Don’t Turn a Blind Eye to a Seeing Dog

 

There are several advantages a “seeing dog” brings for a blind or visually impaired person. One of the major benefits is that it builds confidence in the blind person as they feel more secure with the guide dog at their side. They also become more independent as they can increase their mobility with a guide dog.

Through this partnership, a visually impaired or blind person will be able to live their lives more productively with the help of their trusted furry guide. This can range from being able to commute to a place of work, attend school/college or improve their wellbeing by simply being able to go for a walk – things that most of us can take for granted.

Then there is the devoted companionship that a guide dog will offer them. This not only cuts through the boredom that many blind people suffer but it’s proven to make them less stressed and anxious. There are many occasions I can recall when the dogs in my life have helped me through tough times, from teenage heartache to periods of ill health and personal loss; I’m sure all dog owners have similar stories. I can therefore only imagine what an invaluable support they must be for a blind person.

 

Guide Dogs usage in the United States 

Sadly, there is a desperate shortage of these amazing dogs. There are only around 10,000 guide dog teams operating in the USA according to Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

It typically costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place one guide dog and most organisations that supply them rely totally on public support and donations. The average “working life” of a guide dog is 8 years, so it’s impossible to match continual supply and demand.

A 2015 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) revealed that around 10% of adults in America stated that they were visually impaired even when wearing contact lenses or glasses, or that they could not see at all and were blind. This means around 23.7 million adults in the United States, many for whom a guide dog could literally change their lives.

 

Impact of Attacks on Guide Dogs by other Dogs

One of the biggest concerns for guide dog teams is the threat of attack or unwanted attention from other dogs. Even for any of us lucky enough to have good vision, an attack on our dog can be frightening but usually relatively straight forward to deal with. This is clearly not the case for a visually impaired or blind person.

For a guide dog team to be safe and efficient it is vital that the guide dog be able to concentrate fully on their work. If other canines distract the guide dog, then the owner and the guide dog are immediately at risk of harm. The owner cannot protect themselves and their guide dog because they don’t have the visual capabilities to do this.

The impact of an attack on a guide dog team can be far reaching, for example:

  • It can affect the guide dog’s performance and behavior even if there is no physical injury
  • If the guide dog is affected to the point that it cannot work, then the owner will suffer loss of mobility and potentially their own ability to earn a living
  • With a physical attack the owner could face medical and veterinary bills for themselves and the guide dog
  • Replacement guide dogs are very expensive and not readily available

Guide dog attacks are a serious issue. A Seeing Eye survey of 744 respondents showed:

  • 44% of the respondents had been the victims of at least a single attack
  • Of this 44%, there were 58% who reported more than one attack
  • 83% of the respondents experienced aggressive canine interference
  • Sidewalks and roadways were the location for the majority of attacks (80%)
  • The number of incidents occurring within 30 minutes walk from home was 74%
  • In the severest of cases 3% of guide dogs had to retire and 16% could not work for a while
  • 37% of guide dog handlers reported being disorientated temporarily after an attack

 

Preventing Guide Dog Attacks and Dangerous Distractions

There are a number of things that dog owners can do to help on this front:

  1. Ensure that your dog is leashed and keep them away from guide dogs at all times
  2. Tell a blind or visually impaired person that you are approaching and have a dog

  3. Keep your pooch close to you when near to a guide dog team. Your dog may be really sociable but even saying “hello” to a guide dog will distract them from their very important job.

  4. Don’t be tempted to pet a guide dog in a harness. Even if the dog is resting without their harness, ask the owner before you pet the dog and don’t get upset if they say “no” – there will undoubtedly be a very good reason!

  5. Take control of your canine and train them in obedience

  6. Ensure that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date

  7. Help out a guide dog and their handler if there is an attack or interference.

  8. If you see loose dogs in the street try to identify and return them to their owner (if it is safe to do so). Otherwise contact a local shelter to see if they can help out – this will also get any strays into safe hands too.

One of the most disturbing facts revealed in the Seeing Eye survey was the number of dog owners or handlers who had simply walked away after their dog had attacked or interfered with a guide dog, without offering any assistance to the blind person. How could anyone be so callous?

At the end of the day accidents can happen but we must all take responsibility for our pets or canine charges and put things right.

I know as dog lovers it is so hard to resist going over to pet these amazing creatures, but perhaps now we can all do more for them by being an extra set of eyes.

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

Are You Selling Your Pooch Short When It Comes To Their Health?

Veterinarians agree, the main reason for dog health issues come from the modern pet diet. Processed dog foods and antibiotics are stripping your dog’s digestive and immune system of the vital good bacteria and the natural enzymes they need to maintain true lasting health.

That’s where probiotics play a key role in getting (and keeping!) your dog in tip top condition.

WHY IS A PROBIOTIC POWDER BETTER THAN PROBIOTIC PET FOOD, TREATS OR LIQUID?

Here’s the thing, many probiotics on the market are in the form of treats, liquids or food. That’s normally fine for other types of supplements but NOT probiotics, as the efficacy is provided by “live” bacteria, which is normally killed in the manufacturing process(and hence why they are known by the term “unstable” probiotics).

Furthermore, a dry, “stabilized” powder probiotic does not require refrigeration and will not react the same way to exposure as an unstable probiotic, so it’s easy for storing and perfect for travelling. Simply add it to their wet or dry food or even mix in their water.

FidoActive Advanced Probiotics for Dogs was specifically developed as a dry probiotic supplement powder that contains 8 stabilized strains of live bacteria. The probiotics are grown fresh and independently tested for purity and authenticity. They are top-grade, dog-specific strains which have been approved by the FDA and AAFCO as DFMs (Direct Fed Microbials).

Fidoactive also include a prebiotic, inulin, which is essential for the maximum efficacy of probiotics in your dog’s system, PLUS a natural de-wormer, organic calcium and 74 minerals, so you definitely get more bang for your buck! And with no odor or flavor, even the pickiest pooches get the goodness they need!

Why not check out our best value for money offers on Amazon and see the start of a healthy, happy life for your furry best friend!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01CU565LK/

You can also check out more information about us and our all-natural supplements on our website www.fidoactive.com

Wishing you and your canine companions an active life – always!

 

 

 

Helen & the FidoActive Team

Furry Neighborhood Watch in the Big Freeze

I can’t think of anything better than snuggling up with a furry friend to keep each other warm and cosy, but it is clear that not all dog owners are dog lovers.

As parts of the country are gripped in the coldest temperatures in history, you may have seen the heart-breaking reports in the news about dogs left outside that have frozen to death.

How can this happen? Is it down to education or cruelty? Either way, these horrendous cases could have been prevented, if just one neighbor, friend or passer-by had taken a minute out of their day to help these poor dogs.

Yes, it’s great that many states and local jurisdictions are dealing out harsher penalties for animal cruelty, but this is cold comfort for the poor canine companions that suffered such a painful death.

Sure, dogs grow thicker coats in winter, but this is not sufficient to keep them warm in the severe cold temperatures, that have reached -6Cin even the mildest climes and wind chills making it feel another -10C to -20C colder! They do not have any fur on their paw pads, nose or other extremities to protect them from painful frostbite –Even super-furry Huskieslikea helping hand in these bone-chilling times!

So, with weather forecasters predicting more of the same frigid temperatures, please take a minute to just look out of your window or check yards as you drive/walk round your neighborhood and see if there is some poor pooch chained out in the cold or has no insulated shelter.

If you can offer help to your neighbor, by helping them improve their dog’s shelter arrangements then that’s the ideal immediate solution. I know some people don’talways take kindly to this, if it’s taken as personal criticism, but most would gratefully receive “surplus dog blankets, cushions or beds etc. that would otherwise be thrown out”.

HOWEVER, if you have serious concerns about the dog’s welfare then PLEASE DON’T WAIT to contact the ASPCA. You really could save a dog’s life!

Not sure when cold is too cold for your pooch?

We’ve pulled together a FREE guide of useful tips to keep your furry friends healthy, warm and safe throughout the winter months – Why not share the love and print off an extra copy for your neighbor, if you feel they could benefit from some tips.

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health – always!

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team 

Get the Life Back into Your Lackluster Pup!

At the start of the year, the lack of exercise, or simply being unable to enjoy outdoor activities, can leave us feeling a bit lackluster. The same goes for our pups!

Your dog’s digestive tract is the largest immune organ in their body. Without a healthy level of good gut flora, your canine companion can lose vitality and become susceptible to illness, which they will struggle to fight without a proper functioning immune system and well-supported digestive system.

These bacteria can also be influenced by stress, processed dog food, and boarding kennels.

That’s where probiotics come in to lend a helping hand, providing the vital good bacteria and natural enzymes your dog needs to maintain true lasting health. 

So how would you know if your pooch needed probiotics?

#1 The first reason is little-known, but vitally important to your dog’s health:Antibiotic Stress.

It is essential that your dog is given probiotics (including a prebiotic) to counteract the destructive impact of antibiotics (they kill the good bacteria as well as the bad!).

Or, if they have undergone surgery, probiotics accelerate the healing process and help get them back on their paws again as soon as possible. 

#2  The next reason is signs of digestive problems. Often these are easy to see, such as loose stools or diarrhea. Funnily enough though, other signs are things that many people just attribute to being “normal” dog traits, such as scratching, constantly licking their paws, gas, bad breath, or dull, smelly coat –even after a bath!

But it doesn’t have to be like that: Fortunately, FidoActive Advanced Probiotics for Dogs restores and maintains good gut health and vitality in a daily easy-to-dispense dose. 

Rachy is one of our customers whose lovely labradoodle benefited from ourAdvanced Probiotics(with prebiotic) aftera kennel stay led to a nasty surprize. Here’s her story:

“I have a labradoodle with a sensitive stomach. He wasrecently at the kennel when I received a dreaded callthat our Teddy wasn’t feeling well. Luckily, the vet was there and did a culture on his stool issue. The culture showed he had parasites which was probably why he had been losing a little weight and having bowel issues. They sent us home with a probiotic that helped but cost a fortune! I was so glad to find this FidoActive probiotic powder. It has ingredients like we received from the vet but in powder form (and half the cost of the vet). We finished up the vet’s RX, waited a week, and then started this new probiotic. I would never want to discourage a vet visit but if you know your dog has sensitivities and is susceptible to parasites, I would recommend this powder. Teddy had no issues eating the powder and although I didn’t distribute it very evenly over his food, he still ate it and goes in for a final schleck to clean his dish.

We plan to continue using this powder and will also be sending it along to his next stay at the kennel.”

FidoActive is suitable for all dogs, no matter the breed, size or age, from show champions to shelter superdogs, a daily dose of our Advanced Probiotics will help your dog lead a healthier andhappier life!

If you’d like to find out more about our all-natural products please go to our website www.fidoactive.com for more information.

PLUS you can download our FREE Winter Top Tips Guide to help keep your furry best friends safe and healthy during the harsh weather.

Wishing you and your canine companions the best of health– always!

 

 

 

Helen Broadley and The FidoActive Team 

New Year Resolutions for You and Your Canine Companions

Isn’t it amazing that the vast majority of people choose New Year to make their resolutions when the smart people know that any time of year is fine? Do you do this? What will your New Year’s resolutions be this time?

Do you want to shift those extra pounds that you certainly don’t need? Do you want to make more money next year? Do you want to cut your costs and spend less money next year? Perhaps you have some grand travel plans or want to learn a new skill like karate?

Whatever you want to do it is always a good idea to write your resolutions down. You will be much more likely to follow through if you have them in written form. So what about your dog? What New Year resolutions do you have in store for your pooch?

Surely this is madness even thinking about your furry friend having New Year resolutions? Well it isn’t madness, and a lot more people are doing this now. We all need to do more and improve our lives. Why shouldn’t that apply to your dog as well?

If you are stuck with ideas for canine resolutions for next year then we have compiled a list of suggestions to help you. Of course, you will need to be involved in the process as your pooch cannot do this alone. So, let’s see if one of these will suit…

#1. Lose those extra Pounds

How does your dog look to you? Are they lean and mean or carrying a little extra? It is vital for your pooch’s health that they do not get overweight. Maybe they do not exercise enough or eat the wrong things. Maybe they are suffering from stiff joints or arthritis and could do with some pain relief to put the pep back in their step

Whatever it is you need to fix it. Get your dog off the couch and go to the park – whatever the weather! The exercise will do you good as well. Get the right information about the right diet for your canine depending on their age. Keep those fatty treats down to a minimum, or replace them with tasty supplement treats that will not make them pile on the weight and do them good at the same time!

There are many things that you can do to control your dog’s weight. Take action and your pet will thank you for it in the long run. Don’t let your pooch become a “fatty” and too lethargic to go out for the long walks you have always loved to do together.

#2. Treat Visitors better

We all want our canine crusaders to protect us from the dangers outside, but sometimes they can go too far. When someone knocks on your door or rings the front doorbell how do they behave? Do they bark like crazy and jump up at the door?

Or maybe your dog goes to the other extreme and welcomes everybody into your home regardless if they know them or not? If your visitor sits in a chair does your pooch smother then and lick them to death? Most visitors will be too polite to say anything, but they may be feeling uncomfortable about all of this unwanted doggy attention.

You want to strike a balance here. If a stranger approaches then your pet should be cautious but not explode into crazy bouts of growling and barking. If it is someone that the family knows then the lick-fests may need to stop, or at least be tempered. Some Positive-Reinforcement Training should sort this out.If you want some refresher tips on this technique, check out the Humane Society website

#3. Eradicate bad Pee habits

Even the most house-trained pooch can make mistakes sometimes and mistake your furniture for their urinal. Maybe your dog is having difficulty “holding it in” at night and the morning walk is just too far away.

There are two actions here. The first is to get your canine checked out at your veterinarian to ensure all is well in the waterworks department. If your dog is older they may be suffering with a bladder retention issue, which means that they will need to relieve themselves during the night. You can’t fix it if you don’t fully understand the problem.

If everything is OK on the health front then you will need some retraining so that your pooch only pees where they should. This certainly doesn’t include inside your home of course. You can learn dog behavioural training skills yourself or hire an expert.

#4. Do New things

You do not want your furry best friend to suffer from cognitive deterioration – whatever age they may be. Studies have proven that you can avoid cognitive deterioration if your pet is involved in new things that are mentally stimulating.

You can teach an old dog new tricks! Challenge them with puzzle feeders and other great gadgets. Puzzle feeders are especially good as your canine will have to think about how they can get at the food.

#5. Grooming and Hygiene

Do you groom your pooch enough? You should be doing this every day. It is important that you get rid of any excess fur from their main coat. This will make their coat shinier as you will distribute essential oils from their skin to their coat.

Your dog will love your daily attention when you groom them. It will sooth and calm them and put them in a relaxed state. It doesn’t take that long to groom the average pooch. Get the family involved with this too so that the workload is shared.

It is vital that you take good care of your dog’s teeth. There are special canine toothbrushes and toothpastes available now so take advantage of this. If your pet has never had their teeth cleaned before then you are going to encounter some resistance, but persevere as you will be helping to keep plaque and tartar away.

Get your best friend healthy from the inside out with an all-natural prebiotic/probiotic supplement – read why this is so important and beneficial for your beloved pet on our website http://www.fidoactive.com/probiotic.html 

#6. What if you don’t have a Dog?

Well you can add a New Year’s resolution of your own – to become a shelter volunteer. Dog shelters need volunteers all of the time. You could be doing any number of things like checking in new arrivals, grooming, walking or even potty training some of the canines.

There are several benefits from becoming a shelter volunteer. You will meet other like minded people there and form new friendships. These people will love dogs the same as you and you are bound to get on well with them.

Shelters want to find new homes for pooches, and with your help the dogs are prepared faster for this. Each new animal will be different and will need different kinds of help. There is nothing more rewarding than helping a hound who had no skills at all, turn into a homeready pet under your guidance.

Being a volunteer at the local shelter will keep you active. You will have no time to get bored, as there will always be something that needs your attention. Don’t waste your life sitting in front of the TV – do something meaningful and become a dog shelter volunteer.

Sadly, many shelters are inundated with new intakes at the start of the New Year, sometimes as a result of unwanted Christmas gifts, soDON’T DELAY – they need your help NOW!

 

Whatever you decide to do, we hope all your New Year resolutions come true!

Wishing you and your canine companions a happy and healthy 2018!

 

 

 

Helen Broadley & The FidoActive Team