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Link Between Dog Bacteria and Human Health

Dog kisses - some people like them while others are totally grossed out by even the thought of touching lips with their furry family members. It turns out there may actually be health benefits to doggie smooches. Researchers from University of Arizona (Human-Animal Interaction Research Initiative or HAIRI) and UC San Diego (Professor Rob Knight) are investigating if a dogs microbiota (the microorganisms that inhabit the dogs body) are beneficial to human health.  The theory is that dogs may be acting similar to yogurt by providing beneficial bacteria and having a probiotic effect on their owners.

The study was partially inspired by research at University of Colorado Boulder in 2013 that showed married couples share more microbiota with their dog than with their spouse.  In fact, the study also indicated there is a stronger microbial connection between parents and the family dog than between parents and their children.

Dr. Charles Raison, the principal investigator at the University of Arizona, said that kids raised with dogs don't tend to get allergies and asthma.  He believes dogs may have an anti-inflammatory effect based on effects in children.  Just a few of the effects of inflammation are, allergies, asthma, arthritis, ciliac disease, crohn's disease, atherosclerosis, fibromyalgia.

We at Pawsitive Paws have always believed dog kisses are not only a good thing but necessary for good health.  Now we are happy to announce that science is backing up what we have known for a long time.  So don't be shy, smooch your pooch.  If anybody gives you a hard time tell them it's for your health.

If you are interested in what you, your family or even your dogs gut bacteria look like, visit the link below.  This project is looking for people who would like to see how their gut bacteria measure up to the general population.  There is a small fee but the results might be interesting.  If we participate we'll enter a blog post with the results.
American Gut Project

For an interesting write-up on the University of Colorado, Boulder study, follow the link below.
University of Colorado Boulder - "Microbial Differences Between Parents, Kids and Dogs"

A good article in New York Magazine written by someone who participated in the American Gut Project
"Some of My Best Friends Are Germs"

For a local article on the subject see the San Diego U-T article, "Dog Germs May Be Good For You".

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First Out And About Class Of 2015
Pawsitive Paws held it's first Out And About class of 2015 this past Saturday.  It was a great day with plenty of sunshine and mild temperatures.  This first class was held at Harry Griffen Park in La Mesa and included plenty of good distractions for the dogs.  Lots of children playing, running, riding their bikes and generally just doing what kids like to do which provided challenges that all the dogs handled perfectly.  All the dogs and their humans had a great time and we can't wait for next weeks class so we can enjoy all our participants again.  We truly had a fantastic time.
Woooo Hoooo!

Our "Out And About" class meets once a week for 5 weeks.  Each week we experience a different location with our dogs.  This gives us the opportunity to enjoy our dogs in different settings and situations.

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Texas rancher’s dog hitches ride on ambulance
This is such a great story.  In Texas a man wasn't feeling well and an ambulance was called.  On the way to the hospital, the ambulance was flagged down by another driver who noticed a dog riding on the side step.  The dog's name was Buddy and he belonged to the man who was riding inside the ambulance.    Read the article to hear what happens.

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Dogs Feel Jealousy
It's been found that dogs feel jealousy.  Many years ago someone told me not to anthropomorphize dogs.  Basically what they were telling me was that while humans have emotions, dog were incapable of expressing emotion.  A study done by  UC San Diego professor Christine Harris and honors student Caroline Prouvost shows that dogs may feel a basic type of jealousy designed to protect social bonds from interlopers.  Owners were asked to ignore their dogs and instead interact with a pail or a stuffed animated dog.  They were also asked to read aloud a pop-up book that played music. The owners treated the two objects like they were dogs (petting, talking to them, etc.).  78% of the time the dogs would push or touch their owners when they interacted with the stuffed dog with 30% actually trying to force their way between the owner and the stuffed dog.  Only 42% of the dogs touched or pushed their owners with the pail and fewer still (22%) did this with the book reading.  Interesting to note is 25% snapped at the stuffed dog while only one did this with the pail and the book.  One statistic that I think any dog owner would not be surprised about is 86% of the dogs sniffed the stuffed dogs rear during or just after the test was run.  Dogs will be dogs.  Click the link below the read the full article.  It's a good read and a good conversation starter the next time you are with your fellow dog owner friends.

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There is an interesting article in the central valley newspaper The Modesto Bee titled, "Lab’s exaggerated, noisy breathing a warning sign."  This article is written by a local veterinarian and discusses Laryngeal Paralysis. It seems that older Labrador Retrievers are susceptible to this condition and it does have some fairly prominent warning signs. The article is short but very informative.  Check out the link below for the details.

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We had a great Canine Good Citizen (CGC) class today.  This is Clover and she is working hard on getting her Canine Good Citizen and did an awesome job in class today.  She is such a sweet girl with lots of enthusiasm.   A big “Thank You!” goes out to Daisy (AKA “Girlfriend”) and her owner Cathy, who came by to help with class.

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Whistle, a company that makes tracking devices for pets is coming out with a new device in the summer of 2015.  It looks very promising and somewhat affordable.  They are offering a discount for those who want to pre-order. Right now it's $99.00 but will eventually rise to about $130.00.  There is a $5.00/month tracking fee with the device once it goes live.  Check out the link below to learn more.  There is a referral system in place so if you purchase from the link on this post, I will get a small credit toward the price.  After purchasing you will have the same opportunity.  Check it out.

Great write-up from CNET:

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No-Kill Shelter Built In Garage By Boy
What a great story.  This young man recognized a problem, came up with a solution and most important, executed his plan to save lives.  Ken opened his own no-kill dog shelter in his garage.  With the help of friends, family and donors, he’s now working on opening a much bigger facility that could possibly save many more lives.  Simply awesome!  Way to go Ken.
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