Perla’s Trip to the United Kingdom

Perla moves to England

Perla moves to England

Perla is now happily and safely reunited with her family in the United Kingdom. She arrived yesterday on a British Airways flight originating from Denver, Colorado USA. It was ideal that she could fly on a direct flight. When possible, it is best to avoid connections or layovers when shipping a pet. Perla’s relocation went smoothly and Perla appears to be settling in nicely.

There is much planning required for your pet when relocating to the United Kingdom. For Perla to move to England she had to be microchipped, vaccinated against rabies (the rabies vaccination must not be less than 21 days prior to the date of departure), receive a health certificate endorsed by the USDA, and complete a customs C5 form prior to arrival. Dogs must be treated with a tapeworm treatment containing Praziquantel as an active ingredient.

“Best. Day. Ever! Perla is very happy and healthy! She hid for a bit but then spent the evening cuddling and playing.  She’s eaten, had plenty of water, and has used the loo! Thanks to you guys this has been relatively painless and stress free! Thanks for everything!! We are all so happy!”

Winterize Your Pet

powderhoundJust as humans can get frostbite or hypothermia – so can pets! With the weather so cold it is important to realize how this affects your pets. Here are a few good tips to remember whether your pet is staying home or traveling. It is important to check your dog or cats’ skin and conditioning. In some cases, you may want to supply extra paw protection with booties. Make sure to brush your pet’s coat regularly, inspect pet paws, and nails for breakage or cracks due to snow or ice.

Frostbite is commonly found on toes, tail, ears, and the other areas not covered by fur. Signs of frostbite include very pale or white skin or areas that are swollen or red. If you suspect frostbite it is best to check with your vet immediately. Immerse the area for 15-20 minutes into warm water to help treat the affected area.

Hypothermia occurs after prolonged exposure to harsh elements and temperatures. Symptoms include low body temperature, shivering, balance problems, and fatigue. It is critical to immediately raise the pet’s body temperature with warm blankets and warm liquids. Call your veterinarian.

Overall, it is a good idea to use protective gear for your pet’s when out in the elements, increase caloric intake if pet is active outside, keep nails trimmed, and use heated water bowls for outdoor pets. If a pet is kept outside make sure to monitor the temperatures and bring your pet in when necessary. It is a good idea to provide a warm and insulated bed to protect your pet from the ground.

Gus’ Heart of Gold

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Credit: Courtesy Gus Kenworthy

Slopestyle skiing silver medalist Gus Kenworthy is a true winner by showcasing not only his talent but his compassion during these Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Kewnworthy has brought worldwide awareness to the stray dog issue in Russia. Sochi is playing host to not only a spectacular Winter Olympics but host to thousands of stray dogs. In Sochi’s case, many claim that most dogs were left behind and abandoned by the construction workers that came to build the Olympic infrastructures. Historically, the issue of Moscow’s feral dogs was first mentioned by late 19th century journalists. According to biologists who study the feral dog problem it is estimated that the homeless dog population in Moscow is around 35,000 or approximately one dog for every 300 people. In Sochi the more than 2000 strays slated to be euthanized were saved by Russian billionaire and dog lover Oleg Derpaska. He built his own “Olympic Village” of sorts – a shelter outside the city to house the strays. Derpaska is a gold medal winner in the hearts of these dogs for giving them a second chance at life.

As adorable as these pups are it is important to stay mindful of their temperament and socialization skills. In some instances these dogs have bitten people and others tend toward feral and protective tendencies. As Kenworthy is a fellow Coloradan based in Telluride and Life Unleashed is a Denver based pet relocation company – we decided to reach out. As pet relocation specialists we have offered our services for free if Kenworthy finds himself in need. Arranging the exportation of these pups is not as easy as one would think. Often, an international relocation process can take weeks due to the paperwork and necessary health documentations required for both exporting and importing into a separate country.

What a great cause to champion and raise support and knowledge surrounding this sad predicament for the homeless dogs. Everyone’s cheering that these dogs will all become top dogs! What an example of true Olympic Spirit on the slopes and off.

Car Travel Safety Tips for Your Pet

The upcoming Memorial Day Weekend is a good time to think about summer pet travel safety before your next road trip. It is most important to remember never leave a pet unattended in any vehicle – not even for a quick errand. Experts claim that a vehicle can reach 120 degrees in just a matter of minutes whether the car is parked in sun or shade. This puts pets at such a risk of heat stroke due to their inability to perspire as humans do. It is also recommended that each pet should have access to water at all times in a vehicle. Even ice cubes work well to help pets avoid dehydration.

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According to the Automobile Association of America, unrestrained pets in a vehicle are considered the third worst distraction to drivers. Safety harnesses, booster seats, and barriers between the seats are all excellent ways of preventing unwanted accidents. For those of you who have pets that love to hang head out the window – Doggles are the perfect way to prevent any eye injury caused from road debris as well as offering your pet’s eyes additional UV protection.

The Importance of Reputable Breeding Practices

With this week’s focus on becoming a new pet parent I thought it would be a good idea to start off with what to be aware of when looking for a puppy. This entry is inspired out of my own inexperience when selecting my first German Shepherd. I was so caught up in the excitement of getting my new puppy that I never thought about the implications from poor quality breeding. I would come to realize that health clearances and purchasing a dog from a reputable breeder greatly reduces the risk that your puppy will deal with major health problems.

I was unaware at the time all of the health consequences that my beloved puppy would pay as the result of unprofessional breeding. My German Shepherd, Quincy, turned out to be the most wonderful companion and absolute love of my life! She brought so much to my life.  Unfortunately, I had to witness first hand how she suffered needlessly from inherited genetic health problems and the great pain she endured starting at puppyhood.

I first noticed a problem when she was the only student in Puppy Kindergarten class that experienced great difficulty in sitting. Her inability to sit was caused by advanced osteoarthritis, spondylosis, and severe hip dysplasia. At the time, her vet had never seen a more advanced case of hip dysplasia. Quincy required major orthopedic surgery at the age of two and extensive rehabilitation.

Later in life she developed degenerative myelopathy and megaesophagus. These health conditions are often attributed to the quality of breeding and genetics in the line. Quincy loved life and fought a valiant battle against all of her ailments. She lived to the age of 14 when she finally succumbed to aspiration pneumonia – a direct result of her megaesphogus.

Shelters and rescue groups are now overrun with supposed “purebreds” displaying emotional problems and health issues as an undesired outcome from poor breeding practices and puppy mills. There are now many hyperactive, aggressive, and timid puppies when by nature their breed should be calm, friendly, and outgoing.

Wonderful dogs should be spared the unnecessary pain, the inability to easily run and jump, and avoid severe inherited health problems. As potential pet parents become more educated, bad breeders are still often ahead of the game of outwitting the unsuspecting pet parent.

It is important to do due diligence in researching a breeder when purchasing a puppy. According to reputable breeders, there is no excuse to not have all four health clearances on both parents. The four health clearances consist of OFA Hip Clearance, OFA Elbow clearance, OFA Cardiac Clearance, and CERF Clearance. It is advised to stay away from any breeder that doesn’t have all of the appropriate information listed on the OFA site.  We will give more details on each of these OFA categories in a follow-up blog. Dogs must be 24 months of age before receiving hip and elbow clearances.Dogs should never be bred under 24 months of age because they are still developing and should not have puppies at that early of an age. In addition, there will also be no health clearances available.

Comparing Pets to Peanuts

I just came across an interesting article regarding in-cabin air travel for pets. Air Canada has come under fire in the February issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal for allowing pets to travel during a flight in the cabin. Currently, like many other airlines, Air Canada allows small pets to travel in the aircraft cabin and under the seat.

An article in the well-respected Canadian Medical Journal suggests that airlines should ban pets from flying with passengers in the cabin. Medical experts consider pets to be an “allergic hazard” exposing people that have pet allergies to unnecessary risk. Some equate this “hazard” as being similar to people that suffer from peanut allergies. As a result some airlines have stopped serving peanuts. Now, there is a push to ban in-cabin pets!

Certain doctors feel that new legislation needs to be introduced to the Canadian Transport Agency to safeguard these passengers suffering from pet allergies. Experts claim that research suggests one in ten people suffer from animal allergies. Previous studies have indicated that pet allergen is present on the seats of both domestic and international flights sparking more concern.

Some feel that airlines need to put the well being of all human passengers above those of pets and if not, be forced to comply.  As cited in the Canadian article, ” Pets can be accommodated comfortably and safely in airplane cargo holds, which is where they belong,” said the authors.

Launch of Parenting Series for Expectant Puppy Parents

It is starting to be that time of year again – Spring is right around the corner and so are many anticipated litter arrivals. Expecting a new puppy can be equally exciting and overwhelming for any new pet parent. This is why we have decided to put together a blog series that will cover all aspects of getting ready for your new “fur” baby.

Topics covered will range from advice on how to select your puppy, fun ways to host the perfect puppy shower, as well locating a veterinarian, choosing a doggie day care, and finding the right puppy school in which to enroll your furry child.

Starting Monday, February 22nd we will launch our exclusive Puppy Parenting Series.

Doglympic Doggies Go for Gold

My name is Savannah, and as I am snuggled deeply under my favorite blanket my legs suddenly twitch and run with excitement as I dream of entering into my very first Doglympics’ Chihuahua Race!  I feel the glory of gold as I race towards the finish line. Being quite the runner and pawfect athelete, I train with my parents every day (well as long as it’s not too cold, too snowy, too rainy, windy, or the roads are not wet). What my pet parents don’t realize  is that I want to enter the Doglympics next year. I am currently working on my sponsorship.

I just wanted to let my furry friends know that the Second Annual Doglympics USA, is taking place in Orlando, Florida, on February 20-21, 2010. Events such as musical chairs, the doggy dash, and recall relay start this weekend off. The First Annual Doglympics USA canine competition took place last year in Orlando, Florida. Over 200 teams from across the U.S. and Canada competed in a variety of dog sports. The fabulous turnout was enough encouragement for founder Teena Patel to know that Doglympics USA would become an annual event.

Want to know the best part? It’s that any breed can compete! Doglympics’ Teena Patel, who is also the  “Dean of Dogs” at University of Doglando, invites every type of canine competitor from “the tiny Chihuahua to the mighty Great Dane, professional to the aloof”, to compete in the games.

From this picture you can see the excitement during the highly competitive Musical Chairs event! If you plan on entering this event I have included some training tips at the end of my blog entry.

Sniffing out more details from the Doglympics coaches,  I found that stated on the Doglympics web site,” professional, competitive dog sports, as well as non-professional dog events, are just some the activities you’ll find at Doglympics USA. Lure course racing, with both individual and group participants, always captivates the crowds. The Flying Disk competitions are a popular event. Last February 79 teams vied for gold, silver, and bronze and were cheered by a constant audience in the stands.”

I hear that the Potato sack races, Herding challenges, and Breed Races were all fan favorites last year. Stay tuned to find out what this year brings! I will surely be tracking my future competition during the Chihuahua Races which are to be held on Saturday. I have also come across some training tips from the Dog Star Daily that I will share. “To gain a competitive edge in Musical Chairs, heel your dog on your right-hand side to keep him as far away from the rectangle when walking counter-clockwise, then he will be less likely to cause a Line Fault when you hustle towards the chairs when the music stops. Whereas, if your dog heels on your left, he will likely sit very close to the Fault Line of the rectangle.”

Unleash Your Dog’s Star Power

It is quite an exciting time of year for dog breeders and handlers. Congratulations to Sadie! Sadie, a Scottish Terrier was awarded Best in Show at the 134th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City’s Madison Square Garden on Tuesday evening. As for Sadie, she’s the eighth Scottie to win at Westminster. Sadie will undoubtedly now enter into a busy media schedule full of appearances, pawtographs, and interviews.

It is also interesting to note that three new dog breeds were introduced at Westminster this year. Below is an overview of the breeds according to the official Westminster web site.

New addition to the Herding Group -NORWEGIAN BUHUND


“Once the cherished companion of Vikings, the Norwegian Buhund is a versatile farm dog from Norway that herds livestock, guards property, and has been used for hunting game. The name means farm-dog –”Bu” in Norwegian means homestead or farm and “hund” means dog. The Buhund is a double-coated, squarely-built spitz, a little under medium size, with mobile prick ears, a tightly-curled tail carried over the center of its back, and dark, almond-shaped eyes with an intelligent, friendly expression. This working breed has a lot of energy, strength, and stamina, but is also known to be independent,” according to the Westminster Kennel Club (www.buhund.org)

New addition to the Sporting Group – The Irish Red and White Setter


The Westminster Kennel Club claims, “Despite its name, the Irish Red and White Setter is a distinct breed, not just a different colored version of the Irish Setter. Bred primarily for the field, they should be strong, powerful and athletic, with a keen and intelligent attitude. The coat’s base color is white with solid red patches. Known in Ireland since the 17th century, the Red and White is thought to be the older of the two Irish Setters. However, it was nearly extinct by the end of the 19th century. During the 1920s, efforts were made to revive the Irish Red and White Setter and by the 1940s, the breed began to reemerge in Ireland.” (www.irwsa.com)

The PYRENEAN SHEPHERD joins the Herding Group
This new addition according to the Westminster Kennel Club is, “The Pyrenean Shepherd which is also known by its French name, Berger des Pyrénées, but fanciers of the breed in America often shorten his name to “pyr shep.” Herding has been and remains the mainstay of the economy of the High Pyrenees, and the Pyrenean Shepherd is the traditional working companion of the larger dog, the Great Pyrenees. Together they aid the shepherd in his everyday workings with his herd of sheep or other livestock. Outside his homeland of France the breed is rare, but in France his popularity as a wonderfully devoted family companion has grown considerably since the early 1970s. Although small in stature and weight, it is said, “pound for pound, he has few equals in both herding or guarding.” (www.pyrshep.com)

For Those Howlywood Bound

If Best in Show is not your dog’s strong suit maybe your dog will enjoy the Puparazzi? You may find your dog has star power of his own. With Hollywood Paws you start your talented pet off with a career at the Animal Career Academy.

Dog.umentaries are fully customized short films and e-cards starring your precious pooch produced by videovampires,inc. Create one-of-a kind tail wagging tribute for your furry friend online and on DVD.  Visit www.videovampires.com for more information.

Established in 1940, American Humane’s Film & Television Unit is the leading authority on the safe use of animals in film. They are the only animal welfare organization in the world with on-set jurisdiction from the Screen Actors Guild to supervise the use of animals. You can visit the web site Animal Humane Film & TV Unit to see how it all works.

For all you know your dog could be starring in commercials, movies, or become the next Lassie!

Is Your Dog Drinking Contaminated Water?

As pet parents, we are well aware that water is an essential part of any dog’s diet. Without the proper amount of water, a dog can become dehydrated and also risk facing irreversible organ damage. Water consumption directly affects a dog’s overall energy, efficiency, and well-being. Approximately one ounce of water per pound of body weight per day is appropriate for your dog. Veterinarians generally recommend that an animal needs one milliliter of water for every food calorie consumed.

Whenever you notice that your dog’s water bowl is empty your first reaction is to quickly refill it with “fresh”, “clean” tap water. After all, how many times do we grab our own refreshing cold glass of water from the tap?  But, in reality how fresh and clean is this water we consume?  What you may not realize is that each time you may be replenishing a supply of toxins straight into your pet’s water bowl.

It is hard to believe that something as clean, seemingly pure, and refreshing as consuming tap water can potentially lead to causing deadly diseases (for man and dog alike). Some experts now point to tap water as a leading contributor to cancer and other serious health issues.

So why is tap water considered so harmful? There are a few potentially dangerous contributing factors. One element found in many water supplies is chlorine. Some research indicates that the incidence of cancer is 44 percent higher among those who drink chlorinated water. Chlorine by-products also known as trihalomethanes are what concern scientists the most. Even though tooth decay has decreased over the decades; the cancer percentages have increased as a direct result from the fluoride added to the water supply. The danger of adding fluoride to water is the fact that many scientists support the conclusion that fluoride is a possible carcinogen.

More than 2,100 toxic chemicals have been detected in the US water supply remarks Dr. Richard Pitcairn in his book, Natural Health for Cats & Dogs. “Some of the most common contaminants are lead, cadmium, arsenic, insecticides, nitrates, fungicides, herbicides, benzene, toluene and dioxin. MTBE is another chemical traced to water supplies. Many of these pollutants are known to cause cancer or damage the kidneys, liver, brain, and cardiovascular system.”

These troubling findings are leading pet parents to now use filtered or distilled water for their pets/themselves and to find the healthiest water alternatives available. Using a good quality water purifier is often more cost effective than buying bottled water and is highly recommended to help remedy the situation.

Equally important is to make sure you keep your dog’s water bowl thoroughly washed and cleaned and easily accessible. It is important to provide fresh water daily. Selecting a bowl with a stainless steel surface is also a great choice for serving your dog’s water.