Archive | October, 2015

Breed Specific Legislation

Breed Specific Legislation

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Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is an issue that often affects pitbulls or other bully breeds. BSL restricts or bans dogs of certain breeds, typically including American Pitbull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, American Bulldogs, Dalmatians, Chow-Chows, Mastiffs, German Shepherds and Doberman Pinschers. These breeds are assumed to be more aggressive, so restrictions are placed on them as a way of reducing dog attacks. BSL is a controversial topic and is often not supported by dog owners or dog professionals. Here are some of the issues with BSL.

The primary concern with BSL is that they attribute aggression to breeds, when aggression is caused by many factors. Dogs of any breed can become aggressive. Labeling dogs as aggressive causes a stigma on the breed. Not only does this prevent good owners from wanting these dogs, it encourages bad owners to want them. The pitbull is a loving family dog, but because of the stigma surrounding them gang members and drug dealers often use them as guard dogs. Attributing aggression to breeds can also inadvertently cause more dog attacks because people will assume dogs of non-restricted breeds are safer to be around and won’t be as careful. Dog bite statistics might imply that certain breeds are more prone to biting than others, but dog bite reports are misleading. Not all dog bites are reported, so the statistics are not representative of the truth. Also, many of the breeds on the list are popular dog breeds, so they are over-represented in the community. So it is not that the breed is more aggressive, it’s just that there are more dogs of that breed in the community, inflating the statistics.

The second major issue with BSL is labeling all dogs with a specific breed. For purebred dogs, this is easy enough but many mixed breeds can be mislabeled. There are many mixed breed dogs that look like a pitbull mix, but DNA analysis proves otherwise. Labeling breeds as aggressive causes other issues within a community. It makes it difficult for owners of those breeds to find housing or insurance, which can lead to them having to abandon their pet. Shelters become flooded with these restricted breeds that no one wants to adopt. Healthy, happy, adoptable dogs are overlooked simply because of their breed. Some dog owners will try to hide their dogs in order to prevent repercussions. They won’t walk them, take them to the vet, or get them properly licensed.

Finally, BSL has been proven to be ineffective in reducing dog attacks in communities that have enacted it. Not surprising that dog attack numbers were not reduced by these means, since as we mentioned, aggression is caused by a combination of factors. At TGDS, we believe each dog should be treated and evaluated as an individual. Unlike many daycares, we do not have breed restrictions. If a dog can pass our temperament evaluation, they are welcome to play! We do not agree with BSL. We encourage you to reach out to politicians or community leaders to prevent or overturn BSL. The best way to prevent dog attacks is by educating people on proper ways to interact with dogs, including recognizing stress signals that dogs give leading up to an attack. Children are the primary targets of dog attacks so it is important to teach your children to respect dogs and to give them space when they are uncomfortable.

Pesky Parasites

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Dear Pet Parents,

The cooler weather brings an increase in pesky parasites for your fur-kids.  A few daycare clients have had veterinarian confirmed cases of parasites in recent weeks.  While we pride ourselves on keeping our facility clean and well sanitized, we need your help to keep the spread of parasites to a minimum. We will be extra thorough in our sanitation process here and we ask that you keep a closer than usual eye on your dog’s stool and overall heath for signs that they may have contracted a parasite.  A few things to look out for include:

  • Loose or mucusy stool
  • Small rice looking worms in the stool
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy

If your dog is showing any of the above mentioned signs or symptoms, please refrain from bringing them to daycare until they can be seen, and cleared, by a veterinarian by means of a stool sample.  Keep in mind parasites are not always present in every bowl movement and other symptoms may be sporadic in appearance as well.   Therefore, it is best to keep an eye on your dog’s stool and overall health for several days to determine if they need to be seen by a veterinarian.

Communication is key to keeping our daycare kids happy and healthy; please talk with us if your dog is having any health concerns that might cause them to be absent from daycare.  As stated in our Daycare Guidelines, dogs that have diarrhea and/or vomiting while at daycare must be seen by their veterinarian and cleared in order to return to the facility.  We reserve the right to isolate your pup from group play if signs of illness arise.

 

We thank you for your patience and understanding!

Pet Obesity Awareness

Pet Obesity Awareness
Why is my pet’s weight important? I think he’s cute when he’s chunky…

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Did you know an estimated 54% of dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese?  According to new research from the Association for Pet Obesity, the majority of the nation’s dogs and cats continue to be overweight, and most pet owners aren’t even aware of the problem!

 

As little as five pounds over, your pet’s ideal weight can put them at risk for developing serious medical conditions.  Unfortunately, when a pet is overweight it’s no longer a question of “if” your furry friend will develop a condition due to the excess weight, but rather a question of “how many problems and how soon?”  Common disorders related to pet obesity include: type 2 diabetes, respiratory and heart disease, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, and different forms of cancer.

 

Obesity does not have to shorten your beloved pet’s time on this earth, and our team at The Good Dog Spot is here to help your pet be the happiest and healthiest it can be!  At Doggy Daycare, we can ensure your pet has fun while burning off the calories. Exercise not only burns calories, but also strengthens respiratory and circulatory systems, keeps muscles toned and flexible, aids in digestion, relieves boredom, and keeps your pet’s mind active. Choosing the correct type and amount of food, monitoring their weight, limiting or eliminating treats and table scraps, and treating any contributing factors can also reduce your critter companion’s weight.  Let’s join together to reduce the percentage of overweight pets and spread awareness of pet obesity!

 

Take action today about your pet’s weight! Sign up your furry friend for Doggy Daycare at The Good Dog Spot!

Fire Prevention Day

FIRE PREVENTION DAY
The Good Dog Spot Donates Pet Oxygen Masks to Local Fire Departments

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Losing a pet in a house fire can be life shattering. While a humans first instinct is to run from the fire, our pets’ first instinct is to hide. Because of this our beloved pets are more vulnerable to injury from flames and smoke inhalation.

While fire rescue teams manage to rescue our pets from the burning homes, they cannot revive them unless they have the proper equipment – pet oxygen masks.

These oxygen masks are specially designed in a cone shape to fit the noses and muzzles of dogs and cats.  Equipped with a rubber seal, they are a comfortable fit for any size pet and help keep their mouths closed.  In pet CPR, the pet’s mouth is closed and you deliver breaths directly into the nostrils.  Pet oxygen masks mimic the action of CPR and provide a strong flow of oxygen.

To make sure local fire departments are equipped with proper resources, The Good Dog Spot has donated two pet oxygen masks to the Chicopee and the South Hadley Fire Departments.