of their highly sensitive cells in their noses.

VISION

Cats cans see in extremely low lights due to mirror like cells behind the retina that reflect all available light into the retina.

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Dog Park “Petiquette”

Posted on August 12, 2009. Filed under: 4. Guest Bloggers | Tags: , , , |

With our pleasant climate, many San Diego dog owners indulge in daily trips to the closest dog park or beach for some free play and socialization for their pups.

Most dog parks post signs clearly stating the park regulations (for a list of posted rules, visit The City of San Diego). There are also unwritten rules and widely held beliefs that, if followed, will help you and your dog be more neighborly and responsible park visitors.Dogs can become or seem aggressive for various reasons. By paying close attention to how your dog and others react to each other, and understanding a bit of general canine behavior, you can stop or curb “misunderstandings” between your canine and another dog (and possibly between you and another owner) before fun turns into snarls.

Some do play rough. When one pup is matched with another dog about the same size and enjoying the same game, an enjoyable time is had by all. When one dog is larger and rougher, it’s not fun for the little dog or its owner.

Vets and animal behaviorists tell us that intact male dogs are picked on by other dogs more often than neutered males. If your furry friend is intact, be aware that he is seen as a threat to any dominant neutered dog. While the other dog might normally be non-aggressive, he may well show signs of aggression around another male dog that is not neutered. If your pooch starts to play too rough or bark too much, or is just bothering another animal, please steer him to the other side of the park. I would also suggest you avoid standing around with larger groups of people. While this might be more sociable for you, dogs all cluster in this area too, creating a greater chance for a fight or disagreement among the dogs and people.

Although many rules seem obvious, I’m going to list a few I feel many people are unaware of:
•    Puppies under 4 months of age are not recommended.
•    Dogs in season are not allowed.
•    Parents must ask permission from the dog owner for children to play with the dog.
•    Pet treats or food are not allowed, except as part of a special event (which requires a park use permit).

The most ignored rule, polled from dog-park frequenters, is that people do not pick up after their pets. Most dog parks provide free bags and plenty of trashcans, but still, some owners ignore the messes they leave. Pick it up, people! And one of the rules I’d add to those posted? Don’t wear your best clothes to the park. Dogs will slobber, jump on you and brush up against your pants. And if you’re at one of our dog beaches, stand clear of any dogs after they take a dip in the ocean because they may well shake off a salty spray all over you. Dog beaches are great for pups, but not your Sunday Best.

Although we often think differently, it’s good to remind yourself that dogs are dogs; they aren’t people. This means it’s unreasonable to think they will act like people. When you go to the park, pay close attention to your dog and others, and be as diplomatic as possible to keep aggression low for everyone involved.
A dog park or beach isn’t for every dog or all people, but it’s a fun, exhilarating place for those who pay attention, understand dog behavior – and wear ratty jeans and an old sweatshirt.

Jennifer Wilbur visits Dog Beach in Ocean Beach almost daily with her two French Bulldogs – Tempest & Riptide – and her camera. She shares photos and stories of her visits on her blog, A Dog’s Beach. You can also follower her on Twitter: @rockstarjen

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Little Known Dog Facts

Posted on August 9, 2009. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: , |

For this week’s tip of the week, I thought I would give some facts about dogs senses.  I got my information from www.dogfacts.org

I thought it was interesting how dogs are adapted for their environment with regards to their sight, hearing and smell.

SIGHT

It was believed for a long time that dogs were not able to see color.  However, now it is believed that dogs can see some shades of color such as purples or yellows.  They cannot see details like humans can, however, they can pick up movement much better and are more sensitive to light.  It is even believed that while humans have a peripheral vision of around 180 degrees, some breeds can see up to 270 degrees peripherally.

SMELLbasset

I don’t think it is a surprise to anyone that dogs have a fantastic sense of smell.  Many of the features of their heads are actually adapted to assist in their sense of small.  For instance, breeds with very large ears like hounds have a very specific use for those long ears.  They are used to waft up the scent of something they are tracking and waft the scent up into the dogs olfactory system.  Pretty interesting huh?!  So those giant ears are not just there to be cute.  According to www.dogfacts.org, the cells used for smelling in a dog cover the area the size of a handkerchief, while a humans is only the size of a postage stamp.

HEARING

A dog’s range of hearing is much great than a human’s.  They can hear excellent at both lower and higher frequencies.  Most breeds also have the ability to move their ears in the direction the sound is coming from in order to pin point it and hear the sound better.  Dogs with pointy ears that stand up seem to have better hearing than those with floppy ears.

Thought for they day, perhaps then dogs with floppy ears have a better sense of smell than those with pointy ears?

Devon Bozlinski

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If only people had the attitude of dogs

Posted on August 3, 2009. Filed under: 3. Trainer On Call | Tags: |

Many of you may have read the story of “Sizzle” in the Union Tribune this weekend.  I found the story to be uplifting.  Here is a dog that at only 6 months old had cancer, she had fantastic owners who decided to fight, and now at six years, is going strong with only three legs.  Pets can go through anything and still come out of it as happy and upbeat as they ever were.  Whether it be a traumatic event like an animal attack or major surgery, or dealing with drastic change like a move, pets always pull through with a great attitude.  They are happy just as long as they have their owners by their side.  If only people could push through adversity like animals can, always confronting what they are dealt with a positive attitude and smile on their face.  My tip this week is to look at your pets and try to take everyday in stride, do the best you can to keep a positive attitude, have unconditional love,  and keep a smile on your face.  Lets all learn from our pets!

To read the article about “Sizzle” the therapy dog with only 3 legs.  Click on

http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/aug/01/1ez1sizzle204346-missing-leg-cant-keep-dog-therapy/

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