All posts by Nancy Bown

Preparing your pets for a hurricane

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Pet owners know their animals are more than just cats and dogs. They’re often their best friend and for many leaving their best friend behind while evacuating from a storm is not an option.

“I would take your pets anywhere. I mean, we don’t have any children, this is our child so we will take them everywhere we can with them. There are a lot of hotels that are pet-friendly so they should call and get some information on it and they can definitely find hotels that will accept them,” said Stephanie Kircher, dog owner.

That’s exactly what animal experts say you should do. According to the ASPCA if you need to evacuate you should call ahead to find a shelter or hotel that accepts pets. You also need to put together a hurricane preparedness kit for your pet. The ASPCA suggests a pet first-aid kit, 3-7 days worth of canned or dry food, disposable litter trays, litter or paper toweling, liquid dish soap, disposable garbage bags, pet feeding dishes and water bowls, extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash, photocopies of medical record, at least seven days worth of bottled water for each person and pet, a traveling bag, crate, or sturdy carrier, flashlight, blanket, and recent photos of your pets.

The founder of Dog Harmony, a Santa Rosa Beach dog rescue, suggests pet owners should get their dogs micro-chipped. Some vets and boarding facilities may stay open during storms if you have to leave your animals behind, but finding your options before a storm hits will give you peace of mind.

“Definitely be sure they’re micro-chipped so when you’re traveling. If you happen to lose a dog but you’ve got a way for the dog to be identified so they can be returned to you,” said Nancy Bown, founder of Dog Harmony.

One man we spoke with doesn’t believe any animal should be left behind if a storm threatens the area.

“Would you leave your kid behind? Would you leave anything you cared about behind? To me it’s just I would never do that. At least give them the fighting chance. You don’t want to take care of your pet then at least get it to a place where it can fend for itself. Leaving it behind locked in a cage or something like that is not humane,” said Will Jarrett, dog owner.

Red Cross officials say some of their shelters will be pet friendly if you go to a shelter that is not pet friendly they say they will still do their best to find a spot for you.

Read the whole story here: http://www.wjhg.com/content/news/Preparing-your-pets-for-a-hurricane-443102553.html

You’re Invited! Dog Days of Summer: Social

Original Article here: http://www.wjhg.com/content/news/Dog-days-of-summer-social-440875233.html

SANDESTIN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – A guest from Dog Harmony joined us in the studio to tell us about a doggie social for all party animals.

Dog Days of Summer is open to the public and their pets. It is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on August 24th at Grand Park in Grand Boulevard at Sandestin.

The event includes live music, a raffle, “pup pops,” brews by Grayton Beer Company and snapper dip by JC’s Gourmet. The outdoor party is free. Donations are asked for refreshments.

The funds from the event will go to Dog-Harmony, a nonprofit in Santa Rosa Beach whose mission is to reduce the number of unwanted dogs at shelters through education, training, low-cost spay/neuter and microchipping.

For more information, watch Paris’ interview.

Dog-Harmony kicks off capital campaign

Walton Sun Article: http://www.waltonsun.com/news/20170809/dog-harmony-kicks-off-capital-campaign

Dog-Harmony kicked off its capital campaign recently to raise $50,000 that will be used to provide more space for its growing needs.

Dog-Harmony is an education-based operation that offers Doggy Day Care and adoptions, but owner Nancy Bown’s main focus is on training, she said.

Bown usually trains between five and 13 dogs a month at her 1,000-square-foot location in Emerald Coast Plaza and needs more space. There is a 3,000-square-foot space opening up in the complex that Bown hopes to move into.

Dog-Harmony was founded in 2014 as a volunteer-run non-profit organization made up of dog lovers who wanted to make a difference.

Bown’s mission is to create life-long pet adoptions by providing personalized and ongoing education, support and training for people and dogs with a goal of building healthy relationships to improve the lives of both.

Bown believes the key element is education to make sure the people and dogs have tools they need to build a successful life together.

“So many pets are in need because of missing gaps in educating people when they adopt,” she said. “People so often don’t understand the cost, a particular dog’s personality and what goes into pets and they end up recycled.”

Training therapy dogs is her specialty and she is one of the few in Northwest Florida who does this.

Training for a therapy dog is a minimum of 50 hours, and training for the owner is eight hours. She teaches therapy to about 25-30 dogs a year at her location. Click here to read more >>

Breed Labels: When Guesses Turn Into Predictions

As we travel around the country, having conversations with shelters and rescues about the “pit bull” dogs in their care, we find that there are always a few big a-ha! moments that help people understand that all dogs are individuals just a bit better.

One of the more exciting moments typically happens during our Labels & Language presentation where we discuss the role of breed labeling in shelters and the assumptions we make about dogs based on those labels.

Read more here >>

Keeping dogs safe in the heat

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – The founder of Dog-Harmony joined us in the studio to tell you how you can keep your dogs safe from the heat this summer.

There are some things you can do to make sure they don’t get a heat stroke. One thing is to make sure your pets drink enough water. You also shouldn’t leave them out in the sun too long. If you start to notice that they are panting more or their eyes and gums get red, it is a good idea to bring them inside.

For more tips or information on how you can adopt a dog, check out Paris’ interview. http://www.wjhg.com/content/news/Keeping-dogs-safe-in-the-heat-435582613.html

The Neuter Commuter to roll again

Article here: http://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/20170629/neuter-commuter-to-roll-again

The Neuter Commuter, which provides convenient, low-cost spay/neuter surgeries for dogs and cats, will take its next journey Monday, July 31.

Owners who want their pet sterilized may drop off their pets at Dog-Harmony at 3906 U.S. Highay 98 Unit 34 in Santa Rosa Beach at 6 a.m. The Neuter Commuter will then take the animals to a Panama City clinic for surgeries, according to a press release from Dog-Harmony.

After surgery, the Neuter Commuter will return the animals to Dog-Harmony after 3 p.m. for the owners to pick up.

Owners can arrange for a later pickup time if necessary, the press release said.

The Neuter Commuter and clinic are run by Operation Spay Bay, a nonprofit organization that has performed more than 19,000 spay/neuters.

Dog-Harmony transports the animals for free. Surgery cost is $60 for pets under 50 pounds and $80 for those heavier.

Appointments must be made at least one week in advance.

For more information and/or to make an appointment, call Dog-Harmony at 850-376-4190.

Why do dogs wag their tails?

Check out this great article from PetBucket!

Tails serve many practical purposes for our canine companions, from giving them better balance while running to spreading their unique scent to other dogs nearby. Tails are also one of our pets’ key ways of communicating, letting others know when they’re feeling nervous, excited or open to communication. By watching your dog’s wag, then, you can better understand how he’s feeling and what he’s trying to say.

Dogs use their tails, face and body posture to communicate, making his tail one of your pet’s primary means of expressing his moods. In fact, studies have shown that dogs only wag their tails when they’re with company, making it a completely social activity. Watching a dog’s tail, how it’s positioned, whether it’s relaxed and how fast it’s moving can communicate crucial information. A tail held high usually signals enthusiasm, for example, and confident canines tend to hold their tails higher, allowing them to spread more of their scent. A dog holding his tail extremely high or wagging only the tip, however, is likely on high alert and you should avoid him or proceed with caution. Those with their tails low or between their legs are more timid or feeling nervous. Read the rest of the article here.

10 Really Important Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Adopt a Dog

Adopting a dog is no joke. It is a commitment. You can’t just adopt one because you find it cute or you felt pity for it. The moment you decide to adopt a dog, it becomes a major responsibility. This means that you have to devote some of your time in making sure that the adopted dog is safe and healthy.

This means that there are important questions you must ask yourself before adopting a dog. For instance, do you have enough time to take care of it? You are bringing home a living thing. The dog has to be fed, taken care of, brought to the park for a walk, groomed, and many others.

It is more or less like having children. If you think you can do it and you have enough time to spare, go for it. Otherwise, suspend your plans of getting a dog. Later on, when you can safely say that you can take care of the dog, it is time to revisit the idea of adopting one.

Your health must also be taken into consideration. Do you have allergies or anyone in the family? If the dog’s presence at home may cause allergy, it is best to just drop the idea of adopting one. If not, choose a breed that is considered hypoallergenic. You can’t risk the health of your family members because you want to have a dog.

Below are other questions you need to take into consideration before adopting a dog as presented in the infographic. Study it well so you can make the right decision.

10 Really Important Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Adopt a Dog

Teaching Your Dog Table Manners

We loved this article from PetBucket!

No one wants a dog that jumps on guests or begs during a dinner party, or that growls at other pets during his own meals. Teaching our canine companions mealtime manners is important, then, both during our meals and their own.

Dogs are scavengers by nature, so vying for food comes easily to them. Having a pet that begs, whines or whimpers while you’re eating is exasperating, however, and can be embarrassing when you have guests over for dinner. Fortunately, teaching Fido to respect your space during mealtime is simple with some consistent training. Start by having him go to his sleeping area or a favourite spot, and then give your dog a command such as “go to your spot” with a treat. Soon, he’ll start associating the command with that space and a tasty reward. Once you’ve mastered this step, you can add the “stay” command, starting from just a few feet away from his spot and slowly working your way backwards. Over time, you will be able to give the command and leave the room entirely, freeing you to enjoy your meal without a barrage of begging. If your dog does approach the table after you’ve told him to “stay,” lead him back to his spot as many times as necessary to get him to stay put. After dinner, be sure to reward your pet for staying in place with plenty of praise and a treat. Read the rest of the article here.

We’re Having A Doggie!

The holidays are a popular time to bring a new dog into your home. They make a wonderful family addition and bring many years of love and fun. Adopting a dog is also a big decision and requires planning and research. Selecting a new pet can also be a very emotional event. Cute puppies with tails wagging and lots of cuddling are often all it takes to win the hearts of a family, but are only part of the criteria used to choose the right pet. We have some ideas on how to choose your match that will bring years of love and companionship to you, and a forever home to a furry friend in need of a loving family.

Whether one chooses a purebred or mix breed dog, pet adoption is available. Approximately 25 to 30 percent of dogs in shelters are purebred, and there are also shelters for specific breeds from which one can adopt. When selecting a dog it is important to understand the general characteristics of the breed. Is the dog very active or is it more of a lap dog? How large will the dog grow and how often will it require grooming? Are their common health traits of the breed that could require special treatment during its life? The answers to these questions will make one more aware of the care required and will help in the selection of a companion who is likely to be a part of a family for a decade or more.

Review your lifestyle to determine the amount of space available for the dog and the environment in which the dog will live. Space is more important to dogs with herding characteristics like Collies or Shetland Sheepdogs that like to run and bark and may nip at people to “gather” them. As a result, an apartment may not be the easiest environment in which to raise dogs with these traits. Older dogs have more mellow personalities and may be easier to introduce and play with children than young puppies.

It is hard to resist a puppy? The young canines are loving, playful and become “forever friends” to their owners. Puppies also offer an opportunity for children to learn responsibility by taking the dog on regular walks or grooming the pet on a regular basis. However, puppies require more time and attention to train and socialize the pet as it adjusts to a new home and family. Housetraining, puppy-proofing a house, and teaching the pet to obey are just some of the tasks of bringing a young dog in to the family. People with full daily schedules may consider adopting an older dog with arrangements for daycare that affords the dog time to walk or run and socialize

There are many other considerations to ponder when bringing a doggie into a family. Dog-Harmony’s “We’re Having a Doggie” program offers consultations on how to select the proper pet and will help find the best match for you. Adopting a dog through Dog-Harmony includes selection consultations, spay/neuter, vaccinations, obedience and crate training, bedding, harness, leash, and socialization for a nominal fee. To encourage a long-lasting relationship, Dog-Harmony will also provide follow-up consultations and training as needed. As you consider a gift for our family this holiday, think about adopting a pet. It will bring many years of happiness to your family and to a dog in search of a loving home.

For more information about adoption services, contact Dog-Harmony at hello@dog-harmony.org or 850-376-4190.

Why does my dog jump and how can I stop him?

We loved this article that Pet Bucket just sent out. We also love Pet Bucket. 🙂  Did you know that Pet Bucket is the best for less expensive medicine? We love them – and if you order through our link here – we also get a discount for our rescue dogs. Our team member (and the one behind our site design) Chelsea uses it all the time for her two dogs. She loves the service, their products, and the cost is so much better than your local vet or online solution (and did you know it’s the same medicine?! It’s not a knock off or a cheaper option – it’s the same!!). Check out more here.

Okay, back to the article about how we can stop our dogs from jumping!

It may be cute in a puppy, but when your full-grown dog jumps up to greet you, it can be a nuisance and dangerous for children and elderly friends. Because dogs jump up to say “hello,” it can be difficult to break them of the habit. With some consistent training, however, you can teach your pet a more polite way to welcome you and your guests.   When puppies greet an older dog, they often lick the adult’s muzzle as an appeasement gesture. In the same way, your canine companion tries to meet you nose-to-nose, jumping on his hind legs to do so. To break your dog of his highflying habit, it is important to show him that you will only greet pets that have all four feet on the ground. If your dog jumps, don’t acknowledge him by pushing him off, but instead look over his head and turn away if necessary. As soon as your dog’s front paws are planted, reward him verbally and with affection or a treat, withdrawing your attention immediately if he hops on his hind legs again. Continue reading here.

Protecting Your Pup from Mosquitoes

Such a great post on The Bark this week. Check it out…

This summer’s routine insect-prevention strategies are taking on a new urgency as public health experts warn that certain parts of the U.S. may experience outbreaks of the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects in Latin America.

As you protect yourself from any and all mosquitos this summer, don’t hurt your dog in the process!

The Centers for Disease Control recommends people use insect repellents that use of these ingredients:

  • DEET (used in Off, Deep Woods Off and Cutter)
  • Picaridin
  • IR3535
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • Para-menthane-diol.

Unfortunately, DEET can be poisonous to your dog. Ingesting it can cause your dog to have stomach problems, conjunctivitis, breathing difficulties and seizures.

Read more here.