The Media’s Dog Bias

Dog lies on torn-up newspaper.
“Grand Time” by AirBeagle is s licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The latest discovery in media research: people love dogs (isn’t that why you’re here?), and apparently, the media does, too. A recent paper published by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Miami showed stories published in the New York Times are more likely to be picked up by other publications if they involve a dog. The Internet may have been invented for cat videos, but pups still have a solid hold on print.

Australian Shepherd Rescue: A Cause for Paws this #GivingTuesday

GivingTuesday logo whiteIf you’re looking for the perfect seasonal antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you’ve found it in #GivingTuesday. The Tuesday following the Thanksgiving Day weekend is a time to cleanse your palate of consumerism and give, whether that means volunteering at a local organization or donating to your favorite charity.

This #GivingTuesday, we’re highlighting Aussie Rescue SoCal, an organization devoted to helping Australian Shepherds find forever homes in California. They provide information about how to foster a dog, how to find a new home for a dog, and a lost and found page where owners can look for lost dogs. Each month, Paws in Motion donates a portion of proceeds to Aussie Rescue SoCal — a small thanks to the group that brought Sophie into Matt’s life!

Red Merle Australian Shepherd rescued from pound.
Before: Sophie’s ride to her new home

After: Sophie lives for running!

Australian Shepherds live up to their name. They love to work! If they’re not herding, they need ample exercise to expend their energy. These dogs are agile, intelligent, and protective of their families — they love their people, and they live to please.

Despite their beauty, brains, and excellent companionship, Australian Shepherds still end up homeless. Purebred dogs make up 25 percent of those that enter local shelters, and of all shelter dogs, only 35 percent are adopted. Aussie Rescue SoCal works to ensure all Australian Shepherds in California find the loving, supportive homes they deserve.

What causes are you giving back to on #GivingTuesday?

Busting the Ice Cube Bloat Myth

In 2010, a pet owner mistakenly correlated feeding ice water to her dog and the onset of Bloat. She shared this experience through the InterWebs where pet owners took the warning seriously and propagated the story.

Dog-Tips-And-Tricks-For-Summer-Picture-With-Ice-CubeIn the time that followed her (very upsetting) experience, more pet care professionals have weighed in on the story. In short, there has been no link shown between bloat and ice water/ice cube ingestion by our canine friends. Some vets even use ice cubes as ways for post-op pets to rehydrate when drinking from a bowl is not an option.

The warnings to truly consider are the risks of the ice cube becoming lodged in the throat of the animal or dental stress leading to a cracked tooth.

Yummy cooling solutions for your pets could involve freezing their favorite broth or a non-fat unsweetened yogurt. Fill an ice cube tray for them to enjoy during the hottest parts of the day.


What Not to Do to Your Dog

What not to do to your dog.

Petting a Dog’s Face or Patting Her Head
Number 3 of 11 in the series.

Do you like to be patted on the head? My guess is no. Having someone reach out and tap us on the head, no matter how lovingly, is not something most of us enjoy. It’s annoying at best and painful at worst. And we really don’t want the hands of strangers reaching toward our face. If someone were to reach their hand toward your face, I’m guessing your reaction would be to pull your head back and lean away, and get a little tense about the invasion of personal space. Yet most humans think that dogs like being patted on the head.

The reality is that while many dogs will put up with this if it’s someone they know and trust, most dogs don’t enjoy it. You may notice that even the loving family dog might lean away slightly when you reach for her face to pet her. She’ll let you because you’re the boss, but she doesn’t like it. It’s a personal space issue for dogs just as much as it is for us. This is why responsible parents teach their children to gently pet a dog’s back or rear, but don’t pat, and definitely don’t go for the dog’s face.

If you really want to reward your dog for being awesome, don’t bang on their head, but give them a rub on their rear end right by the tail. They’ll thank you for it!

Read more from the list of 11 Don’ts on the Mother Nature Network site.