Do Dogs Grieve the Death of a Close Family Member?

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Did you ever think that dogs are capable of grieving? Just like us human beings, dogs also form strong bonds with its family. When a close family member passes away, your canine will be greatly upset. It will need help in coping up with this drastic change that took place in its life. When we lose someone dear to us, we have family and friends who support us to get through difficult times. By spending time with us, they will help in overcoming loneliness.
Even your canine will need help when a close family member passes away because it won’t know what to do. But before we get to how you can help your canine cope with the situation, you need to know if your canine is grieving or not.

Signs if your canine is grieving

Although your canine won’t be directly able to tell you whether it is grieving, it gives out telltale signs. If you notice the following in your canine’s behavior, it is grieving:

  • Lack of interest or engagement
  • Lethargic
  • Looks depressed
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness during night time
  • Spends a large portion of its time sleeping
  • Weight loss
  • Whimpers or howls regularly

How to help a grieving dog?

When a close family member passes away, your canine may suffer from separation anxiety. As a result of this, your canine will wait for the close family member to return or it will search every room. On top of that, your canine will easily pick up on your feelings and feel depressed. You can help your grieving canine in the following ways:

  • Build a new and strong bond with your canine by spending quality time with it. Over time your canine will get over the loss and continue with its life.
  • Take your canine out for long walks and set aside additional time so that you can play with it. Regular exercise will keep your canine calm as it has an outlet to release its anxiety.
  • Ensure you feed your canine according to its regular schedule. Although your canine won’t eat right away, you can get its appetite back with extra treats and yummy meals.
  • You can ask your friends to bring over their canines to your house so that your dog has playmates. It is important for grieving dogs to have company as it will help them get over the significant loss.
  • If your canine is not responding to the tips above, consult your vet or an animal behaviorist for assistance.

By constantly caring and taking care of it, your canine will form new bonds. If you give your canine enough time, it will be able to cope with the loss and move on with its life.


How Does Your Dog’s Diet Affect His Mood?

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Nutrition has a big impact on the physical and mental health of your dog. Let us look at a few ways in which diet can impact the behavior of your pet.

  1. Feeding time – Not long ago, feeding pets once a day or leaving food out all day (known as free feeding) was considered to be standard regimen. However, it is unwise to do so unless recommended by the vet for a specific medical reason. Just imagine how you would feel if you were able to eat only once every day, or kept munching on a high calorie diet all day. Ask your vet whether feeding your dog 2-3 times a day would be better suited for him. Sometimes, feeding adjustments and exercise are all it takes to improve your dog’s overall demeanor.
  2. Ingredients in pet food – The ingredients in your pet’s food can also affect his behavior in a number of ways. Consider docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is added to kitten and puppy food quite often. DHA is known to increase mental acuity in kittens and puppies. As a matter of fact, some studies have demonstrated that puppies that eat dog food containing DHA are more trainable. Antioxidants are also considered great brain food for cats and dogs. A number of studies have shown that senior dogs that were on an antioxidant rich diet had greater success learning complex tasks than the ones that were on a control diet. This is consistent with the finding that links oxidative damage to an aging brain. Another study found that an antioxidant rich diet protects dogs from age related changes in behavior like excessive licking, cognitive decline and patterned pacing. Dogs on an antioxidant rich diet were also able to recognize their family members, other animals much more easily than the ones that were on a control diet, apart from displaying greater agility in physical tasks.
  3. Unbalanced diet – Your pet might face health issues if you feed him an unbalanced diet. You will encounter a whole bunch of behavioral issues that you didn’t notice before. For instance, a cat or dog suffering from a UTI (urinary tract infection) brought on by an unbalanced diet might be stressed and irritable from the discomfort and pain caused by the condition. The body is a complex vat of biochemical reactions and dogs require more than 40 key nutrients, and the pet food must have a careful balance of all the components.

The best way to ensure your pet’s health and happiness is to take him to the vet for regular examinations and discuss his dietary needs. If your dog has a sudden mood change, it might indicate an underlying behavioral, nutritional or health issue that needs to be addressed.


How to Clean Up Cat Urine?

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If your cat has a habit of urinating outside the litter box, it can be quite difficult o get rid of the smell. Whether it is a carpet, your furniture, clothes or bed linens, it is important to neutralize the smell to prevent your cat from repeating that gesture as they often tend to return to a spot where they have urinated before if the odor lingers.

Why does the pee of your cat stink?

Cats tend to mark their territory outside the litter box, be it hidden corners or carpets. The bacterium in the urine decomposes after a while and gives off a characteristic ammonia-like smell. After that, the decomposed urine starts giving off mercaptans, which are compounds that give the spray of skunks its characteristic bad smell. If your cat is older, there is a good chance that his kidneys have lost their efficiency and that can make their urine smell even worse.

Products to clean up cat urine

The stench of cat urine gets worse with time. There are many ways to neutralize the odor of cat urine, including kitchen staples like vinegar, enzymatic cleaners or baking soda. Vinegar is especially effective as it is an acid that neutralizes all the alkaline salts that are found in dried urine. You can spray a solution that is one part water and one part vinegar on your floors and walls to get rid of the smell. Vinegar itself tends to smell strong, but it takes the smell of urine along with it in a few days.

Enzyme based cleaners found in local pet stores are also a good alternative. The enzyme breaks down the acid in the urine and gets rid of the smell at the same time. Most of these cleaners contain helpful bacteria and natural enzymes that get rid of all the odor causing bacteria. When you clean the surface, you need to keep in mind that your cat shouldn’t be able to smell the remnants of his urine either. If he can, there is a good chance that he will use the spot again.

Avoid cleaning products that have ammonia in them, as it is one of the most important components in cat urine and if your cat can smell it, there is a good chance that he will use the spot to relieve himself again.

How to clean cushions

If your cat pees on your favorite cushion, blot the affected area with an enzyme. Let it soak for fifteen minutes and squish out the excess enzyme cleaner before you blot it with a wet towel. Leave the cushion out in the sun to dry. Since cushions take a lot of time to dry, lay an aluminum foil over the cushion before you put it back and put another layer on top of the cushion to stop your cat from peeing on it again.


5 Signs That Your Cat is Suffering From Arthritis

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Arthritis is a fairly uncommon condition in cats. It affects about three in every ten cats. Arthritis may affect cats as they age due to disintegration of the joints. However, there have been cases where it has occurred in younger cats due to infection or trauma. It is important that you are aware of signs associated with arthritis so you can spot the same in case your cat develops the condition. While arthritis is a long-standing condition which does not have any cure once it has set in, given the right treatment, medications and a few lifestyle changes, you can contain the pain and discomfort that it is causing to your pet. Here are some signs of arthritis that you want to watch out for:

Finds it difficult to climb up the stairs

If you cat faces difficulties in climbing up the stairs or stops jumping onto perches and countertops all of a sudden, then it could be a sign of arthritis. Your cat may be hesitant about moving as freely as before due to the pain and discomfort.

Is not keen on playing

Cats with arthritis tend to tire much faster than when they were healthy. Your cat may show signs of lethargy, where it is not as keen on playing as it was before. You may find them sleeping for much longer than usual, and they may also show difficulty in finding a comfortable position to sleep in.

Limps when it walks

Does your cat limp when it walks? You will have too observe closely for this sign, as the limp may be conspicuous right after your cat gets up to move around, rather than a while after, when it is already warmed up.

Shows reduced grooming

Does the coat of hair on your cat appear unkept? Cats with arthritis have a tendency to not groom themselves, resulting in a disheveled appearance, but this is not always the case. Some other cats have a tendency to lick, bite and chew in areas that are causing pain. They may lick, bite or chew on the area till it shows up as some swollen skin or a bald patch.

Is easily irritable

Does your cat have a case of “bad moods” off late? It could be due to arthritis pain. Cats are wired to not show any signs of weakness or pain, so they can guard themselves in case they are attacked. So, what you are assuming to be as just foul mood could actually be as a result of painful joints. Cats may show their irritability by snapping or biting when you approach them or try to hold them, or if it causes more pain when you handle them.


Watch Kitten Frozen In Ice Make Amazing Recovery

Sometimes there is a story that sounds so unreal, you need to see it to believe it. This is one of those times.

When the Bingham family went outside their Utah cabin on that chilly Thanksgiving morning, they discovered something that made their hearts sink – a tiny, white kitten frozen in the snow.


Photo courtesy of Daily Mail

Not wanting to accept what they were seeing, the Binghams decided to fight the odds and try to resuscitate the lifeless kitten. They brought the cat into their home, sat him by the fire and began to perform CPR on him.


Photo courtesy of Daily Mail

And what happened next, nobody could have predicted.

He came back!

After being coddled and warmed up, the family settled on a name for their new family member – Lazarus.


Photo courtesy of Daily Mail

For those who don’t know, Lazarus is a biblical figure whom Jesus resurrected after being dead for 2 days. A pretty apt name for their miraculous, death-defying kitty, if you asked me.

Since then, Lazarus has seen the vet and been deemed healthy and ready to begin his life as a normal, unfrozen cat in a new home.


Photo courtesy of Daily Mail

This story may seem like a miracle, but saving a life is not always so difficult. If you want to be someone’s savior, simply visit your local animal shelter.

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Hero Pit Bull Stays By Owner In House Fire, Gets Kicked Out Of Town

When a dog remains loyal in the face of great danger, their bravery should be repaid in kind. So earlier this week when a pit bull stayed by her injured owner’s side during a house fire, one could rightly expect that she would be given some award or commendation for her actions.

Instead, she was kicked out of her home and banned from returning.

From Hero to Heretic – One Pit Bull’s Journey

The story begins with a house fire breaking out in Landover Hills, Maryland, late Wednesday night. When the fire department arrived on the scene, the first thing they did was search the flaming building for survivors. Upon entering, they found a woman, April Newell, collapsed on the floor. However, the firemen were unable to reach her because her dog, Precious, was standing guard over her.

In order to get the protective pit bull to back away from her owner long enough for the firefighters to get her on a stretcher, they had to startle her with a fire extinguisher. Once they got the woman outside, however, Precious was back to her old tricks, refusing to leave her injured owner’s side.

And while everyone on the scene was greatly impressed with the depth of this dog’s loyalty, when the time came to April to the hospital, Precious fell victim to one of Prince George’s County’s more absurd laws – a ban on all “blocky headed dogs.”

Why Breed Specific Legislation Should Stop


Image via NBC Washington

So now Precious is in a shelter one county away and is not allowed to go back home because of this Breed Specific Legislation (or BSL).

“My heart broke, it melted when I saw that,” said Sandra Hamorsky of the Maryland Dog Federation. After hearing about Precious’ story, Sandra hopes to overturn this county’s outdated law. “When it comes right down to it, a dog is a dog is a dog. And when you look at the video, you have a dog doing what any dog would do, and that’s protect its owner,” said Hamorsky.

Until then, Precious will either need to stay with a family friend outside the county or in a shelter. As of now, Newell plans to pick up Precious and find a new place to live.

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New Law Says “All Pets Purchased Must Be From a Shelter”

In an attempt to diminish the amount of pets raised in horrible puppy mills, city officials in Las Vegas are working on a bill that would ban pet shops from selling any cats or dogs that didn’t come from a rescue or a shelter. If this bill passes, every pet purchased inside the city is guaranteed to have been a rescue. And this is a big deal.

Why This Is A Big Deal

This bill can affect the way pets are adopted in two major ways.

  1. Every pet purchased is in dire need of a home.
  2. The puppy mill industry will lose major business.

Previously, pets found in pet stores were often bred just so they could be shipped off to a pet store and sold. Meanwhile, perfectly good pets were languishing in shelters right around the corner. They languished because those shelters don’t have big window box displays or locations in nearby malls like the competing pet stores.


Puppies from a puppy mill, born to be sold.

Basically, people would purchase these pet store pets out of convenience, not even aware that in doing so they were directly supporting a malicious industry and preventing an abandoned dog from getting the home they deserve.

Thanks to this bill, all those mall storefronts and bright displays are going to be filled with bonafide shelter dogs, ensuring that every dog purchased is one that needed a home from the start, and not one that was bred just to make a sale.

While Las Vegas should be heralded for taking this leap, they are no pioneers. In fact, Phoenix passed a similar bill a few years back. What’s more, the Phoenix law was even challenged and upheld in federal court, giving the law that much more credence.


Shelter dogs up for adoption at a pet store

All of this is to say that, while the bill has not yet been formally passed into law, in all likelihood it will be official before long. Furthermore, if the law works as proposed in both raising shelter adoption rates and undercutting puppy mill sales, more cities will likely be adopting this policy. Before long, puppy mills will become a thing of the past.

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Millionaire Trades Fortune to Save Thousands of Dogs from Slaughter

When we hear stories about dogs being raised for meat, the natural reaction is to be saddened and disgusted. But when push comes to shove, how many of us actually take a stand?

Luckily there are people like Wang Yan out there, making extreme financial sacrifices in order to save these poor pups in need.

Photo via The Shanghiist

Photo via The Shanghaiist

Yan’s story began in 2012 when his dog went missing. He searched high and low for his beloved pooch, and even ended up at a nearby slaughterhouse that was known for handling dog meat.

Sadly, Yan was not able to find his long lost dog, but what he did discover was just how terrible the conditions were for these poor dogs at the slaughterhouse. And that is when Yan realized his purpose – to free these dogs from the waking hell that is their life.

Photo via The Shanghiist

Photo via The Shanghaiist

At the time of Yan’s dark discovery, he had amassed a small fortune of several million yuan. And while most people would have used that money to surround themselves with the trappings of a luxurious lifestyle, Yan made the choice to buy the slaughterhouse outright and shut it down. On top of that, Yan also spent thousands to turn an abandoned steel factory into a huge shelter to house the dogs he’s rescued.

In order to save all these dogs, Yan has burnt through his entire life savings, even landing himself in a bit of debt trying to keep all these dogs fed and looked after.

Photo via The Shanghiist

Photo via The Shanghaiist

“Right now, we only have 215 dogs,” Yan said. “The most we’ve had at one time is 1,000, many of them have been adopted.”

And while Yan has given up his personal fortune to help save these desperate dogs, he refuses to take monetary donations. Instead, the only help he will accept is in the form of supplies.

If you want to show your support for Yan, you can make a donation to the Humane Society International, which is an organization that works tirelessly to ensure that pets all over the globe receive adequate care.

Photo via The Shanghiist

Photo via The Shanghaiist

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Tiny Dog Scares Two Bears Off Property – Amazing Video

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.”

Never has that statement been more true then this past Friday when a 20-pound French bulldog chased off a family of brown bears that had gotten onto the property. Jules, the pint-sized protector, wasted no time once she noticed the family of bears making themselves comfortable on her family’s front yard. She bolted over towards the younger, more inquisitive bears, barking madly and doing everything in her power to scare the bears away.

And it worked!

As you can see in the video, Jules doesn’t let her diminutive stature stand in her way. She just took off, chasing these mortified bears all across the property until they’re over the fence and out of her jurisdiction.

“She blew me away. I couldn’t believe that. She turned into a wolverine,” said Jules’ owner, David Hernandez.

While the video is quite entertaining, it does touch upon something more serious. A wildfire in the area has left a lot of the indigenous wildlife without a home or food, leaving them to explore the neighboring homes for refuge. This means there has been an uptick in the amount woodland creatures making their way into towns and neighborhoods.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, some people in the neighborhood are reportedly feeding these wild animals, thereby encouraging them to see homes as a source of food and shelter. It can be difficult to be faced with animals that are down on their luck, but providing them with food is not helping them survive. It teaches them that, when in doubt, start sniffing around homes.

Not taking any chances, Hernandez has kitted his house out with security cameras to monitor his property, as well as board up his daughter’s bedroom window to prevent any bears from sliding it open.

That said, Hernandez probably wasn’t expecting to find his little bulldog as impressive a guardian as she turned out to be. Good thing he had those cameras!

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After 10 Years in Puppy Mill, One-Eyed Dog Wins 2015 American Hero Dog

When you first look at Harley, he looks downright tiny – even for a Chihuahua. Beyond that, you are sure to notice that he is missing an eye and has his tongue perpetually sticking out of his mouth. And while some may see these traits as blemishes, in reality they are all badges of Harley’s tenacity and ability to overcome extreme adversity.

That is because Harley spent the first 10-years of his life in a puppy mill.

Harley in the Mill


He was rescued by the National Mill Dog Rescue back in 2011, and were likely the first people to offer him any human interaction in almost a decade. Beyond that, they provided Harley with some much needed veterinary care.

When he was taken from the puppy mill, Harley was suffering from a broken tail, mangled toes, infections in his mouth, and heart disease – all as a result of severe neglect. What’s more, Harley’s missing eye was likely caused by an incident with a power-washer. Many puppy-mill dogs are left in their cages when someone comes around with the highly pressurized hose to clean away all their waste. This practice often results in dogs losing an eye.

After his rescue, Harley was given an estimated 3-4 months left to live, given the state he was in. But here we are, four years later, celebrating this brave pooch for the hero he is.

Why Harley is a Hero

Being a tiny, one-eyed, 14-year-old Chihuahua, Harley isn’t exactly running into burning buildings and saving families trapped under crumbling staircases. Rather, Harley’s heroism stems from what he represents – the damage that unregulated dog breeders (AKA puppy mills) can do, as well as the amazing ability for these brave animals to overcome the years of abuse.


Harley was the mascot for a “Harley to the Rescue” campaign, in which money was raised for the National Mill Dog Rescue. The money raised by Harley went to save upwards of 500 dogs to date.

Harley’s survival was miracle enough, but the fact that he came out the other side and was able to then aid in the rescue of hundreds like himself truly makes him worthy of being the 2015 American Hero Dog.

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