Restoring Good Gut Flora In Dogs: You Are What You Eat

Ask any veterinarian and they will most likely tell you that their phone is filled with pictures of poop. Clients text and email photos, and they engage their veterinarian in lengthy discussions about frequency, color, consistency and odor.

Poop is the end product of the complex digestion process that starts with food and requires the assistance of trillions of microorganisms that rent space in the gastrointestinal (GI) tracts of our companion animals. In exchange for nourishment and a place to live, these organisms provide essential elements needed for regulating our metabolism, healthy digestive functioning and a competent immune system. It is estimated that one-third of the microbiota in humans is common to most people, and the remaining two-thirds constitute a sort-of individual fingerprint; each dog likely has its own unique microorganism populations.

Continue reading

Therapy Dogs International: Spreading Benevolence Through Canine Companionship

by Lauren Johnson

TherapyDogsInternational-1_0417Nothing evokes a sense of ease quite like a soft, smiling, tail-wagging dog looking up for a bit of affection. While numerous dog lovers are familiar with this feeling, many may not know how it can bring greater therapeutic benefits to others.

Meet Therapy Dogs International (TDI), a non-profit organization based in Flanders, New Jersey, whose mission is to bring health and well-being through visits by four-legged friends to institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, memory care facilities and wherever else therapy dogs are needed.

“When people encounter a therapy dog, their mood immediately improves—they become more relaxed, and their blood pressure drops,” says Bob Wharton, director of TDI Bucks County Chapter #294.

Continue reading