454 posts categorized " Author Dawn Watson" Feed

Dawn Watson's Pet Tip of the Week: A Dog's Aging

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor Previously, a dog’s age was calculated by multiplying his age by seven. A new theory has been discovered that adjusts that timeline. When a dog is a year old, his aging factors can be compared to that of a thirty-year old human. The new theory suggests that when dogs are young, they age rapidly. A four-year-old dog is the equivalent of a fifty-two-year-old human. Then, when a dog is seven years old, dog aging slows. The changes are referred to as epigenetic changes. Research is ongoing—this particular timeline measures only the aging factors of medium to... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Pet Tip of the Week: Rescues

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor There are thousands of animal rescue groups in the US. Every type of animal is represented, from ferrets to donkeys. It is fortunate that there are so many caring groups concerned with providing homes for abandoned or unwanted animals! . You may wonder why it is so expensive to adopt a dog, and why the rescues seem to want you to “jump through hoops” before bringing your new best buddy home. There are quite a few breed-specific rescues out there, but some simply go by size. Here are the steps involved in bringing a dog into... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Just Sayin': Mind Dysmorphia

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor My husband used to ask me, “Don’t you just love an adventure?” The answer was always an enthusiastic, “Yes!” But now, my brain can’t keep up with my age. Inside, I’m still a kid. Outside, I’m pushing seventy. My face still breaks out when I’m nervous. Only now my pimples are on top of my wrinkles. I don’t know which product to use, Retinol or Clearasil. One product is supposed to plump up the area, the other is made to dry it. It’s confusing. A couple of weeks ago I tried to sashay. You know, the... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Pet Tip of the Week: Introducing New Ideas

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor Dogs are social animals. That means introducing humans and other animals is an important part of creating a well-rounded life for your dog. Take your dog to parks, on hiking trails, and to dog-friendly neighborhoods. Introduce him to lots of people and observe his interaction with them. Does he seem anxious? Is he panting or trembling, giving off warning growls? If so, go slowly and allow him to take his time in new situations. Never leave Fido alone with children. Some dogs become nervous around the chaos of active toddlers. Always reward episodes of calmness with... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Pet Tip of the Week: Separation Anxiety

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor Your dog has grown accustomed to your company because of the pandemic. If this is the case and you are now contemplating going back to the office Fido may show signs of anxiety. Please be patient with him as he relearns spending time alone! One way to lessen the blow of separation is to spend some time ‘practicing’. Leave your home for an hour or so each day. That will reassure your buddy that inevitably, you will return! Don’t make a big deal about leaving. Calmly grab your car keys, put him inside his crate if... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Pet Tip of the Week: Canine Good Citizen Accreditation

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor The American Kennel Club has been around for one hundred thirty-five years. During this time the organization has grown and prospered, offering many services for dog owners, trainers, and breeders. One of the many services they offer is the Canine Good Citizen evaluation, where trained evaluators assess each dog for their obedience, composure, and knowledge of commands. Any dog, no matter if he is a pure bred or a mix, can qualify for this achievement. Canine Good Citizens are recognized throughout the United States and are given top priority at dog shows, agility trials, and other... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Just Sayin': Hair Bump

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor My hair hates me. If I make plans to go out with a friend or I have an appointment with a doctor or even if I decide to take a walk, my hair senses it and reacts. I get a hair bump. In the greater scheme of things this isn’t a big deal. However, my personal hair bumps look toxic. “What happened?” I am asked. “Are you all right?” “Just a hair bump,” I say as I try to flatten it. My bump reacts by growing larger as if in retaliation for the pressure of my... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Pet Tip of the Week: FLEAS!!

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor It’s allergy time and that means Fido spends the better part of his day scratching! He’s being driven mad by bug bites, pollen, and his arch enemy, the flea! There are plenty of topical and oral medications on the market that boast about their power to get rid of fleas and other summer pests. But be sure to research these products before you purchase them! Some can be harmful to your dog! The best tool to find out about a medicine’s effectiveness is the Internet. Be sure to look on a site that is not paid... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Just Sayin': Summer

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor It’s that time again. Summer, when my dogs get in my face, panting their hot breath on me, raising the temperature at least ten degrees. As if I wasn’t already sweating. Summer, when kids are outside my window, screaming bloody murder by eight in the morning, continuing until about nine at night. Why are they screaming? Because that’s what kids do. Not my kids, of course. My kids were perfect. At least that’s how I remember it. Summer, when folks ask me to go to the beach and I’m forced to explain that I don’t need... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Pet Tip of the Week: Fear of Noise

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor Many dogs are fearful of loud, sudden noises. Thunder and fireworks can reduce a dog to a quivering, whining wreck who does not calm down until the noise has gone away. There is hope, however! One way to help your dog calm down is to purchase a Thundershirt. The idea behind this product resulted from the work of Temple Grandin, an autistic scientist. The Thundershirt will wrap your dog snugly which will reduce his anxiety, somewhat. This product can be emulated by wrapping him snugly in an old tee shirt, preferably one that has your smell... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Pet Tip of the Week: Economics of Owning a Dog

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor Owning a dog can be expensive but there are ways to give your pet a great but economical lifestyle! Pet insurance plans are a great idea. Research them first, however—there are big differences in benefits and price! Research veterinarian practices, too as some offer discounted services under special circumstances. Shelters often offer vet services at greatly discounted costs and spaying and neutering is included in the adoption fee. You don’t need to buy a pricey bed for Fido. He’ll be happy to sleep on some soft tee shirts, especially if they smell like you, his favorite... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Just Sayin': Life and Death

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor I read that the life expectancy of a female in the U.S. is now eighty-one years and one month. That’s good to know. Makes planning easier. Barring illness or being hit by a bus I’m letting everyone know to set April of 2032 aside. I’m saying the entire month because I’m not good at math, so I’m forced to estimate. I’d like to keep things economical by being cremated. An urn is an unnecessary expense so unless my kids want more clutter in their homes, I suggest dividing the ashes into two plastic storage bags—that way... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Pet Tip of the Week: The Aggressive Dog

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor You love your little dog and she loves you. She is quiet, housebroken, and obedient. There’s only one thing she does that upsets you. She bites. She bites other dogs. She bites humans (except you). If she slips her harness, she will bite anyone or anything she can catch. Short of euthanasia, what are your alternatives? You can muzzle her with a box muzzle which will allow her to breathe and pant. Tie a yellow ribbon or scarf around her leash and/or harness to alert others to danger. Walk her early in the morning so there... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Pet Tip of the Week: The Myth of the "Outside Dog"

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor Generations ago people believed that pet dogs were to be kept outside to guard the homestead. Often, these guard dogs had no shelter and lived their lives at the end of a chain. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. In fact, in most states it is unlawful and stiff fines or jail time for this offense is the norm. Domesticated dogs are social animals. They crave the companionship of humans and are most often viewed as part of the family. Thankfully, the era of the outside dog has passed. If you see a dog on... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Just Sayin': Sleep

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor In the past I was a gifted sleeper. I slept gloriously all night long and napped most of the day. I’d fall asleep anywhere—on a bus, in a car, on a straight-backed chair. Once, when I was called upon to testify in Court, I had to be nudged awake to make my statement. When the judge asked sarcastically if he’d interrupted my nap I answered honestly. He was not happy. I slept through most of high school and college and napped through labor, waking only long enough to scream with every contraction. The staff called their... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Pet Tip of the Week: Mouthing

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor When you bring a puppy home he is likely to "mouth". That term describes a young dog's habit of chewing on everything--including you! Usually, this behavior stems from the pup being removed from his mother's care before she has taught him essential manners. When a puppy is born (whelped is the technical term) she seeks her mother for everything from milk to protection. As the puppy grows older she will roughhouse with her litter mates. It is at this time, between the ages of four to eight weeks of age, that the mother teaches her puppies... Read more →

Pet Tip of the Week: Finding Fido

Dawn O Watson/CNBNewsnet I have addressed the steps to take if you have lost your dog. But what should a responsible person do if he or she finds a dog? If the dog is friendly check to see if he has tags. There may be an address and/or phone number listed. If he is wearing a license tag, there is probably a veterinarian’s number on it. If he is wearing a rabies tag it will usually list the county from which the rabies shot was issued. You can call your county animal shelter or animal control officer (often a police... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Just Sayin': Social Distancing

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor I’m social distancing. I’ve been at it for sixty-nine years. As a child I was always the tallest among my friends. That made it awkward when one of them insisted on hugging me. Most of them didn’t quite reach my chin. Some of them were chest-height. If I bent down to hug one of them my behind stuck out. If I stood up, I’d lift them off their feet. Either option could cause trouble, so I usually just kept my distance. In high school we weren’t allowed physical contact except in gym class. I was tall... Read more →

PET TIPS: Topic, Dog Training

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor I am often asked how to make a dog stop exhibiting inappropriate behavior. In my years of teaching, training, and mentoring I have only used a physical correction one time, and only because I was attacked by a dog during a training session. There are many methods of dog training. I use and recommend a combination of positive and negative reinforcement. That is, the dog is rewarded (reinforced) when he responds appropriately and given a frown or denied attention when he does not. The reward is not necessarily a treat—it can merely be a positive verbal... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Just Sayin’ : Waiting

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor I hate waiting in lines. I was waiting at Dunkin’ Donuts and the people behind me were sharing a joke, laughing uproariously. I enjoy a good joke, so I turned around and asked what was so funny. A lady pointed at my behind. Seems I’d torn the seat of my slacks and everything was hanging out there for their viewing pleasure. I did not buy coffee. I did not buy donuts. Another time I accidentally made folks laugh was after an outdoor dog-training session, during which I had worked in a kennel that hadn’t been recently... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Just Sayin': Stories

When I was a kid my relatives told me some interesting stories. As I grew older, I realized there wasn’t much truth to them. There was the story about the panther statue that graced my grandparent’s coffee table. My grandfather told me that a Chinese nobleman gave it to his great-grandfather as a symbol of their friendship. To prove this, I was shown the bottom of the statue where “Made in China” was printed. The panther had green jewels for eyes. “Chinese jade”, Grampa told me. “Very valuable”. It wasn’t until I saw the same statue at the Goodwill store... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Tip of the Week: Puppies

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor Pet Tip of the Week Puppies Puppies are fun! They are cute and cuddly, and nothing can make you laugh harder than a baby dog’s antics! There are certain things to consider before bringing Baby Fido into your family, however. With strict adherence to a schedule a twelve-week-old puppy can be taught to go ‘potty’ outside or on a puppy pad within four weeks. If you are unsure about the housebreaking technique my book, Training Your Dog With Love and Compassion, is available on Amazon.com or can be ordered at any bookstore. While the steps are... Read more →

Pet Tip of the Week: The Aging Dog

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor As your dog ages he may show signs of age-related maladies. It is heartbreaking to witness and can be expensive to cure. Your best buddy could suffer silently or cry from pain. Look for signs of discomfort—panting, lethargy, lack of appetite—and deal with each issue as it presents itself. Ask your veterinarian for a plan of action. Take out pet insurance if you have not already done so. Discuss the end of his life with your family. I have been doing small dog hospice services for many years and have known of people that have given... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Just Sayin': Bathing

Dawn Watson/CNBNews Contributor My knees don’t bend the way they used to. I discovered this when I was attempting to sit down in a bathtub. I usually shower. But this time I decided to treat myself to a good, long soak. Soon, the bathroom was filled with steam and the air smelled like the rosewood bubble concoction I’d dumped in. I shut off the water and prepared to be indulged. Since the tub seemed to be narrower than my lower body, I shifted to the side so I could wedge myself in. It would have worked just fine but my... Read more →

Dawn Watson's Pet Tip of the Week: Take a Hike

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor Maybe you and Fido have been munching out during this time of quarantine and now you are both a little ‘rounder’. There is an easy fix for getting rid of that extra weight—take a hike! Walking around your neighborhood is a good way to enrich the bond you share with your family. And keeping a safe distance is easy if you keep moving! Keep a mask handy in case someone breaches the six-foot restriction, but most folks are compliant with the ‘new normal’ and will not approach you. Keep mealtimes pleasant and simple. Feed your dog... Read more →