How to Make Your Dog Smell Better

Most people feel uncomfortable with the odor of a smelly dog. In fact, this problem may make many pet owners think twice about either owning a dog. There are many kinds of dog odors such as flatulence, bad breath, the animal stepping or rolling in feces, and scents arising from poorly maintained fur. So, it's important to keep your fur friend smelling pleasant. Check out this article to get some ways to make your dog smell better.

Bathe your Dog

Purchase some dog shampoo

For a dog with something smelly that you don't give him a bath in for a while, it's best to bathe him for a good start. This way is essential for fixing the odor problem. The best method is purchasing a good dog shampoo instead of trying to cover them up with artificial scents.

Wet your dog completely

You need to wet him off the top of the head to the end of the tail. Remember not to apply hot water to your dog. Instead, you should use warm water. It's important to wet your dog all the way to the skin before you apply the dog shampoo.

Shampoo the dog

Apply some shampoo into your hands and then shampoo from the top of his neck to the end of his tail. You need to the outside of the legs, ears, the chest, feathering, belly, as well as the rest of his body. But, don't shampoo your dog's ears and eyes. Then, rinse the shampoo with warm water. And, do this once again for conditioner.

Allow your dog to shake the water off

It's a good idea to let him shake out as much water as possible.

Dry your dog right away

Dry your dog with a towel. If you want, you can also use a hairdryer to do this. If you let him wet, he can get many other types of bacteria. It's best to bathe your dog regularly. Also, you need to dry him as much as possible. But, avoid bathing him too much otherwise, he has to face health problems. We recommend you to visit your vet for advice. More importantly, don't allow him to roll until you make him dry completely. If you let his fur wet, this can easily get the scents.

Groom Your Dog

Clean your dog's ears

If your dog has dirty ears, he will have unpleasant dog odors. That's why you need to clean his ears once you notice the dirty inside his ears. But, avoid doing this so often in order to avoid irritation.

Comb or brush your dog every day

By this way, you can easily eliminate some of the dirt as well as debris. They may be a cause of unpleasant dog odor.

Brush your dog's teeth

Your dog odor may also be caused by a dirty mouth. So, you should brush his teeth often for the best health and odor.

Don't scent your dog

Don't spray perfume or scented household products, or deodorize on your dog. In fact, they can't able to address the cause of the dog odor. In addition, you shouldn't use them because they are not good for your dog. Also, they can make it worse or your dog get the injury.

Reduce Flatulence

Pay attention to your dog's diet

If your dog eats unhealthy foods, it can be a cause of the odor. So, you need to look into the foods you feed your dog. Remember to consider the ingredients in the dog food bag. In fact, there are many commercial foods that can lead to flatulence such as soya or grains.

Change his foods

If you are feeding your dog poor quality food, it's time to shift these foods onto better quality natural brands. These cheap brands may be a cause of the dog odor, gas, dulled coat, and bad dog breath.

Don't allow your dog to eat the trash

It's best to prevent your dog from doing this. In fact, your dog can eat inappropriate as well as spoiled food from the trash.

Make your dog do exercise regularly

One of the best method to relieve flatulence includes running, walking, as well as playing. They will help to encourage gut movement.

Handle the Anal Glands

Take your dog to a vet for an examination

Do this as soon as you notice your dog has an unpleasant smell from his anal glands. Sure, your vet will help you know if your dog may by overly full or infected.

Learn about possible psychological issues

If your dog is anxious, afraid, or excited, you need to also attend to some psychological problems. It's best to talk to your vet for more ideas. You should help him feel calmer in day-to-day life in order to reduce this problem.

Clean your Dog's Bedding

Wash cloth-bedding in the washing machine

If you want to maintain a fresher-smelling dog, you should keep his bedding clean and free of fleas. Place all cloth bedding, crate covers, as well as crate bumpers in the washing machine. Follow the instruction on the label and wash.

Dry the bedding

Use the dryer to dry your dog's bedding. In addition, you can also set his bedding out to air dry in the sun.

Make non-washable items clean

There are some non-washable items such as a large bed or his crate. It's best to rinse them with the hose. You can use a sponge or toothbrush to clean them when they are dirty. We recommend you to clean your dog's bedding weekly. Also, you can also do this biweekly depending on the level of the smell.

dog overweight

How to Tell If Your Dog is Overweight

Overweight dogs are becoming a common problem for the most attentive pet parents. These dogs can e able to eat much, but they always feel hungry. In fact, this problem can exacerbate existing ailments. That's why you should start a weight loss program as soon as possible. Check out this article to learn about this problem.

How your Dog Becomes Overweight

Most pet owners think that the main cause of overweight dogs is chronic overfeeding as well as lack of activity. There are some breeds who can easily get overweight such as cocker spaniels, bulldogs, and golden retrievers. In fact, this problem can increase the risk of many other problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. In addition, your dog may be in the difficulty when breathing. dog overweight

Dangers of Obesity for Dogs

Obesity is one of the most common problems in dogs. This condition can lead to joint damage, mobility problems, cancer, heart disease, and other health problems. If your dog is an overweight dog, he will have to suffer from a great deal of strain on his body. This problem also impacts on his quality of life. In addition, there are other consequences of this condition such as decreased exercise tolerance, difficulty breathing, digestive disorders, heat intolerance, as well as decreased immune function.

Scoring Your Dog’s Body

You can use your BMI to identify the healthy weight range for your dog's body. His weight is assessed on a scale between 1 to 9. In order to know exactly your dog’s body score, you have to perform a set of simple checks. Feel your dog's ribs. Although you can feel a layer of fat over them, you can also feel individual ribs. If you can still feel your dog's ribs, he may be too thin. On the contrary, your dog is overweight. Feel for other parts such as the spine, hips, and shoulders. Your dog is too thin if his bones protrude. On the contrary, your dog is overweight. Assess your dog's body shape from above. If you see a very extreme waist, he is too thin. And, you can't see the waist, he is overweight. Consider your dog from the side. Then, determine whether your dog has an abdominal tuck or not. If there is an extreme tuck, your dog is too thin and vice versa.

How Can You Tell

If you are wondering whether your dog is overweight, underweight, or ideal weight, you need to consult your vet for a help right away. She will help you make that judgment. But, you can also notice some signs at home. An overweight dog normally comes with no waist and no distinction between his stomach and chest. It's not hard to learn how to help him to lose weight.

What Can You Do

Nowadays, there are a lot of options available you can do to help your overweight dog. There are many lifestyle changes to make when it comes to losing your dog's weight. Just by making them, your dog still can get a healthier weight himself.

Get Moving

The first thing not only all dogs but also an overweight dog need to do is physical exercise. This is a great solution for both their mental and physical health. By doing this, your dog can improve his weight. So, it's essential to look for something he enjoys.

Schedule Portioned Feedings

If your dog is overweight, he can eat more than he needs. That's why you need make scheduled times to feed him. Also, it's important to determine exactly the amount of foods your dog eats. Then, you can slowly decrease that amount in order to keep him at a healthy weight. You may know your dog's stomach may be filled substantially by small things. In order to determine the exact size of his stomach size, you should visit your vet to confirm. In addition, you need to also know the number of treats he gets per day.

Check-in

Give your dog regular weigh-ins. For the best result, you have to monitor your dog's progress when getting your dog weight loss. It's important to determine the right amount of foods to maintain a healthy weight. In addition, you should also see a smaller number on the scale. We recommend you to take your dog to your vet regularly for regular weight checks.

Stay Strong

It's not easy to get an overweight dog according to a weight loss program. Your dog just feels happy when you give him a love. You just need to love him enough not to make him feel that you love him any less. Then, you can feed him smaller meals or fewer treats for the purpose of weight loss. You can even share snacks with play and exercise without feeling guilty. If you find it difficult to help him reach a healthy weight, it's time to visit your vet's office. Sure, your vet will help you ensure to give your dog adequate nutrition. There is a wide range of factors to handle when keeping your dog with a weight problem. If your dog's overweight, he can't avoid the dangers of chronic weight problems.

Conclusion

Keeping your dog with a healthy body weight is an important responsibility. In fact, it's hard to do. But, you just need to monitor your dog’s activity as well as his diet. But, you can get the difference between life and death for your dog by this way.

WHY DOG GROOMING IS IMPORTANT

When I started grooming my puppy 2 years ago, I barely knew how important this seemingly mundane activity actually was. I simply did it out of love for my little poodle and probably because I am a meticulous person with genuine interest in caring for the ones I love. Then with time, I came to realize I should definitely make this a habit and train my dog to be familiar and comfortable with grooming. Here are the top reasons why.

Healthy routines

People usually associate grooming with “beautifying” your dog. This is not the whole picture. Grooming is about keeping your dog hygienic and healthy as well.   We are told since we were small that daily hygiene is essential. We learned how to brush our teeth, wash our face, comb our hair, and later in life, we learned to make up!   All of this is natural and so is grooming to dog. We need to get our dog familiar with daily or weekly activities like bathing, brushing and combing, trimming nails, checking ears…   It not only prevents her from diseases and infections but also gives her a good discipline to follow. Moreover, it has never been easier to take care of your dog nowadays with the help of plenty of tools and supplies in the market, like dog grooming clippers, dog dryer, dog shampoo and conditioner…  

Reduced cost

Once you are familiar with the process of dog grooming and have the proper set of tools at hand, you will be less dependent on professional dog grooming service. Detecting your dog’s abnormalities early on while grooming for your dog will also save you a lot of expenses (and worry) on bringing her to the veterinarian.  

Family welfare

This may sound a little irrelevant but come to think about it, grooming your dog will prevent excessive shedding and imagine how this can benefit all your family.   Your mom would no longer complain about a house filled with dog hair. Your allergic grandpa would live happier and healthier. And your whole family would be more approved of you keeping a hairy friend around in the house.  

Personal bond

Grooming is a great chance to strengthen the bond between you and your lovely pet. Taking care of your dog will give you more sense of responsibility and attachment. She will probably feel the affection and care she received!   If you always consider your dog as a family member or a close friend then it is totally worth investing more time and effort in giving her the care she deserves. Happiness is seeing your dog growing healthy and beautiful, isn’t it?

 HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GROOM A DOG

  Summer is coming and it's getting hot and your dog (slash your son/daughter) is in need of some grooming after a long winter of caving. So now, you need to take your dog to a pet salon to get him/her groomed. And I bet you are wondering how long does it take for your dog to get groomed. So, let me answer it for you. First of all,  you should know when you have your dog groomed at a salon, you are expecting a whole packages of bathing, pre-works and grooming so it might take a while to groom your dog. Secondly, the times also vary from one hour to even 6 hours depends on your dog and the condition of his/her coat and many other situations. Usually, if your dog is one of the small breeds such as Chihuahuas or dachshunds or Yorkies, it should only take about an hour to an hour and a half for a straight grooming service. Other kinds of dogs like Poodles, Bichons, Pomeranians are harder to groom die to their furry nature so it might take two to three hours to groom them. Of course if your dog is one big and hairy dog or has a lot of mats in his/her coat it might even take longer than that. But I can assure you that it is worth the wait because your dog deserve such care! So why does your dog “hair treatment” takes so much time, sometimes it takes more than yours. Well, as I said before, grooming your dog take a whole processes before the groomers actually groom your dogs. Usually the process goes like this: bathing (which usually need a second bath), nail trimming, sanitary, ear cleaning… grooming (depends on your dog it is trimming, cutting or stripping) and drying. Now I think you can get the picture. If the salon you and your dog go to has a rotation system, where one dog get treated after another constantly in each of every step, then the time will shorten. Another factor that affect the grooming time is the condition of your dog. If your dog get treatments often, and the coat is not too furry or matted, it won’t take a while. If your dog coat is in poor condition such as matted or knotted, the groom will take longer. Others factors such as temperament, health issues, styling requirements, and scheduling times all contribute to the answer. A docile and sweet- tempered one will help the groomer works faster and more confidently.  If your dog is too nervous and doesn’t cooperate well then the grooming process might have a temporally stagnation. And, of course your groomer, if she is a skilled groomer will work faster than a newcomer.

So here are some tips to shorten help save you time:

  1. Make an appointment beforehand
  2. Go to a prestige pet salon or your trusted salon at your local places.
  3. Make your appointment early in the morning because that’s when they work the fastest.
  4. Do get your dog groomed and treated regularly for at least every 2- 3 months
  5. Be sure to know what your dog needs
Hope this article help you and your dog have a fun experience with grooming!

Patterdale Terrier Puppy has Dislocated Hip

My Patterdale Terrier Coco is now 18 months old. She had a very tough time as a puppy. Just before her first Christmas she was playing out in the garden. She came to the door and couldn’t get up the first step into the house. I found her right back leg was lifted and was behind her other back leg. When i picked her up she whimpered. I took her straight to the vet. They told me that her hip had dislocated and they were going to have to keep her in. This broke my heart. Coco is like my baby, i have never wanted children and would rather have hundreds of dogs . They said they would need to put a sling on her and give her some pain relief. The next day I rang to see how she was. The vet said they were keeping the sling on and that they would be taking it off the following day to see if the hip would stay in place. They said that she was a bit off of her food at first and they found she preferred to be hand fed by the nurse. Typical Coco. So the day arrived for her sling to be removed. The vet rang to tell us her hip had re-dislocated and she would need surgery. This meant that they would need to remove her hip. The thought of Coco, still a puppy, having to go through this was beyond difficult. They said she could end up walking with a limp but her muscles, as she was young, would eventually form a replacement. So she had the operation. Now stupidly i had cancelled our pet insurance, This meant that with the treatment, two nights stay at the vets, x-rays, medication and now the operation, the cost came to over £1,000. We didn’t have this sort of money so i had to sell my car to pay for it. There was no way I wouldn’t go ahead with it. She had the op on the morning of Christmas Eve, I was even more upset that she wouldn’t be able to come home for Christmas. The vet called to advise the op went well and she could come home, I was so happy. It was around the clock care when she came home. She wasn’t allowed to eat for the 1st day as she was still groggy! She wasn’t allowed out and she wasn’t allowed to walk or jump. If she needed to go for a wee I had to pick her up and take her out. She constantly cried for days. The vet said after three days she should start to put her paw down. Two weeks had gone by and she hadn’t even attempted it. Back to the vet she went. They said she was an over dramatic puppy and gave her more medication. Approximately two days later, I threw a ball for her. She chased it and put her paw fully to the ground. It took a lot of time and exercise to get her better. Now Coco is like a different dog in a good way she’s happier now than she was before this happened. She runs faster and plays more. The vet and I couldn’t tell how or why this had happened to Ccoco but it makes me think she may have had problems before. I’m so glad shes okay. She still limps a little bit when she’s been on long walks or it’s cold but otherwise she’s perfect.

The Care and Love for a Dog

Your dog is one of the most faithful and loyal companions you’ll ever have. He’ll sit by your side through the good times and the bad times, and expect little in return. He’ll miss you when you are gone and show you he’s overjoyed to see you when you come home. Your dog will spend his days sleeping, eating, playing and exploring. His favorite things to do are running around and sniffing out new scents of all kinds. He also loves to get dirty and roll around in things that make him smell like he thinks a dog should. Your dog loves his food. He doesn’t know what it costs and he’ll eat just about any dog food you give him. Your food also smells good to him, and he won’t be able to resist letting you know that. He’ll beg and drool and perhaps hint very loudly that you should share the bounty. He may also develop that special look that makes you feel quite guilty about downing an entire hamburger without sharing it with your very best friend in the world! From time to time, you dog may injure himself or lose his appetite. He has no words to let you know what’s wrong, so he counts on you to figure it out—or, at least, to take him to a vet who can diagnose his condition.

Dog Care Basics

A dog’s basic needs fall into just a few categories:
    • food that includes proper nutrition and monitoring to make sure his weight is in the appropriate range for his size
    • shelter, which might be the run of the house or a doghouse in the back yard
    • medical care when your dog is sick or injured or when special needs arise during pregnancy or old age
    • grooming to keep his fur lustrous and healthy and to keep ticks and fleas away
    • regular exercise in the form of walks or a romp in the park or at the beach
a few basic supplies such as a food bowl, a water dish and a leash.

All a Dog Really Needs

    • Still confused about what a dog wants and needs from you? Go online and look up “A Dog’s Prayer,” written by Beth Norman Harris. While a human did put the prayer down in writing, it’s rumored that her dog said these exact words to her — but that’s just a rumor.
While dogs don’t require much of their owners, you can develop skills and knowledge that will help you provide a quality life for you dog. These fall into the following categories:
  • an understanding of your dog’s basic nutritional needs
  • knowledge of your dog’s health care needs and how to take care of emergencies
  • recognizing signs of distress
  • grooming and bathing techniques to reduce the trauma of bath time for both you and your dog.
  • interpreting dog vocalizations to distinguish aggressive behaviors from dog play

Poodle Aggression

Poodles are adorable and intelligent dogs. Their beauty should having said that not deceive you into believing which they are harmless. Poodle aggression is a habits that you should be prepared to encounter if you intend to possess a Poodle in your home as a family pet. Aggression in dogs may be motivated by several issues and it is not only when you fully grasp the animated which you will be in a really good place to get rid of doing so behavior permanently. It is additionally crucial to understand the different symptoms of aggression so that you can treat the issue earlier than it reaches worse.

Signs Of Poodle Aggression

If your Poodle is snapping and lunging at folks or various dogs, then you in all probability have a Poodle aggression lawsuit to encounter. Your dog may bully various canines and bark at them. Once folks join to your residence, these folks might bark at them and lash out using well-rounded teeth display. This is a join of aggression fueled by dread of a feeling of being threatened. This breed of aggression can be finished utilizing socialization. When you take the dog out for walks, these folks will almost certainly deliver other dogs and a lot of individuals. With time they should start being easy close to new people and the aggression could gradually disappear.

Dealing With The Aggressive Behaviors

Often remember which any dog can discover and unlearn something. This merely shows you that the delusion about the impossibility of teaching old canines new methods is merely that, a myth. Poodle aggression might be because of this of dominance associated issues. If your dog considers which these folks are the alpha in the pack, these folks will tend to be aggressive to you and to other folks and pets. They could bark at you once these folks consider you are crossing their series and doing so behavior may possibly create biting. Doing so type of aggression has a uncomplicated remedy. You will need to show your dog which you are in charge. This should be performed when your dog remains youthful so that these folks can suppose their submissive position in the pack. If you get the Poodle from a rescue shelter, the Poodle aggression should be due to historical experiences. If the dog was rescued from a home the place these folks were exposed to cruelty and becoming harm, these folks may be aggressive. They should view people as the supply of their struggling and thereby could do which they can to guard themselves. They should bark at you and hit an degree of biting if they think you are regarding to harm them. This could solely be solved by displaying them which you are welcoming and socializing them using various canines and welcoming people.

A Final Thought On Poodle Aggression

Remember that Poodles are elevated energy canines and you will not loved them once these folks direct their energy to Poodle aggression. Be positive in workout the aggressive habits from them and reward them once they are welcoming. Show your dog that you loved them and which you are in charge. This should go greatly in dealing with the aggression.

Dental Care for Your Canine

Although dental care for dogs is a relatively new idea to many dog owners, it is nonetheless becoming a significantly expanding field of medicine. This is due to the fact that people are starting to be familiar with the value of offering their beloved pets longer—and healthier—lives. If you are unskilled in the notion of dental care for your dog, or if you are a brand new dog owner, then it will profit you to have an extensive comprehension of canine dental care.

Importance of Dental Care For Your Dog

Dogs are not like us by any stretch of the imagination, but we do have a very few things in common. You acknowledge that brushing your teeth often, going to the dentist now and then, and daily oral care are essential parts of your mouth’s health.  Dogs’ mouths require the same dedication, on a daily basis just like ours. Just like ours, if a dog’s teeth are uncared for, over time, they will begin to deteriorate.  Again like us, poor dental care will cause pain, discomfort, and even illness for a dog. This generally occurs in three distinct stages:

Plaque Accumulates On The Teeth

This is basically the breakdown of sugars and other food particles on the teeth/gums, and it produces bacteria.  This is occurring continuously, but is decreased somewhat by eating particular foods, chewing, and drinking water.

Plaque Hardens Into Tartar 

Tartar is an incredibly hard, mineralized matter that sticks to the teeth.  The tartar build-up ultimately causes gingivitis, a disease distinguished by red or swollen gums, bad breath, and occasionally slightly bleeding gums.

Canine Periodontal Disease Sets In

When tartar swells to a particular stage on the teeth, it starts to spread under the gums too, allowing pockets between the teeth and gums to form.  These pockets are wonderful environments for bacteria to reproduce in. Destruction from periodontal disease is irreparable, and characteristically includes abscesses, infections, and even tooth loss. The primary danger with periodontal disease is the chance for bacteria to seep into the bloodstream.  If this happens, the dog could be subjected to infections in the cardiovascular system and kidneys.  The older a dog is, the more dangerous this condition becomes. Your dog can die from complications connected to poor dental health if the condition is left untreated.  It is for this reason that proper dental care for your dog is so vital.

How To Improve Your Dogs Dental Health

Your dog’s dental healthcare starts at home.  You ought to give your dog frequent oral exams; if at all possible each day for active dogs or dogs who chew a great deal. Search for symptoms of disease or injury: discolored or bleeding gums, chipped or fractured teeth, inflamed lips or gums, and so on. Anything unusual should be brought to your veterinarian’s attention.  Next, brush your dog’s teeth daily.  You can find materials to do this at any pet store, online, or by way of your veterinarian.  Give your dog toys and food that will assist with tartar prevention, especially snack food such as dog bone treats. Over and above frequent home exams and care, your dog needs steady visits to the veterinarian. Your vet will supply you with routine dental cleanings, which will be made up of the following: Oral exam.  More comprehensive than the daily ones we do at home. X-rays.  These will check specifically for anomalies that might not be caught otherwise, and are used to ascertain whether the teeth are healthy enough to handle thorough cleaning. Ultrasonic or manual cleaning, depending on the vet. Your dog will sleep through this due to anesthesia, but it is vital toward removing the tartar that builds up on the teeth. Polishing.  Rotary cleaner heads are responsible for polishing away scratches and imperfections in the teeth and like areas that are perfect bacterial breeding grounds. By being responsible with your dog’s dental health care, you are offering your pet a healthy and blissful life.  To support you in this commitment, health and dental insurance is offered for your dog. Make inquiries with your current insurance company, or type Pet Health Insurance into your preferred search engine.

Above all, don’t forget about brushing your dogs teeth!

Border Collie

The Border Collie is an extremely active dog. Bred to work hard in harsh conditions for long hours at a time, this sheepdog needs a lot of free running in order to maintain his mental health. A daily walk on a lead will not do.   The Border Collie's popularity has spread from his position as the world's no.1 herding dog, to the world's no.1 Competition Obedience dog. As such it's virtually the only dog breed still selected on the basis of its brainpower. Hence there's quite a variation in appearance between dogs. I've had four Border Collies - two from Obedience Competition breeding, one from International Sheepdog Trials, and one from rough mountain work. But they all share the same high activity levels, alertness, curiosity, and eagerness to learn. They have all also displayed high levels of devotion and loyalty. One was "on a short fuse" and needed careful handling around other male dogs. The two from a herding background would either like to speed visitors off the property, or prevent them from leaving! All of them are remarkably useful around the house, fetching things, picking things up, shutting doors etc. They are all easy to leave with other people when necessary, travel extremely well (although one was carsick as a puppy), adapt well to strange surroundings, and are very biddable in the home. But the Border Collie does need skilled handling, and some level of formal obedience training is indispensable. The two brought up with children are excellent with them, the two brought up without them were unreliable, which emphasises the need for early socialisation and "proofing" against all kinds of experiences and events. With his exceptionally acute hearing (think of those vast sheepy hillsides where the breed originates) the Border Collie suffers from fireworks and many are unsteady to gunshot without a lot of specific noise training. Some Border Collies are always on the go, and don't seem to have an off-switch. If you don't wish to be herded everywhere you go in the house, or have toys and socks presented to you endlessly for games, or live with a dog always on high alert, then skip the Border Collie. I couldn't recommend a Border Collie to a home where he does not have work - either herding or some kind of competition-level obedience. Though I'm sure there are some well-adjusted collies in pet homes, I don't think mine would have lasted long in one! BJC

Animal abuse is in the news these days

Just look at the story of Sadie, the German shepherd from Ecorse who was tied to the railroad tracks and left to die. People were outraged on behalf of the dog's owner. Even a police officer suggested, "She should sue them." Sadly, that's not as easy as it sounds.

Most states, including Michigan, set the legal value of an animal at whatever its price would be on the open market -- racehorse or goldfish, champion bull or fireside pal, all are considered no more than personal property. If someone causes the death of an animal, all the owner can ask for in damages is its fair market value -- "less depreciation," as one especially hard-hearted claims adjuster suggested. Sentimental value doesn't count; no matter how long you and your dog have been together or how much your cat means to you, if it's killed, you can't sue for more than you could sell it for.

Once upon a time, this approach made sense. Most animals worked for a living or were food producers more than human companions. But in contemporary society, things just aren't the same. By some estimates, there are over 100 million pet dogs and cats in this country. Some dogs guard their owners or hunt and some cats still catch rats and mice, but there is no denying that it is the social and psychological benefits of pet ownership that keep pet stores prosperous and veterinarians in business.

As I heard in a vet's waiting room: "Of course we brought her here; she's a member of the family!" Indeed, one survey found as many as 80 percent of pet owners describe their animal companions like that. Science has begun to recognize the strength of the human-animal connection. Since the 1980s, a host of studies have established the importance of the bond between people and their pets. One of the first found that people who owned dogs were more likely to survive after a heart attack. More recently, larger-scale studies have confirmed the association between pet ownership and better health.

The effect is particularly pronounced among elderly people. Pets alleviate the loneliness of the widowed, for example, and pet visitation programs in nursing homes make residents less depressed and more receptive to treatment. One assessment found a decreased need for medication, reduced tensions between residents and less staff turnover in a nursing home where animals were abundant and part of the center's daily routine.

Alzheimer's patients also benefit from contact with companion animals, and a 1990 study found that Medicare participants who owned pets made fewer doctors' visits.

When a pet dies, the bereavement process is similar to that of the loss of a well-loved human being. The evidence is abundant. At least 19 cemeteries (and two crematoriums) in Michigan are devoted exclusively to pets.

Across the country, grief counseling hot lines provide help to owners who have lost their pets. At the University of Pennsylvania, social work services have been available to bereaved pet owners since 1978. A modern bookstore features half-a-dozen volumes on coping with the death of an animal.

Why, then, does society persist in pretending that a poodle is the same as a piano? In Koester v. VCA Animal Hospital, Michigan's Court of Appeals recently agreed with a veterinarian that she should not be liable for the psychological loss to an owner whose dog was choked by a too-tight bandage. Although the judges were sympathetic, they declined to change the rule. The dog's owner has appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court, but it has not yet decided whether to hear the case.

It is not so long in human history that women, children and others were seen, in legal terms, as merely property. We like to think that society has evolved since then. It is time we acknowledge that animals, too, are worth something more than their price at auction. Let's not let Sadie be forgotten.

BARBARA H. GOLDMAN is an attorney with the firm of Lopatin, Miller, Freedman, Bluestone, Herskovic & Domol in Southfield and a former chairperson of the Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Write to her in care of the Free Press Editorial Page, 600 W. Fort St., Detroit, MI 48226.

Twelve Days of Horror For Pets In England

Set on fire, mutilated and scalded - just some of the fates experienced by animals in England during a shockingly violent period this fall. A string of brutal attacks from 25 September to 6 October has horrified England's RSPCA inspectors. Among the victims was a spaniel who captured the hearts of the UK public after her body was thrown in a river with a 10kg weight around her neck. RSPCA chief officer of the inspectorate Andy Foxcroft said the sudden escalation in violence had troubled staff and he urged the public to respect animals and report abusers. "Although we investigate a number of brutal incidents each year, this sudden glut of violent cases is deeply troubling," he said. "It is dreadful to realise that we live in a society where some people feel it is acceptable to harm animals in such vile ways.

RSPCA Web site "Everyone has a responsibility to protect animals from harm and prevent cruelty. We are asking the public to make a stand and to contact us or the police whenever they witness or suspect animal abuse is taking place," Foxcroft said. The shocking recent incidents included: 25 Sept - Cat's ear cut off and posted through (guardian)'s letterbox, in Liverpool 28 Sept - Body of weighted-down spaniel thrown in river, in Southampton 1 Oct - Kettle of boiling water poured over 12-week-old kitten, in Somerset 1 Oct - Youth caught on CCTV apparently kicking hedgehog to death, in East Yorkshire 2 Oct - Half a sliced cat placed on school steps, in Rotherham 3 Oct - Sheep possibly bludgeoned, legs bound and dumped by road, in London 3 Oct - Black Labrador allegedly shot with nailgun, in Nottinghamshire 4 Oct - Cat doused in petrol and set alight, in Bath 6 Oct - Cat killed by trauma to head and hung from tree, in Chichester 6 Oct - Teenagers inflict massive head injuries on elderly cat, in Somerset.

RSPCA director general Jackie Ballard said it was impossible to provide a clear explanation for this sudden escalation in violence, but warned against the possible dangers of animals being demeaned in entertainment. She said: "On our televisions we now see so-called survival shows where a chicken will be killed by amateurs for no other purpose than entertainment. We have celebrities eating live insects and crawling through tubes filled with rats. "We believe that at best this is demeaning to animals and at worst can involve suffering. Our fear is that people will become desensitized and feel it is acceptable to abuse animals for any reason." "While we have not yet proved a scientific link between the two, it cannot help our message of promoting kindness to animals," Ballard said. From January the RSPCA's education team, which helps teach children the value of respecting animals, will refocus its work in the parts of England and Wales where inspectors are at their busiest. Reproduce this Article on a Web Site or in Print Up to 25 education officers will aim to build stronger relationships with schools in these areas in an effort to target their work more effectively, helping teachers to integrate the animal welfare message into Britain's national curriculum.