The Irreverent Vet | Dog Flu

The canine influenza virus is on the rise. The simpler term for this illness is one with which you might be familiar: dog flu. You didn’t know that your dog could get the flu? No one did before 2004. That’s when the condition was first discovered. However, a different strain affected horses before that.

Before I talk more about the dog flu, let me introduce myself. I’m the Irreverent Vet. I’m not afraid to tell you what I really think about controversial issues related to pet and dog care. I often have strong opinions. Even if my views are unpopular, they’re always based on science. I think it’s important to let you know the facts so that you can make the best decisions for your family and your furry loved ones.

In this article, I’m going to talk about the dog flu. In 2015, a new strain of this virus was discovered, according to Time. The highly contagious respiratory disease affected hundreds of dogs in the Chicago area. It’s making its way around the U.S. again. At the beginning of the summer of 2017, the dog flu hit Florida and California. Since 2015, cases have been confirmed in more than 30 states. Should you be worried?

Most dogs don’t die from the flu, although six of the dogs in the Illinois outbreak unfortunately did. If the illness becomes severe, your dog could be hospitalized for complications. Old and very young dogs are at the greatest risk. Even if your dog lives through it, this disease can cost you thousands in medical bills and tug at your heartstrings. I don’t know a pet owner who wouldn’t be devastated to see their dog so sick. Find out the symptoms and what you can do to prevent this disease.

Dog Flu Symptoms

How do you know if your dog has the flu? The symptoms are similar to those of human respiratory viruses. Your dog may cough, have a runny nose, or spike a fever. It may be too tired to move and refuse to eat. Of course, if you noticed these symptoms, you would bring your dog straight to the vet. It’s unusual to hear a dog cough or sniffle. The most serious side effect of this illness is pneumonia. About 20 percent of dogs with the flu don’t show any symptoms, though. Still, your infected dog could pass the disease to another animal.

How Does Dog Flu Spread?

Dogs can’t wash their hands. Plus, they’re pretty slobbery, and they’re not careful about putting things in their mouths. Canine influenza spreads through saliva and mucus. If an infected dog coughs or sneezes on your dog, it’s over. Well, it may have just begun. Doctors think that just about every dog that is exposed to the virus does contract it. Like I said before, one in five dogs may not have any symptoms.

Although there have been no documented cases of this flu in humans, people can spread the disease to their dog. Let’s say you work with animals. You’re unaware that Spot has H3N2, the newer strain of the influenza. Spot licks you, sneezes on you, and gets his germy saliva all over your skin and clothes. The microbes only live about two minutes on your skin, and you wash your hands so well that you’re going to remove all traces from them. The virus can live for a day or longer on your clothes, though. You go home to your own little Fluffy, he licks your shirt, and he gets sick.

It’s highly unlikely that your dog will come down with influenza if he stays home all day and isn’t exposed to other animals. Dogs can pass it to cats, though, and your pet could come in contact with it while he’s saying hello to the neighbor’s dog on your morning walk. Your pet is much more prone to coming in contact with the germs if he hangs out in tight quarters with lots of other dogs. The June 2017 Florida outbreak is thought to have started at a dog show. Your dog could catch it at the groomer’s, daycare, animal shelter, boarding kennel, or dog park.

How to Protect Your Pet

What is scary about any virus is that it can mutate. The bug went through five mutations from the time that it only affected horses until it began to affect dogs. It’s already contagious to cats. However, there’s no vaccination for felines.

Crafts to Do with Your Pets

You love playing games with your dog; you play fetch, take him for walks, and even play hide-and-seek. Have you ever tried doing DIY dog crafts though? We know that your dog can’t use scissors or glue but you can still get creative by doing some of these fun pet crafting ideas and find activities to do with your dog. July 21 is National Craft for Your Local Shelters Day, a holiday started by Erika of the blog Sew Doggy Style, so we’ve taken the time to list out some of our favorite crafts that you can do with your pets.

Why not give back to a shelter in your town by making one of these crafts? Some of them can be done with your dog; others are better for human crafting. Make the crafting even more fun by getting friends together to help. You may even be able to ask craft stores for donations if you’ll be donating the products to a local organization. Happy crafting!

How to Stamp A Dog Paw Print

You can imprint an image of your pet’s paw on almost any of the crafts that we’ll be discussing in this article. To do this, you’ll need non-toxic paint, a paint brush, and a substrate like paper or fabric. Hold your dog’s paw, and quickly paint the pad. Press its paw onto the paper or fabric, and you’re done. To make cleanup easier, keep a bowl of water, a wet washcloth, and a dry towel next to you. Immediately wash and dry your dog’s foot. You might need help from another human if you have a fidgety pet because you probably don’t want a permanent trail of paw prints decorating your carpet.

“Adopt Me” Bandanas

How sweet would it be to give each dog at the shelter a bandana that makes it look extra adorable? You can buy inexpensive squares of fabric at craft stores. Stamp your dog’s paw print on one corner of the material. Write “Adopt Me” above it using puffy paint or fabric markers. Use bright colors so that the animals that are lucky enough to wear your bandanas can’t be missed at the shelter.

Dog and Cat Feeder Toy

Use inexpensive PVC pipes and fittings to make interactive feeding toys for both dogs and cats. Take any length of 1 ¼-inch PVC pipe, and drill several holes in the sides using a ½-inch paddle bit. Use sandpaper to smooth out any jagged edges. To smooth the inside of the holes, wrap sandpaper around a screwdriver before running it along the surface. Attach PVC caps to the ends. If the caps don’t fit tightly, use PVC cement to secure them.

Fill the tube with dry food, and watch your dog stay entertained. If you end up using this for your own pet, it’s a great distraction to keep the dog busy while the family eats dinner. Get more details about how to make this DIY craft at dogtipper. Never leave a pet unattended with a toy like this.

Muffin Tin Treat Puzzle

Keeping your dog happy involves giving him plenty of mental and physical exercise. A muffin tin plus a few tennis balls can stimulate your dog’s intellect and keep him entertained. Grab a muffin tin and enough tennis balls to fill each cup. Place a few treats or pieces of dog food in some of the muffin cups. Then, cover all of them with tennis balls. Set the puzzle down in front of your dog, and watch as he tries to figure out how to get to the treats.


Braided Tug Toy

Use a durable material to make braided tug toys. Fleece and denim work well. Use three lengths of fabric about one or two feet long. Knot them at one end. Then, weave a traditional braid, knotting the other end to secure them when you’re finished. That’s it! Dogs love tugging on the knotted ends or grabbing the toy in the center and your local shelter will love all the new toys that you donate!

Knotted Towel

This dog toy is simple to make and can keep dogs occupied for a while. All you need to do is take a dishtowel and tie it in a knot. Make these out of hand towels, dishtowels, and washcloths to create different sizes to donate to your local shelter. If you’re making this for your own pet, soak it in water and freeze it to keep your canine cool on a hot day. You can also use a knotted towel to train a shy dog. If it’s one of your dog’s favorite toys, try hiding it. Reward your pup with play time or a treat when she finds it. Your dog will get a confidence boost, and you’ll both benefit from spending quality time together.

Best Summer 2017 Blockbuster Cat Names

When it comes time to name your feline, you want a cool cat name. You need something that reflects your little prince’s personality without sounding silly when you call him to come inside for dinner. If you give him a sub-par name, he’ll know. He’ll pay you back by howling at midnight and refusing to let you read the paper without sprawling across it. Let him know that you think he’s a star. Name him after one of the summer’s blockbuster movie hits.


This fifth installment in the action series is entitled “The Last Knight.” Optimus Prime is gone. He is searching for his maker on the planet Cybertron, which is now shattered into pieces and heading straight for Earth. On Cybertron, Optimus Prime is put under the control of the villain Quintessa, who wants to destroy Earth and revamp Cybertron. On Earth, a group of Transformers joins a British lord and an Oxford professor to find an ancient relic and save the planet. These cat names are perfect for a feline that just might save your world.

  • Knight

  • Bumblebee

  • Megatron

  • Quintessa

  • Cade

  • Yeager

  • Wembly

  • Sqweeks

  • Canopy

The Mummy

In 2017’s version of The Mummy, gender roles are reversed. When adventurer Nick Morton discovers an ancient crypt, he unearths the a previously undisturbed sarcophagus and heads to England. The mummy is Ancient Egyptian Princess Ahmanet, and she wants power and revenge. She has the ability to possess human bodies, and she brings about death and destruction as she tries to recoup the supremacy to which she believes she’s entitled. Is your cat a little ominous or otherworldly? Here are some names for him. Of course, you can also just go with the run-of-the-mill human names from the movie to play it safe.

  • Ahmanet

  • Jekyll

  • Nick

  • Jenny

  • Malik

  • Pharao

  • Egypt

Baby Driver

Although Baby Driver isn’t your conventional summer blockbuster, it’s an action-packed film that offers some great star cat names and a fantastic soundtrack. Baby is young, he’s also a hearing-impaired getaway driver who uses music to help him steer away from the heists. He gets sucked into job after job for his boss Doc, even when it means putting his loved ones in danger. Ansel Elgort drives the car, and Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey, and Jamie Foxx back him up perfectly. Here are some names for your tough-cookie kitty.

  • Baby

  • Griff

  • Buddy

  • Darling

  • Barista

  • Doc

  • Bats

Despicable Me 3

In this goofy animated comedy, Gru joins Dru, his long lost twin, to defeat villain Balthazar Bratt. Bratt was a child actor who lost his role as a supervillain once he hit puberty. To show the world what he was capable of, Bratt then became a true supervillain. The flamboyant Dru wants his brother to teach him how to become more villainous. However, Gru is done with his days of wickedness. Together, Gru, Dru, and the Minions work to thwart Bratt and his evil plan. If your cat is quirky, eccentric, or makes funny little noises when he “talks,” consider one of these names. He will eventually follow your every command.

  • Gru

  • Lucy

  • Balthazar

  • Margo

  • Edith

  • Agnes

  • Silas

  • Fritz

  • Mel

  • Minion

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Twenty-year-old Tom Holland plays 15-year-old Peter Parker, who lives with his Aunt May after Tony Stark tells him that he’s not ready to be an Avenger. Parker has trouble concentrating on normal high-school life, however. After all, he is Spider-Man. When Vulture asserts himself as a villain, it’s Iron Man and Spider-Man to the rescue. Vox called this “the best superhero movie of 2017.” Here are some names for a cat who is your own personal superhero.

  • Spidey

  • Vulture

  • Iron Man

  • Flash

  • Happy

  • Pepper

  • Friday

  • Tiny


Famous Dogs

Your handsome dog probably thinks that he’s quite the pooch. After all, he’s your best friend and a model family member when he’s not stealing food off of the kitchen table. Consequently, you might not want to tell him that some famous dogs can put his acting and entertainment skills to shame. There’s no point in wounding his pride like that.

Countless canine stars have been in movies and TV shows. You’re probably familiar with the famous movie star and tv show dogs Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Beethoven, and Marley. There are also many famous animated dogs, like Bolt, Lady and the Tramp, and Scooby Doo. Today, we’ll be giving you a crash course on canine pop culture by discussing some of the most revered celebrity dogs in recent history.

Famous Celebrity Dogs

These dogs didn’t just play famous characters; they are celebrities in their own right. Some of these canine stars have played multiple roles in different films and television shows.


Sometimes called Air Buddy, this golden retriever is best known for his portrayal of Buddy in the 1997 movie Air Bud. When he was found by Kevin di Cicco, he was a disheveled stray wandering the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Di Cicco taught him to play numerous sports, including basketball. IMDB reports that Buddy has also appeared on America’s Funniest Home Videos, the Late Show with David Letterman, and the Kids’ Choice Awards. Buddy was also in a movie called Fluke and played Comet in the television series Full House.


Lassie is one of the most famous canine characters. Oddly enough, the first dog to play the female Lassie was Pal, a male long-haired collie. Pal starred in the feature film Lassie Come Home in 1943. He starred in six more feature-length Lassie films (as well as the pilots for the television show) over the course of his impressive career.

Pal had a bad habit of chasing motorcycles. Animal trainer Howard Peck brought Pal to Rudd Weatherwax, another animal trainer, to break him of the problem. Eventually, Peck ended up giving Pal to Weatherwax because he was unable to curb this dangerous behavior. That was good news for Weatherwax, who thought Pal might be a perfect fit for Lassie when he heard that the 1940 novel would be made into a movie.

Pal was rejected for the role, but he served as the stunt dog for the main canine actor. When the leading dog wouldn’t jump into the water for a swimming scene, Pal stepped in. The executives decided to swap out the animals, hiring Pal for the part instead. That was Pal’s lucky break into the entertainment industry. Interestingly, every canine that played the role of Lassie after Pal died was related to the original actor.


The Parson Russell terrier that played Eddie Crane on the sitcom Frasier was really a rambunctious dog named Moose. Moose only trained for six months before beginning to film. According to a biography on Canidae, the human actors praised Moose for his professionalism. Considering the fact that Moose’s original owners gave him up because he was so hard to handle, this pup must have received extensive behavioral training before he reached the set.

Moose enjoyed working. It seemed like the focus and purpose that his career provided calmed him down. He could do just about anything that his trainers asked of him. And when he wasn’t wowing the other actors with his incredible performances, Moose would engage Kelsey Grammar in staring matches for laughs.

Later on in his career, Moose starred in the movie My Dog Skip. The dog’s son, Enzo, played the younger Skip in that film. Enzo also went on to play Eddie on Frasier after Moose retired. Moose passed away in 2006 when he was 16 years old.



Soccer is one of the most well-known TV star dogs. He is perhaps most notorious for playing Wishbone on the PBS series of the same name. He liked to crack jokes as he recounted classic stories like “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” The show was like a dog’s version of Masterpiece Theater for children.

10 Of the Coolest Cat Houses We’ve Ever Seen


Does your cat hang out in strange places? Maybe he sits next to your favorite book on the top shelf of your library. Perhaps he plops down on your freshly laundered underwear. He might even dangle atop the arm of your recliner. Have you ever thought about getting him a cat house? Indoor cat houses provide security and entertainment for kitties that don’t get to explore the great outdoors. Outdoor cat houses give cats a place to hide out during inclement weather and keep them safe from predators. These are the coolest cat house ideas we’ve come across.

HOK Kitty High Rise

This house has everything your feline could want. The simple design uses wood for the frame. The interior surfaces are covered with carpet, which encourages cats to scratch. Four tunnels give kitties a place to hide out and a means of escape if another animal pays them a visit. The transparent walls of the passageways provide a peek-a-boo play experience. The front porch is the perfect place for growing cat grass, a plant that’s safe for animals to eat and can prevent them from chewing on your own houseplants.

Check out the HOK Kitty High Rise here.

The Kitten Coop

A chicken coop can be used creatively to house your furry friends. Just don’t keep birds in there at the same time. This coop was raised up so that the cats could enter and exit their humans’ home through a window. An extra floor was added to the base. The entire house is surrounded by mesh screen, which prevents the cats from escaping and other animals from entering. This is an ideal way to allow your indoor cat to go outdoors safely.

Check out the Kitten Coop here.

A-Frame Cottage

This wooden cottage has a simple triangular design and would look sophisticated indoors or out. When made from high-quality wood, like red cedar, cat houses like this keep your cat cool in hot weather and warm when it’s cold out. You can also add insulation for more comfort. Wooden cat houses are becoming more popular. You can often find them at high-end pet shops. You could also make one yourself.

Check out the A-Frame Cottage here.

Hobbit House for Cats

What’s more perfect for your little hobbit than this gorgeous hillside hole? Your cat can curl up under the faux grass, entering through the hole in the front. You’d never guess that this was designed for animals. It looks more like a work of art.

Check out the Hobbit House For Cats here.

Cat Tower with Wheel

Does your cat have extra energy to expend? He can run, jump, and climb on this tall tower. It features a huge hamster wheel, a giant slide, and lots of places to scratch and hide out. Hopefully, your kitty won’t make the wheel squeak all night the way a hamster might. Although this piece of furniture for cats doesn’t look like it’s available for purchase in the U.S., it would make for a rewarding DIY project.

Check out the Cat Tower with Wheel here.

Aquarium Cat House

Got fish? Save space and give kitty some entertainment by building your aquarium around the cat house. This one has a roof to prevent prying paws from getting inside. It looks beautiful and will capture the attention of humans and pets alike. Just make sure that you give your fish plenty of hiding spots so that they don’t get stressed out from being watched all day.

Check out the Aquarium Cat House here.





Vintage DIY Kitty Camper

It’s no secret that cats like cardboard boxes. Therefore, why don’t you make an adorable cat house out of some of your recyclables? This one is creative but doesn’t require any carpentry skills to make. All you need is cardboard, strong tape, and some paint. If your cat likes to scratch cardboard, you might have to replace this at some point. However, it’s so easy to build that you might get excited to change up the design.

Check out the Vintage DIY Kitty Camper here.

Screened Cat Porch

Does your cat like to sit by the window and watch the world go by? Make more room for your precious pet by creating a screened-in porch on the other side of the opening. Cats can get fresh air and experience being out in nature without getting lost or chased by the neighborhood dog. There are many different ways to build a screened cat porch.

Famous Felines

Try to name a few celebrity cats. We’re not talking about cats that are owned by famous people; we’re talking about famous cats. Many animated characters probably come to mind. Garfield, Sylvester, Felix and Tom are some favorites. But can you name any real-life celebrity cats? Some cats are famous for the characters they played on the big screen; others found their way into the spotlight through viral videos and pictures, garnering countless online fans and followers on YouTube or Instagram in the process. Today, we’ll be giving you an entertaining lesson in feline pop culture by discussing some of the most renowned felines of all time.

Vito Vincent

Vito Vincent is a legend in the world of television. The tabby has appeared in a multitude of famous TV shows, including 30 Rock and The Colbert Report. He’s also been in advertisements for Target and Meow Mix. Believe it or not, Vito even made it into the cast of Breakfast at Tiffany’s on Broadway!

Before he attained his current life of wealth and luxury, Vito had to rise from humble origins. He was abandoned at an animal shelter in Brooklyn when he was 7 months old. Michael, the man who adopted Vito, says that he trained him to walk with a harness because he never wanted the cat to be caged again.

As a result of his extensive training, this cat has learned how to sit, stay, come, jump and meow on command. Apparently, Vito’s unique skillset and relaxed demeanor make him one of the most desirable celebrity cats to work with, which is probably how he managed to acquire such an impressive portfolio.


Although Vito Vincent may have more credits to his name, Morris the Cat enjoyed his own fair share of TV fame. Morris is the face of 9Lives cat food. He first appeared in several 9Lives television commercials in the 1970s, playing a finicky cat that would only eat one brand of food. He’s also appeared on several national talk shows, magazine covers, and a Burt Reynolds film called Shamus.

Long before he broke into the entertainment business, Morris was rescued from an animal shelter in Hinsdale, Illinois. He passed away in 1978, and two other cats have since played his role in 9Lives promotions. Thousands of people still celebrate the memory of this talented and charismatic cat. In fact, according to this Business Wire press release, June 13 has officially been declared Morris the Cat Day in Hinsdale.

Grumpy Cat

If you live in the current century, then odds are very good that you’ve seen Grumpy Cat at least once. After all, she’s one of the most famous cat memes on the internet today. According to Business Insider, the dwarf cat’s perpetual frown is caused by a very pronounced underbite. This unique facial feature swiftly became Grumpy’s ticket to fame and solidified her place as one of the top 10 cats of Instagram.

Grumpy Cat’s real name is Tardar Sauce. Her owner, Tabatha Bundesen, states in a Mental Floss interview that her cat isn’t grumpy at all. In fact, she asserts that Tardar Sauce’s older brother (Pokey) is the grumpier of the two. Regardless of how false her permanent frown is, it’s an incredibly lucrative feature. Through countless paid appearances, book deals, and modeling gigs, she’s made nearly 100 million dollars for her owner. If all of that success is any indication, we get the feeling that Tardar Sauce will be entertaining us for years and years to come.


Lil Bub

Lil Bub is another feline internet celebrity that was made famous by her quirky appearance. She made her debut on Reddit and quickly became a household name. Lil Bub’s tongue permanently hangs out, giving her a youthful, silly appearance. However, she also suffers from a rare bone disorder and requires special care.

Recently, the ASPCA has partnered with Lil Bub to help the adorable kitty raise funds for pets across the country with special needs.

Sam the Eyebrow Cat

Sam is a white cat with perfectly placed dark spots on his face. They resemble worried eyebrows. Shortly after pictures of him were posted online, Sam became a massive Instagram celebrity. As of now, he has more than 150,000 followers.

Flexible Felines — Why Yoga With Cats is Purr-fectly Zen

If you love yoga and you love cats, then you are going to go purr-fectly crazy for the newest exercise trend: that’s right, cat yoga is now a thing and it’s popping up at yoga studios all over the country.

Here are a few things you need to know about cat yoga before you sign up for your first class.

Cat Yoga Benefits Cat Adoptions

Most cat yoga classes are a joint effort between yoga instructors and local animal shelters and cat rescues. Cat yoga classes let participants meet and interact with sweet, adoptable cats in order to promote and increase cat adoptions. Have you been wanting to adopt another cat, or have a friend who is in the market? Why not take advantage of this cute and novel way to check out cats looking for their forever home?

Even if you’re not interested in adopting a cat right now, most cat yoga classes are offered on a donation basis, with your donation directly benefiting the animal shelter. You get to do something charitable, play with sweet cats, and get a good yoga stretch in all at the same time. You can even promote the classes on your social media feeds, helping connect fellow yoga and cat lovers with a class, where they just might find the perfect new feline friend.

Cat Yoga is Good for Both Humans and Kitties

Yoga is known to have many emotional and physical benefits for humans, including stimulating the natural release of feel-good hormones like endorphins, which naturally lower anxiety and boost a happy mood. While cats are unlikely to follow along for most of the yoga poses, they often surprise participants by taking the cue to stretch out their limbs and core, which is good for them in the same way it’s good for humans. Chances are that both human and feline participants will leave their cat yoga class with a renewed sense of calm and well-being.

Don’t Expect a Typical Yoga Experience

It’s good to know what you’re getting into before you show up to your first cat yoga class. If you are used to ultra quiet, meditative yoga classes, “meowga” will be a big change from the usual. Cat yoga is usually joyful, fun, and full of unexpected moments since cats are known for both their independence and their playfulness.

You may be deep in a Warrior II pose when a playful kitten decides to bat at your toes with his paws or attempt to climb up your leg. You can expect plenty of purring, lap sitting,rubbing up against you, and the sudden desire to interrupt your vinyasa flow to pet a cat instead. Just go with it: cat yoga is exuberant and will let you get in touch with your inner joy, as long as you don’t cling too closely to the idea of how yoga class is “supposed” to go.

Do Expect to Get to Know Lovable Cats

For those in the market for a purry new family member, cat yoga offers a chance to interact and play with adoptable cats outside of the sometimes stressful and noisy environment of an animal shelter. You will have a better feel for your prospective new pet’s real personality as you watch them stretch, play, and show affection during your cat yoga class. You will also get the chance to see them interact with other people and cats, giving you a clear idea of how they will fit into your family.

Have you tried cat yoga yet?

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A Captive Audience — How Audience Dogs Are Calming Nerves and Honing Presentations

Though most people understand the love that people feel for their dogs, they can also help reduce anxiety and help people who are afraid to give a public speech.

They are very calming and can help in high-stress situations. Animal lovers will all tell you how much they love their dogs and how great it is to come home to someone who loves you unconditionally. Because dogs deal with human emotions and conditions so well, they have been used for many years in therapy. Then, someone discovered the power of using dogs as a practice audience and the term audience dog was coined.

How Audience Dogs Are Used

Audience dogs are used in many ways. According to Caron Martinez, the director of the Kogod Center for Business Communications, “being with the audience dog makes you happy and relaxed and you do a better job.” Because of this, many colleges allow their students to practice their speeches in front of a group of dogs before they must go in front of their peers. They can practice over and over until they feel like they are ready and their speech is perfect.

Audience dogs are also helpful in hospitals and courtrooms where the level of stress is very high. Just petting and spending time with some furry friends can help even the most stressed person relax a little bit. For those of us who love dogs, it will bring a smile to your face, no matter how upset we may be.

These dogs can also help greatly with confidence, which is another reason that they are so good at helping with public speaking, as well as with lawyers and doctors who need to appear much more confident than they might feel.

How Do Audience Dogs Help?

So, how exactly can audience dogs help? They are there to provide companionship and unconditional love. Just petting a dog has been to shown to decrease anxiety and promote relaxation. Feeding a dog treats while giving a speech will help to take your mind off of what you are actually doing, no matter how much it scares you.

Dogs are so good at helping with anxiety and depression that they are used a lot with people who struggle with deep depression and even the military uses them with their veterans who come back from war. They have been used in therapy for years because of their calming effect. Taking care of a pet gives many people who struggle with thoughts of suicide a reason to live.

Dogs are also patient and don’t mind listening to the same speech over and over while you practice. They are perceptive with, not only what you are saying, but how you are saying it. They are really good at reading body language which can be helpful as you practice your speech.

Though audience dogs don’t need any training, certain dogs do better at the job than others. Martinez says, “we’re looking for dogs who are very secure, who are loving, who will maintain eye contact.” The dogs are given treats and plenty of attention for their work, though there are times that they struggle to sit still and listen. Even so, their very presence can be quite calming for a nervous speaker or doctor who is struggling with their case.

Audience dogs are becoming very popular. Just like dogs have always been used in therapy, they can really help students and people struggling with a lot of stress. Nothing can make a person feel better than a fluffy puppy to hold and cuddle! If you are struggling with stress or even anxiety over public speaking or your job, you may want to look into audience dogs.

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Food Trucks for Dogs are Bringing Al Fresco Dining to Fido

At dog parks around the country, a new kind of food truck is pulling up to offer treats. These new popular food trucks are making dogs dreams come true — a truck full of food just for them has pulled up, and the humans are treating them to new healthy dog treats, including dog-safe ice cream!

In Birmingham, Alabama, the Fetch truck is pulling into pet-friendly events from farmer’s markets to festivals with piles of scrumptious healthy snacks for dogs of all sizes and breeds.

Fido To Go is Chicago’s acclaimed “gourmutt” truck. Proclaiming itself as “the first doggy treat truck of its kind in the nation.” Fido To Go has become a familiar sight at Chicago dog parks, lake beaches and local events serving American-made gluten and allergen-free canine cookies along with doggy ice creams or frozen yogurt concoctions for pups on a diet!

Austin, Texas, has joined the pack with Bow Wow Bones. As they proclaim on their website, the company is dedicated to supporting dogs and the canine-loving community by spreading joy and love — especially at “yappy hour.”

The Barkery in Seattle offers another charming doggie food truck as well as a fixed location at their Dogwood Park Treat Bar. They publish a calendar so fans will know where to walk on a given afternoon. For special events, they will whip up impressive looking one-of-a-kind dog birthday cakes — served on a Frisbee platter, of course.

Human fans of these canine treat trucks cite the pleasure of taking your dog to a pet-friendly event and finding treats awaiting both of you. The biggest advantage? These cute vehicles make it easier to avoid feeding your dog human food, one of the hazards of an afternoon on the town. The new healthy treats can help make it easier for dogs to behave at human-centric events.

Each of these rolling dog diners features a menu designed to help dogs avoid sickness or obesity. Many of the choices are organic or preservative free. Dog-ready donuts or ice creams look sweet but like all the treats, avoid the sugar that makes human snacks bad for dogs. The trucks become a trustworthy way to be confident about what you’re feeding your dog. Many of these trucks offer unique creations that will keep you and your dog coming back.

Food Trucks for Dogs Make for Good Dogs

The new treats can also help make it easier for dogs to behave at human-centric events likes fairs and festivals where humans tend to do a lot of snacking. Going to the truck becomes a great opportunity for your dog to make friends and socialize with the other pups – while humans are busy making chatting, too.

Dog food truck companies are good citizens in their communities. Like human-centric food trucks, canine treat trucks often show up to support events for a cause. Trucks are also taking the initiative to put out a jar for money for shelters and rescue dog adoptions rather than taking tips for service.

In towns lucky enough to have dog food trucks already, patrons offer some useful tips. First, ask for free samples if you’re unsure if your dog will like his treat. Many trucks will offer tastes so you can be sure to delight your dog. Second, look for calendars or simply follow your local dog food truck on social media to find out where they’ll be next. Third, some of these companies have figured out that they can offer people treats too, so ask for human snacks if you’re feeling just as peckish as your dog.

if you have a major milestone coming up in your dog’s life or your own, consider arranging a custom private party. A mini get together for your favorite pet owners with a custom doggie cake for the pooches – what could be more fun than that? Most of the trucks offer catering for dog or human birthday parties, whimsical celebrations, pet shop customer appreciation events and other dog-friendly events.

So get out there to enjoy this new mobile community institution. And if there’s not a dog food truck in your town yet, it just might be time to take inspiration and spread the canine culinary revolution.

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Do Office Dogs Make Work More Fun?

Making it through the 2 p.m. slump at work can be a difficult challenge, but office dogs can bring energy back into your day.

If you love dogs, the thought of bringing your pup to work has certainly crossed your mind more than once. Leaving behind those puppy eyes each morning can break your heart, and going to work without him can actually have a negative impact on your day. Office dogs do wonders for office environments and employee morale. Unless you’re someone who isn’t a fan of animals, a dog in the office is a never a bad thing.

Having a calm and friendly dog present at your job makes the office a better place to work, and, for some, having office dogs present can even be the deciding factor in where they choose to accept a job offer. With millennials finding it easier to change jobs, many businesses are looking for ways to boost positive and engaging work environments. Office dogs are an easy and fun solution for businesses to build employee morale around something many people love.

Animal lovers know that having a friendly pup around on Monday mornings can erase stress just by seeing a wagging tail. Seeing a curious furry face poke into your office can instantly put a smile on your face. However, having office dogs can do more for your workspace than just boost a positive atmosphere.

Office dogs are a great way to provide employees with a unique solution to relieve stress during the day. Having a pooch near your desk is proven to prevent serious stress-related health conditions like heart disease and diabetes, and it can also encourage your employees to be more motivated to come into work. Less employee absent days means a more productive office, and having office dogs in your space promotes a friendly environment.

While office dogs are nothing new, the benefits they provide are helping businesses grow and expand by increasing productivity and fostering employee happiness.

How Office Dogs Can Change Your Office Dynamics

With the benefits office dogs provide becoming more popular, many business owners who have been against office dogs in the past have changed their minds when they’ve seen the research on how dogs can affect and create a more productive and positive workplace. The benefits they see once they welcome dogs into the office quickly outweigh the negatives, and are leading other businesses to do the same.

Having a dog nearby brings a cathartic feeling for employees who might be having a difficult day. Typically, when you’re struggling at work there isn’t anywhere for you to get out your frustration. Dog lovers know what a hug from a happy pup can do, and because dogs seem to have a sixth sense for our emotions, they know just when we might need a little extra love.

If you’ve ever felt trapped in your cubicle, office dogs help bridge the gap between you and coworkers who you might not normally interact with. Building a sense of community is another way that office dogs make the workplace an overall better place to be. This added face-to-face time while bonding over a cute dog presents the opportunity to make new connections and friendships, and provide an outlet to get away from your computer screen. Office dogs can bring people together, and by doing so make work a more enjoyable place to be.

When you start working somewhere with office dogs, it’s not uncommon for the dog to be the first name you memorize. The pleasant surprise of a dog in the workplace leads to better attitudes and employees who are more connected. It can also help employees stay active. Taking a break to play with the dog or even take him for a walk can help bring the energy you need to finish the day strong, clear your mind, and fuel creativity, all while getting to spend time with a friendly pooch.

Got a tough problem that you’re not sure how to solve? Taking a mental health break to spend time with the office dog can help you relax and return to your desk with the perfect solution in mind. It’s difficult to remain frustrated when a friendly face comes to say hello, and by taking the time to return the love, you’re mentally taking a deep breath so you can return to your work refreshed.

Having office dogs is the perfect way to make your office a brighter place. If you have a pup who’s good around people, consider seeing if you can bring him into work for the day and watch how he makes the office feel like a happier place to be. You just might convince others to bring their dogs in as well, and the positive atmosphere will just keep growing!