October 2015
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Pet Circkles.

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as
human rights. That is the way of a
whole human being." ~ Abe Lincol

dog howling

Does Your Dog Howl to Music or Singing?

By Circkles.com.

Everybody thinks differently about dogs howling. Some people find it annoying and many dog owners will actually egg-on their dogs to try and get them to howl. But have you ever wondered why a dog will howl at music, or a siren? Well wonder no more.

Dogs are pack animals and most pack animals do have some form of communicating with the other members of their clan just as we humans do. Wolves will howl to call out to other members when they have made a kill. Dogs who remain behind howl to provide the location of their base. Howling acts as a vocal homing beacon which guides other pack members back home, this may at times include their human members of the pack. If you leave for work and they are feeling lonely, they may howl to call you back home.

Behavior scientists speculate that dogs howl possibly for a few different reasons.

1.) To communicate to other dogs about danger, or to bring them back home, say to feast on a kill or if there is a threat. Howling dogs announce their presence and alert their community to changing circumstances. In this context, dog howling functions as a defense mechanism, warding off potential predators and ensuring the safety of the dogs in the pack.

2.) Because they are afraid and want company. This may be the reason dogs will howl at thunder or sirens. They sense danger and want attention or company.

wolf howling at moon3.) To signal for help. Dog howling can be an expression of injury. People weep when they get hurt; dogs howl in similar situations. Dogs howl to vocalize pain. Some dogs are also trained to howl when they make discoveries. Hunting dog breeds howl to signal the pursuit or apprehension of prey. If a dog has treed, cornered, or caught something, they may howl to alert their owners to the location of the prize.

Dogs generally howl at high-pitched noises such as sirens, a woman’s voice singing and certain musical instruments like a saxophone or other horn instrument. Guitar music or low-pitched noises will not usually induce howling.

Much of our research confirms that dog howling occurs when certain sounds are perceived. The prompts and triggers can be anything: music on a stereo at a party, popular television theme songs, or the sound of musical instruments. People who enjoy dogs howling even seem to encourage their dogs by howling themselves! It would seem that one reason dogs howl is the experience of community or of bonding.

Just because it is so darn cute, we published a video below on puppies learning to howl.



senior dog

Don’t Give up on Your Dog Just Because He's Getting old. He Wouldn't Give up on You.

Just because a dog is past his prime does not mean he/she should be neglected and left to live their senior years waiting for death. Just like humans, a dog, or any animal for that matter, does not outlive its usefulness just because they are aged. You would not like it if the rest of your family treated you like you had worn out your usefulness just because you were over 50, would you?

Dogs don’t understand getting old the way we do. They do not understand having to “take it easy” because their eyesight is failing, or their joints are full of arthritis or they lack the energy they had as a pup. Just as with humans, the dog’s brain is still willing, but the body is not. They still want to play, run, have fun and be an integral part of the family, so as a caring pet owner, it is your job to find a way to accommodate your aging pal so they can enjoy what’s left of their life and so can you.

For dogs who still love to fetch but may be struggling with vision loss, balls like the BirdBall and the Chuck-It Whistler are great options and they can usually be purchased at PetSmart or other pet stores. When you throw them, air forced through the holes in the ball creates a whistling sound, which helps your dog track its location. There are many fetch ball options that can be used according to your senior dog’s needs, including glow-in-the-dark or flashing balls and softer balls for sensitive teeth.

seniors and senior dogSwimming is very good for dogs with joint pain, arthritis or hip and back problems. Finding a pool that is made just for dogs may be a challenge in your area, but if you live near a lake that you can take your dog to, that is even better.

Pit Bull Group member Heather Om stated, “Swimming was what my vet recommended most to keep her off her joints. I just have to keep her from belly flopping in!”

Grooming is also a great activity to do with your older dog. Besides the typical maintenance grooming, many dogs enjoy gentle petting or brushing while lying next to you. Not only is this great bonding time with your dog, but science has shown that petting and talking to your dog can lower your blood pressure! This grooming time can also help you stay attuned to your dog’s physical well-being, especially when it comes to early detection of cancerous growths or worsening arthritic pain.

A good brushing with a brush that is similar to a rubber curry comb for horses or that more closely resembles a massage tool will help a great deal to increase your pal's circulation and massage sore, achy muscles at the same time. My senior dog loves to get groomed now, but as a puppy she rarely ever stood still for it. Now she will stand to get brushed for up to 5 minutes and loves her back massages in the morning. When I am just sitting on the couch having my morning cup of coffee, she will lay at my feet waiting for her morning massage. She has severe arthritis all along her spine, and when I give her a massage, I can see a noticeable difference in her mobility. She does not get up or walk as stiff as when she lays around all the time without stimulation.

Walks. If your senior dog cannot walk very far anymore due to pain or lack of energy, it is still very important that they get some exercise every day no matter how minimal. Just a short walk can greatly help arthritic pain and stiffness. Your dog may be reluctant at first to take a walk, which is why you should keep it very short at first, but once they get moving, it will feel better to them than laying around all the time will. My dog tells me when she's had enough. She will actually stop in the middle of a walk and just stand there until I notice she is not following me anymore, then when I ask her if she wants to go back, she will turn around and head back home. Even if she only walks to the end of the driveway and back, which is about 200 feet, she sleeps better and is less stiff. She seems to know walking is good for her, and she will at least try no matter how short the walk is, to walk every day.

When it comes to activities with senior dogs, again, be sure to talk with your vet about any activities to avoid because of your dog’s health limitations. Other than that, be creative, have fun, and enjoy these golden years with your dog!


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Allen M. Shoen, a veterinarian and author of "Kindred Spirit" wrote, "Although science has no definite answers, why not assume that sharing a home with a dog, cat or bird - or sharing our lives with a horse or other large animal - has therapeutic benefits that are deeper than simple stimulation of the opiate receptors in the skin through touch? Perhaps, through our connection with animals, we are stimulating some deeply buried aspect of nature within us, rekindling a lost connection that allows us to be more than solitary creatures, but part of something greater - and therefor, more healthy, more whole."

Much scientific and psychological research has proven just that. And also that the human animal bond is mutually beneficial under humane circumstances. Many great philosophers, such as Albert Einstein, recognized that we have a great deal of useful information to learn from animals.
In fact, animals are the great teachers, not us, for they have roamed the earth far longer than we and express genuine thought and expression true to their nature, which humans typically do not. We have a great deal to learn from them. Pet Circkles helps us stay more in touch with their health, diet and social needs so we can give back to those who give us so much unconditionally.


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chow chow dog

Featured DOG BREED: Chow Chow

It is believed that the Chow Chow is one of the native dogs used as the model for the Foo dog, the traditional stone guardians found in front of Buddhist temples and palaces. The Chow is a unique breed of dog thought to be one of the oldest recognizable breeds. Research indicates it is one of the first primitive breeds to evolve from the wolf. DNA analysis suggests that Chow is one of the ancient dog breeds that probably originated in the high steppe regions of Siberia or Mongolia, and much later used as temple guards in China, Mongolia and Tibet. A bas-relief from 150 BC (during the Han Dynasty) includes a hunting dog similar in appearance to the Chow.
Chow Chows tend to display discernment of strangers and can become fiercely protective of their owners and property.
Chow Chows are not excessively active, meaning that they can be housed in an apartment. However, a Chow Chow living in an apartment will need daily exercise to prevent restlessness and boredom. Upon realizing that exercise is a daily occurrence, Chow Chow will tend to be more assertive with owners in anticipation of such activities.

This breed of dog has many strong loyal bonds with friends and family, but not infrequently becomes overly protective of one or two main family member(s). In a study in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Chow Chow were responsible for 8 out of 238 fatalities related to dog bites from 1979 to 1998. For this reason, owning a Chow Chow could raise your homeowners insurance.

Chow Chows were bred with mastiffs to produce the Shar-pei breed, which is riddled with health problems.


The Chow Chow can suffer from...

entropion of the eye,
juvenile cataracts,
hip dysplasia,
diabetes mellitus,
canine pemphigus,
and gastric cancer.
Chow Chows are a high risk breed for autoimmune disease
and are at a predisposition for skin melanoma.

Due to the Chow Chow's thick coat, fleas can be a problem.

Chow Chow dogs should eat 2 smaller meals twice a day to avoid stomach problems. Due to the Chow Chow’s heavy build, it is important that this dog never be overweight which can lead to injuries of the hip.

Looking for a Chow? Use our Pet finder tool below and search for an adoptable dog that needs a home in your area now.

To view breeds we've already written about, go to our Pet Circkles Club Page.

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