“Walk for a Dog” App Donates To Animal Shelters Every Time You Walk Your Dog

335,000 miles and counting. That’s how far thousands of people and their dogs in all 50 states have walked to help raise money for animal rescues and shelters at no cost to them thanks to the Walk for a Dog app from WoofTrax.

For those of us who care so deeply about the helpless animals that are sitting in shelters but can’t afford to budget the extra cash to donate, there’s finally an app that easily relieves us of this stress! All you have to do is download the Walk for a Dog app, take your phone with you on the walk, press “start”, and watch as you raise money with every step! The app automatically finds the shelter closest to you, but you can change your choice of shelters as many times as you want. Donations range from 11-25 cents per mile, but the more people that use the app the more WoofTrax can donate!

The animals in shelters are depending on us, and all we have to do to help them is tell our family and friends about this amazing program. The money WoofTrax donates to animal shelters comes from sponsorships, advertising, and investors. As the number of people that use the app increases, the number of investors and advertisements increases which means more money going to the shelters! Let’s do our part to spread the word to all of our friends and our local shelters so they can help promote it as well. The shelters already receiving donations:

If you or your friends are dog lovers but not dog owners, you can still use this app to show support by walking the dogs at your local shelter by choosing the “Walk for Cassie” option or create your virtual dream dog on the app as your walking companion!

We can all make a huge difference by using and promoting this app, and all we have to do is simply take walks with our best friend– free of charge! I can’t imagine going on another walk with Zoey and Jem without using this app and will feel so great knowing we have saved shelter pets by simply adding one extra step to our daily walk routine.

See what people are saying about Walk for a Dog:

“I downloaded the Walk for a Dog app and used it today for the first time. Great to know that just by doing what I do every day, walking my dog, I can help the dogs at the Monmouth County SPCA. It’s also good to know how much I am walking – close to my first mile!” - Lynne, New Jersey

Do Our Pets Smile?

Pavlov might have called that happy look on your dog’s face a collection of conditioned reflexes, but now science is catching up with what animal lovers have always known.

According to Professor Nicholas Dodman, head of animal behavior at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts School of Medicine and a regular on Animal Planet’s Dogs 101 and Cats 101, until recently, scientists have generally underestimated the emotional range of animals. He says that today it is widely understood by scientists that mammals do experience primary emotions such as fear, sadness, anger, and happiness and even some secondary emotions like jealously and embarrassment-and they communicate them. Dodman says that dogs even have a sense of humor and laugh with a kind of huffing sound. He describes a study that examines how playing recordings of this laughing sound actually calms shelter dogs.

It’s an expression that disarms possible aggression, much like the human smile.” Cats have naturally bowed mouths, so Dodman says its tricky to pinpoint an actual smile, but they are emotionally sensitive, trainable, and affectionate. Among many other pets, Dodman has enjoyed sharing his home with rats, which he says are “very affectionate and intelligent.” Dodman, points out that your pet might not understand the exact details of your hard day, but you probably sense it is empathetic enough to curl up and listen.

Marc Bekoff, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado and author of The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Increasing our Compassion Footprint, agrees. “People are often keener observers of animal behavior than they give themselves credit for,” says the leading expert on animal emotions. Bekoff says that scientific research, for the most part, eventually confirms what animal lovers intuit and observe. Part of the lag is due to “studying animals in a box” as Dodman calls it. Dodman, who is giving a series of lectures on dog and cat behavior in November, explains that our advances in understanding the richness and depth of animal’s lives is enhanced by researchers such as Jane Goodall who live with animals in their natural environments.

Bekoff points out that it makes biological and evolutionary sense for animals to experience a range of emotions and be able to show them, just as it does for humans. In a paper published by researchers from the University of Washington on rats, laughter, and joy, the authors describe how young rats vocalize when being tickled. The scientists explain that this laughter is bonding and “may have evolutionary relations to the joyfulness of human childhood laughter commonly accompanying social play.” Bekoff says our emotions might not be exactly analogous to those of animals, but neither are all humans’ emotions the same. “The way two siblings experience the death of a parent might not be exactly the same, but they are both experiencing grief.”

We believe our pets do smile and laugh. Does your pet? Let us know what you think.

 

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How To Deal with Dog Biting Problems

Dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend and rightfully so, since they do have a unique way of bringing joy and laughter into anybody’s home. Some dog breeds even look so cute that one can hardly resist cuddling and playing with them. But, when you have to deal with dog biting problems as you most probably would while raising a puppy, your dog can definitely seem a lot less cute and cuddly.

In order to successfully deal with dog biting problems, you will have to dig deep and get to the root of the problem. Find out exactly why your dog is biting so that you will know what particular situation you should address directly. The best way to get to the root cause of the problem is to observe your dog. Watch how he reacts to different individuals (including children) and situations as well as to other animals. Many dog owners who find themselves having to contend with dog biting problems often feel overwhelmed and end up getting rid of the dog. What you should do instead is get rid of the reason for the biting. It’s only logical that the dog will stop biting when he no longer has any reason to do so.

Patience and confidence are the key factors for successfully dealing with dog biting problems. Understandably, this problem can be very frustrating for a dog owner, especially since it may pose a danger to other people and even the owner himself. But, no matter how frustrating it is, the problem CAN be solved and that is what you need to keep in mind.

When your children get sick, you know that it is because of a virus. Therefore, you eliminate the virus in order to relieve the sickness. In the same way, dog biting problems are merely results arising from some other factor. By identifying and addressing that factor with patience and confidence, you can effectively eliminating the biting problems. Patience is especially needed when you are still trying to identify what the root cause is. It is also important for you to keep the communication lines between you and your dog open when you are dealing with dog biting problems. Make sure that you do not allow your dog to have his own way during this period. The very moment you see signs of your dog attempting to bite, immediately give a command to correct the action. Be sure to give a command which you know your dog will understand.

Do not expect your dog to immediately obey your command. In fact, it may be safe to say that you can expect your dog to DISOBEY you at this point. You should therefore be firm and consistent in giving the correction. Let the dog know that no matter what happens, you are standing your ground and biting is not allowed. Dealing with dog biting problems can truly be a stressful experience, but you will feel a lot better once you have overcome it and you might even develop a closer bond with your dog in the process.

How To Leash Train Your Dog

Training your dog with a leash sounds pretty easy. All you have to do is put the leash on the dog, isn’t it? That’s what non pet owners think. There is more to walking a dog on a leash than just that.

The effort is so worthwhile though. Even if you have a big yard where your dog will be able to get as much exercise as she wants, you will sometimes want to be able to walk her on the street. Vacations, visits to the vet’s office and other excursions all mean taking the dog into situations where a leash is very useful.

If your pet has never been collared, let him get used to it before attempting to attach a leash on it. It is important to get something that is the right size, with some flexibility so that it will still fit the dog as she grows.

At first you may need to watch the dog while she is wearing the collar. If it is uncomfortable she will try to get it off. Something might catch and she could put herself at harm.

You should let your dog play with the leash the first time you attach it to the collar. Lessons don’t have to start immediately. You can put on the leash inside the house and just let the dog drag it around. This enables your dog to get used to it and play with it. Again you will need to watch the puppy to check that the leash does not get caught up in anything.

You have to talk to your dog while you teach him anything. You can start the lesson by walking her on the leash inside the house or in the yard.

Your dog will pull on the leash if there’s something interesting to look at or smell. You should try to balance out the control over your dog and her freedom. The leash should not be used to pull your dog, nor should it be used by your dog to pull you.

How will you be in control then? The answer is to use your voice along with gentle movements or flicks of the leash to recall the dog to you. If you want her to go to a certain direction, say her name a number of times to get her attention.

Taking the same walk every day is often the best way to go. You do not have to do this forever, but just while the dog is becoming accustomed to the leash. Once she learns how it’s done, you’ll be met with less and less resistance. You’ll have an easier time walking your dog on a leash if you teach her to come to you whenever you call her.

Training your dog with a leash sounds pretty easy. All you have to do is put the leash on the dog, isn’t it? That’s what non pet owners think. There is more to walking a dog on a leash than just that.
The effort is so worthwhile though. Even if you have a big yard where your dog will be able to get as much exercise as she wants, you will sometimes want to be able to walk her on the street. Vacations, visits to the vet’s office and other excursions all mean taking the dog into situations where a leash is very useful.
If your pet has never been collared, let him get used to it before attempting to attach a leash on it. It is important to get something that is the right size, with some flexibility so that it will still fit the dog as she grows.
At first you may need to watch the dog while she is wearing the collar. If it is uncomfortable she will try to get it off. Something might catch and she could put herself at harm.
You should let your dog play with the leash the first time you attach it to the collar. Lessons don’t have to start immediately. You can put on the leash inside the house and just let the dog drag it around. This enables your dog to get used to it and play with it. Again you will need to watch the puppy to check that the leash does not get caught up in anything.
You have to talk to your dog while you teach him anything. You can start the lesson by walking her on the leash inside the house or in the yard.
Your dog will pull on the leash if there’s something interesting to look at or smell. You should try to balance out the control over your dog and her freedom. The leash should not be used to pull your dog, nor should it be used by your dog to pull you.
How will you be in control then? The answer is to use your voice along with gentle movements or flicks of the leash to recall the dog to you. If you want her to go to a certain direction, say her name a number of times to get her attention.
Taking the same walk every day is often the best way to go. You do not have to do this forever, but just while the dog is becoming accustomed to the leash. Once she learns how it’s done, you’ll be met with less and less resistance. You’ll have an easier time walking your dog on a leash if you teach her to come to you whenever you call her.

Dog Crate Training

Dog Crate training your dog may take some time and effort, but can be useful in a variety of situations. If you have a new dog or puppy, you can use a dog crate to limit his access to the house until he learns all the house rules – like what he can and can’t chew on and where he can and can’t eliminate. Dog crates are also a safe way of transporting your dog in the car, as well as a way of taking him places where he may not be able to run freely. If you properly train your dog to use a dog crate, he’ll think his dog crate is a safe place and will be happy to spend time in his dog crate when needed.

Dog Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog’s age, temperament and past experiences. It’s important to keep two things in mind while dog crate training. Dog crates should always be associated with something pleasant, and training should take place in a series of small steps – don’t go too fast.

Step One: Introduce your Dog to the Dog Crate

Put the dog crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the dog crate. Bring your dog over to the dog crate and talk to him in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the dog crate door is securely fastened opened so it won’t hit your dog and frighten him.

To encourage your dog to enter the dog crate, drop some small food treats near it and then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the dog crate. If he refuses to go all the way in at first, that’s okay – don’t force him to enter. Continue tossing treats into the dog crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the dog crate to get the food. If he isn’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the dog crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days.

Step Two: Feeding your Dog in the Dog Crate

After introducing your dog to the dog crate, begin feeding him his regular meals near the dog crate. This will create a pleasant association with the dog crate. If your dog is readily entering the dog crate when you begin Step 2, put the food dish all the way at the back of the dog crate. If your dog is still reluctant to enter the dog crate, put the dish only as far inside as he will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed him, place the dish a little further back in the dog crate.

Once your dog is standing comfortably in the dog crate to eat his meal, you can close the door while he’s eating. At first, open the door as soon as he finishes his meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until he’s staying in the dog crate for ten minutes or so after eating. If he begins to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving him in the dog crate for a shorter time period. If he does whine or cry in the dog crate, it’s imperative that you not let him out until he stops. Otherwise, he’ll learn that the way to get out of the dog crate is to whine, so he’ll keep doing it.

Step Three: Conditioning Your Dog For Longer Time Periods

After your dog is eating his regular meals in the dog crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine him there for short time periods while you’re home. Call him over to the dog crate and give him a treat. Give him a command to enter such as, “kennel up.” Encourage him by pointing to the inside of the dog crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the dog crate, praise him, give him the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the dog crate for five to ten minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time, then let him out of the dog crate. Repeat this process several times a day. With each repetition, gradually increase the length of time you leave him in the dog crate and the length of time you’re out of his sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the dog crate for about 30 minutes with you out of sight the majority of the time, you can begin leaving him crated when you’re gone for short time periods and/or letting him sleep there at night. This may take several days or several weeks.

Step Four: Crating Your Dog When Left Alone

After your dog is spending about 30 minutes in the dog crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving him crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put him in the dog crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave him with a few safe toys in the dog crate. You’ll want to vary at what point in your “getting ready to leave” routine you put your dog in the dog crate. Although he shouldn’t be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate him anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don’t make your departures emotional and prolonged, but matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give him a treat for entering the dog crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don’t reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to him in an excited, enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low key. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you’re home so he doesn’t associate crating with being left alone.

Step Five: Crating Your Dog At Night

Put your dog in the dog crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the dog crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night, and you’ll want to be able to hear your puppy when he whines to be let outside. Older dogs, too, should initially be kept nearby so that crating doesn’t become associated with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with his dog crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer.